News

Achieving meaningful accountability for people living in poverty and marginalisation

By Thea Shahrokh and Erika Lopez-Franco

Meaningful accountability can shift power imbalances that prevent sustainable development for people living in poverty and marginalisation. However, for the poorest and most marginalised people accountability is often unattainable. This IDS Policy Briefing draws on research by the Participate initiative to highlight the key components necessary for processes of accountability to be meaningful for all.

TheWorkshop2015

Logo for The Workshop19th Praxis International Annual Commune on Participatory Development: September 7-14, 2015 at ECC, Whitefield, Bengaluru, India.

TheWorkshop2015 is an annual residential event that brings together development workers, policy makers and proactive individuals from across the world to share information and experiences of participatory approaches and tools. Through interactive sessions, field work component and talks and film screenings, the thematic workshop on participatory development is in its 19th edition this year.
Visit: www.theworkshop.in
Write to: info@theworkshop.in

Roma Inclusion in Eastern Europe

As part of an ongoing collaboration IDS and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) recently ran a workshop on Roma inclusion in Eastern Europe, focussing on deepening understanding of discrimination and its relationship with other forms of exclusion. Details of this Bucharest event and its outcomes including videos, papers and learning topics can be found on the Roma Social Inclusion website.

Citizen Participation and Accountability for Sustainable Development

Image of report coverThis new report from the Participate Initiative looks at strategies the poorest and most marginalised have used in an attempt to ensure accountability from national and global policy makers to local people. The need for greater accountability was one the key findings of the Participate research, along with the importance of participatory approaches to ensure the processes of accountability were legitimate. This report situates accountability in citizens’ lives, analyses strategies in relation to natural resource extraction, and shows how community dialogue and vision can influence discourse and policy.

ALARA 9th Action Learning Action Research and 13th Participatory Action Research World Congress

5-7 November 2015, Pretoria, South Africa

The theme of this conference is a challenge to action learning/action research practitioners the world over, whether working in resource rich or more socio-economically challenged contexts, to explain how they are contributing to the creation of a fairer world.  It will create a learning opportunity for delegates to share and inspire each other to try new approaches and network with people to sustain their own learning.  The theme “Collaborative and sustainable learning for a fairer world: rhetoric or reality?” will be explored through symposia, paper presentations, poster presentations and workshops.  More information on the ALARA conference website

Barefoot Guide 4: Exploring the Real Work of Social Change

This new book from The Barefoot Guide Connection is about real social change practices and is drawn from many countries in the world. It contains stories, analyses, and ideas, plus poems and illustrations.  Compiled by nearly 40 social change activists and practitioners, it is image of book coverwritten for activists, civil society leaders and practitioners.  It is not a book of easy answers but aims to provide a feast of experiences, learnings and questions, all asking “What is the real work of social change?”  Download for free from the Barefoot website. 

The Role of Volunteering in Sustainable Development

By Danny Burns et al

This new report summarises findings from a two year global action research project that sought to understand how and why volunteering affects poverty and contributes to sustainable development. Conducted by VSO and IDS, the Valuing Volunteering research took place in Picture of book coverthe Philippines, Kenya, Mozambique and Nepal and explored volunteering across different development contexts and systems.  Using participatory systemic action research it worked with local partners, communities and volunteers to reflect on how and where volunteering can contribute to positive, sustainable change.

Citizen Participation and Inclusive Governance - a Training Course

1 - 12 June 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands 

Responsive governments and empowered citizens are important conditions for inclusive development. But what can governments and civil society do to make sure that all voices are heard? This course, run by The Hague Academy for Local Governance, looks at how governments can inform and involve their citizens, including minorities and marginalised groups. Participants will also learn how civil society can be strengthened in such a way that citizens can hold their governments accountable and bring their concerns to the table. The application deadline is 3 April 2015. For more information please go to The Hague Academy website or phone (31) 70 3738 695.

How Poor People Set Their Own Poverty Lines

This latest engaging edition of Housing by People in Asia from ACHR reports on how the urban poor in six Asian countries have come together to define their own poverty lines.  Rarely consulted in the global political debates as to what actually constitutes poverty, this project has enabled those that understand deprivation the best to analyse what it means for them and where lines can and should be drawn.  Challenging the notion that $1.25 a day (the World Bank’s one-size-fits-all definition of absolute poverty) could ever clearly separate the poor from the non-poor, they explore the multiple dimensions of poverty in different contexts and what they can do together to bring about change.

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