News, Blogs and Events

Participate Proposal for post-2015 targets

A new briefing paper from the Participate Initiative

The Participate Initiative provides high quality evidence on the reality of poverty at ground level, bringing the perspectives of the poorest into the post-2015 debate.  In 2013, the initiative carried out a synthesis of studies conducted by the Participate Participatory Research Group (PRG) in 29 countries. This synthesis, presented in the ‘Work with us’ report, draws out the patterns of change that emerged from people’s accounts of their own experiences of moving in or out of poverty and marginalisation. This briefing Paper summarises the areas of focus that emerged from this work which include: leave no one behind; livelihoods and pro-poor infrastructure development; participation and citizen action; and tackle discriminatory norms.  To gain a deeper insight into this work read Danny Burn’s recent blog “Participate’s proposal for Post-2015 targets that respond to the realities of poor and marginalised people”

Speaking Volumes: Stories of people living with HIV

Come and curl up with a living book!picture of inside of book

 Speaking Volumes is an organisation working with people living with HIV to give them a voice and an opportunity to share their experience of life with the condition.  Using digital storytelling, this project has enabled the voices of the often hidden, stigmatised and marginalised to be heard.  Initiated by Alice Booth it has been funded by the Big Lottery, Pink Fringe and Brighton and Hove City Council.  An exhibition of the resulting digital books is on display at the Jubilee Library, Brighton, UK from 8th April to 8th June 2014.  The stories are also on the Speaking Volumes website so they can be heard all over the world.  For more information contact Alice Booth:

Into the Unknown:explorations in development practice

A new book from Robert Chambers      Into the Unknown cover picture

As change accelerates, development professionals find themselves more than ever explorers of an unknown and unknowable future.  This brings opportunities, excitement and surprises, and demands continuous critical reflection and learning.  In the opening part of this book, Robert Chambers reviews his own life, including his early career, participation in the World Bank’s Voice of the Poor project and research and engagement in South Asia on canal irrigation.  These experiences led him to examine personal biases and predispositions, and to recognize the pervasive significance of power in forming and framing knowledge.

Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation Workshop

July 21-26, 2014.  University of Ottawa, Canada.                                                                                                                                                                Monitoring and Evaluation is a vital management tool. Communities, organizations and funders need to know how effective their efforts have been. But, a key question being asked is "Who should make these judgments, and on what basis?". Too often, it is outside "experts" who are completing the report card primarily to fulfill an accountability function for the funding organization. Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) is a different approach involving a wide range of stakeholders deciding together about how to measure results and what actions should follow. This six-day workshop is set in the community to maximize learning, group interaction and networking.

Young Advocates for Change

26th July to 2nd August 2014, Switzerland

Initiatives of Change in partnership with the Child to Child Trust and Universal Education Foundation present the second edition of CATS: Children as Actors for Transforming Society.  This conference provides a space where children, young people and adults live, learn and work together as equal partners in transforming society.  Over six days, the beautiful venue of Caux Palace (Switzerland) will become a meeting point for a global community of advocates for the rights and well-being of children.

IDS short film is shown at London Feminist Film Festival while being viewed over 1000 times an hour on Vimeo

30%: Women and politics in Sierra Leone’, a short film produced by Pathways to Women's Empowerment has been recommended as a staff choice by Vimeo, resulting in 1000 views an hour. The documentary follows the challenges and successes of gender equity in politics in Sierra Leone. The women's movement in Sierra Leone is becoming increasingly influential, and the film tells the story of three women who are fighting for their role in government as the women’s movement campaigns for a 30% quota for women in government.

Mobilizing European Citizens for Global Development

On the 30th and 31st of January 2014 the First European Conference on Citizen Initiatives for Global Solidarity will take place in Brussels under the header ‘Mobilising European Citizens for Global Development’.  Hosted by HIVA, the conference aims to explore the presence and position of Citizen Initiatives for Global Solidarity in European countries, as well as to create a knowledge and network forum for all stakeholders. The conference

Work with Us - a documentary

On Wednesday 6th November the Work with Us documentary was shown at the Institute of Development Studies.  This 20-minute film was produced in collaboration with communities around the world as part of the Participate initiative. The stories, messages and perspectives that emerge provide background to how change can happen along with the challenges in dealing with complex issues. The screening which can be viewed at:

How can people and organisations catalyse sustainable change?

On Wednesday 30th October Participate partners from grassroots organisations and activist movements gathered at the Institute of Development Studies (UK) to discuss visions for change in development, based on the life experiences and stories of people living in greatest poverty and marginalisation. The partners are amongst 17 organisations in the Participate network whose recent participatory research has resulted in a report: ‘Work with us: How people and organisations can catalyse sustainable change’.

Participation for Development: Why is this a good time to be alive?

Photo of Robert ChambersRobert Chambers

Based on and abbreviated from a keynote to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) conference in Canberra on 28 November 2012

For us engaged with participation for development, why is this a good time to be alive? There are so many negative trends in our world – in climate change, rising inequality, abuses of globalisation, the glorification of greed….and so much else. But for participation for development, I believe the glass is not half empty but half full and filling, because there are so many wonderful realities and potentials for making a difference for the better.