The recent 'rise of rights' has sparked much critical reflection, one of the key concerns being 'What is different this time'?. Can this emerging focus on rights within development help bring about favourable changes for poor and marginalised people?
This issue of the IDS Bulletin addresses diverse perspectives and questions across a spectrum of current thinking, policy and practice. Why the rights-based approach and why now? Whose rights count? 'Rights' work has evolved from an historical focus on human rights violations and concern for legal protection, but its future depends on direct engagement with civil society causes.
Development needs rights as much as rights need development. Illustrated here are struggles for rights within specific contexts (tenants associations in Kenya; children's organisations in India): the perspective of marginalised groups alters how formal rights are given meaning. Using rights in practice is challenging and filled with contradictions and tensions. The struggle for rights is happening and it is not simply an agenda of the powerful.
What emerges from this IDS Bulletin is a vibrant picture of often diverse meanings and strategies pursued throughout the world. If the current enthusiasm for rights in development can open thinking spaces and result in appropriate action, rather than serving as a one-size-fits-all export, then rights bases approaches are to be welcomed. Moving beyond old debates and recognising that rights must be claimed and realised by real people, the development community can discover what rights will ultimately mean in context and practice.
Table of contents
- Introduction: Developing Rights: Discourse to Context and Practice (pdf), Jethro Pettit and Joanna Wheeler
- 'Why Rights, Why Now? Reflections on the Rise of Rights in International Development Discourse', Andrea Cornwall and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights-based Approaches and Bilateral Aid Agencies: More Than a Metaphor?', Laure-Hélène Piron
- 'Rights-based Development: Linking Rights and Participation - Challenges in Thinking and Action', Valerie Miller, Lisa VeneKlasen and Cindy Clark
- 'An Actor-oriented Approach to Rights in Development', Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights-based Approaches: Recovering Past Innovations', Valerie Miller, Lisa VeneKlasen and Cindy Clark
- 'Rights and Power: The Challenge for International Development Agencies', Alexandra Hughes, Joanna Wheeler and Rosalnd Eyben
- 'Can a Rights-based Approach Help in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals?', Salil Shetty
- 'Living Rights: Reflections from Women's Movements About Gender and Rights in Practice', Cindy Clark, Molly Reilly and Joanna Wheeler
- 'Small Hands, Big Voices? Children's Participation in Policy Change in India', Emma Williams
- 'Operationalising the Rights Agenda: Participatory Rights Assessment in Peru and Malawi', James Blackburn, Mary Ann Brocklesby, Sheena Crawford and Jeremy Holland
- 'Defining Rights from the Roots: Insights from Council Tenants' Struggles in Mombasa, Kenya', Samuel Musyoki and Celestine Nyamu-Musembi
- 'Rights and Citizenship in Brazil: The Challenges for Civil Society, Almir Pereira Júnior, Jorge Romano and Marta Antunes
- 'Beyond Approaches and Models: Reflections on Rights and Social Movements in Kenya, Haiti and the Philippines', Mwambi Mwasaru
- 'Transforming Rights into Social Practices? The Landless Movement and Land Reform in Brazil', Zander Navarro
The article argues that strategic planning is crucial for tackling poverty, and looks at the anti-poverty strategy and plan of action in Bulgaria. The article first describes poverty in Bulgaria, and how low levels of income and low levels of employment make women particularly vulnerable. The author looks in detail at the anti-poverty strategy and plan of action as strategic planning tools, and argues that the planning processes have to be made fully participatory and reflect the vision of the poor and vulnerable people. To achieve this, the author suggests that NGOs and CSOs have to be supported further through training in strategic thinking to enable efficient and effective participation in planning processes.
The article explores the processes and structures of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), which is a cross-sectoral consortium of services into a holistic women and child development scheme. The authors argue that one of the biggest obstacles experienced during the implementation of the ICDS programme was the poor level of community participation. The article goes on the explain scaling up participation in a pilot experiment and the process undertaken. Based on the experience and lessons learnt during the pilot experiment, a framework was developed for scaling up the use of participatory methodologies in other districts under the ICDS programme. Building on reflections from the process, the authors conclude by summarising the problems, challenges and implications identified during the process.
This book is a collection of writings about gender in Africa. The collection aims to serve both as a general introduction to the field and to highlight some of the main themes in the literature. The collection brings together early feminist scholarship with new and unpublished work, spanning the continent and representing the diversity of scholarship on gender in sub-Saharan Africa. The book is grouped into five key areas: contested representations: ægenderÆ in Africa; reconfiguring identities: femininities and masculinities; livelihoods and lifeways; transforming traditions: gender, religion and culture; and gender and governance.
In India, people with disabilities experience profound social exclusion, largely remaining hidden and having little chance to share their experiences. There is little data on this exclusion and little understanding of their abilities, skills and potential. This paper describes the processes, outcomes and learning from collaborative participatory action research, facilitated by UNNATI-Organisation for Development Education and Handicap International, in partnership with 13 grassroots organisations. The study aimed to develop awareness and a collective understanding of the needs, potential, rights and aspirations of persons with disabilities and challenge the attitude and behaviour of the community towards them. The paper looks first at the methodology used and gives a summary of some of the findings, which cover issues such as: profound exclusion; mobility, access and participation; family life; rehabilitation needs and services; public health services; access to rights,; livelihoods; education, and mainstreaming. It then goes on to look at methodological issues, such as how exercises are communicated, social mapping as an entry point for awareness, overcoming barriers to participation, different realities, disability issues from a womanÆs perspective and sensitivity towards stakeholders. The study represents the voices of 1154 persons with disabilities in 55 villages and eight urban slums across four Indian districts.
This information pack is provided to give an introduction to gender and citizenship. It contains three documents: an overview report, a supporting resources collection, and the InBrief, Bridge Bulletin, Issue 14 on Gender and Citizenship. The report looks at the importance of both citizenship and gender to development theory and practice. It discusses key debates in the literature on gender and citizenship and attempts to illustrate how reframing citizenship from a gender perspective can introduce broader rights and political participation as development goals. It also highlights how understanding the ways in which different groups define and experience citizenship can enable development actors and the citizens they work with to make such rights and participation a reality. The supporting resource collection is made up of summaries of key texts, case studies, tools, guidelines and other materials relating to gender and citizenship. Networking and contact details, and links to web resources are also included. The included issue of InBrief looks at the ways in which working with ideas of citizenship can help promote gender equality. An approach to development that starts from the perspective of people as citizens can enable development actors to support struggles for rights and participation in decision-making for those marginalised on the basis of gender. This involves re-framing citizenship rights and responsibilities to include the needs of women and to ensure their access to policy and institutions. Case studies and articles include experiences from Egypt, Bangladesh, Mexico, Namibia, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Rwanda.
Este paquete de información sirve para dar una introducción al género y ciudadanía. Contiene tres documentos: un informe general, una colección de recursos de apoyo, y el Boletín de Bridge, EnBreve, edición 14 sobre género y ciudadanía. El informe examina la importancia de ciudadanía y género en la teoría y la práctica del desarrollo. Discute los discusiones dominantes en la literatura sobre género y ciudadanía y procura ilustrar cómo mirar la ciudadanía de una perspectiva del género puede introducir las derechas más amplias y la participación política como metas del desarrollo. También subraya cómo entendiendo las maneras en que diversos grupos definen y experimentan la ciudadanía puede permitir a agentes del desarrollo y a los ciudadanos con cuales trabajan para hacer tales derechas y la participación una realidad. La colección de recursos de apoyo se compone de resúmenes de textos claves, estudios de caso, herramientas, pautas y otros materiales referente al género y ciudadanía. Además, se incluyen detalles sobre contactos y enlaces para recursos en Internet. El boletín mira las maneras de trabajar con ideas de la ciudadanía puede ayudar a promover igualdad del género. Un procedimiento al desarrollo que empieza con la perspectiva de la gente como los ciudadanos puede permitir a agentes del desarrollo de apoyar a luchas de derechos y participación en la toma de decisiones para aquellos marginados en base de género. Esto implica re-enmarcar las derechas y responsabilidades de la ciudadanía para incluir las necesidades de mujeres y de asegurar su acceso a la política y a las instituciones. Los estudios y los artículos de caso incluyen experiencias de Egipto, de Bangladesh, de México, de Namibia, de la India, del Brasil, de México, de Sudáfrica y de Rwanda.
Domestic abuses against housewives in haor areas of Bangladesh: understanding the impact of Concern's intervention in reducing abuses
This article gives account for a domestic violence study conducted in 12 haor areas (areas that flood regularly) in the northeastern region of Bangladesh. Concern Worldwide (an international NGO) has been implementing integrated rural development projects in three remote sub-districts- Khaliajuri, Itna, and Gowainghat- or the last ten years. Key project activities include the formation of community groups with the poor for raising awareness, human development training, skill training, non-formal education, saving and credit schemes, and rural infrastructure development. Roughly 96% of the group participants are women and the activities aim to contribute to the socio-economic empowerment of poor women. A research study was undertaken in 2003 in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme; to determine the socio-economic factors contributing domestic violence; the most common types of abuse and their health consequences; reductions of physical and mental abuse of housewives due to Concern's interventions. The research methodology used was based on PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) methods with social mapping of poverty; family relationships diagrams; focus group discussions; and Venn diagrams. The results are presented defining the fabric of inter-household relationships; analysing abuse in family relationships; and looking at defence strategies. The authors go on to the effectiveness of the Concern Project, examining housewives' feelings about power and ways to achieve power. Lessons learned form the project are summarised and it is concluded that processes of change in gender relations and attitudes are ongoing and take time and that it is equally important to work with both women and men to change attitudes.