Ekoi and Etem in Karamoja: a study of decision-making in a post-conflict society
In 2013, a group of young Karimojong set out to explore land, peace and customary law in Karamoja. This book presents their finding on how decisions are made internally between Karimojong and between Karimojong and government on these subjects.
Translating Complex Realities Through Technologies: lessons about participatory accountability from South Africa
Accountability is a complex issue in South Africa. The country has high levels of inequality, and marginalised groups – as in many countries – struggle to make themselves heard by those in power. Yet the issue is further complicated by an interacting set of factors, including the legacy of apartheid, gender and religious issues, and the lack of access to those in power.
Through a six-year research project, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) used a range of technology-enabled participatory processes to unpack this lack of government accountability. This report focuses on four case studies, which examined the lived realities of marginalised groups and the activists that campaign on their behalf: activists against gender-based violence and for community safety; community care workers and health committee members working for public health; informal traders and the informal economy; and traditional medicine, Rastafarian bossie doktors and indigenous rights.
Using a multi-method research process, SLF supported these groups to work together and identify the accountability issues that they felt were important, and then consider how they could raise their voice collectively to those in power and those who shape and implement policy. As well as providing valuable findings, which SLF fed into the policy dialogue, this process also strengthened the capacity of these groups to speak out – not least through the use of different participatory technologies including digital storytelling, filmmaking, PhotoVoice, geospatial mapping and infographics.
This report reflects on the different tools used, considering not just the effectiveness of the outputs generated but also how these tools can empower citizens and bring marginalised groups together. Lastly, the report reflects on SLF’s role as an intermediary organisation, and how this role can influence the path that marginalised groups take in their efforts to make government more responsive to their needs.
Local Government Leadership in Sanitation and Hygiene: Experiences and Learnings from West Africa
Between July and October 2021, the Sanitation Learning Hub worked with government representatives and development partners to develop, share, and cross-analyse case studies looking at local system and government strengthening in four local government areas across West Africa: Benin (N’Dali commune), Ghana (Yendi municipal district), Guinea (Molota commune), and Nigeria (Logo LGA).
The initiative focused on examples of local leadership in sanitation and hygiene (S&H), with case studies developed in collaboration with development partners (Helvetas in Benin, UNICEF in Ghana and Guinea, United Purpose in Nigeria) and the local governments they partner with.
The goal was to cross-analyse examples of local government leadership in S&H, looking at what led to the prioritisation of S&H, and identifying commonalities and transferable knowledge through a participatory cross-learning process. The case studies identified positive change occurred in local government leadership in S&H, and analysed the contributions to change, via document review, key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
This learning brief shares the learnings and recommendations that emerged from the case studies and through the three participatory workshops that followed.
A French translation is also available: Le leadership des autorités locales en matière d’assainissement et d’hygiène : expériences et apprentissage de l’Afrique de l’Ouest
A Portuguese translation is also available: A liderança governamental local em saneamento e higiene: experiências e aprendizagens da África Ocidental
Watch the webinar on the findings here: https://youtu.be/87z6ZrQMRc0
A Photovoice Study on WASH and Nutrition in Afar, Ethiopia
The Afar people of Northern Ethiopia live in what can be considered the very definition of ‘challenging contexts.’ Largely nomadic pastoralists, they navigate a harsh and unforgiving landscape, often having to travel great distances for water. They have been described as living on the frontline of climate change. The Covid-19 pandemic and emerging peace and security issues in Ethiopia have only compounded challenges around poverty, nutrition and sanitation as markets are disrupted and entire communities are displaced.
It can still be incredibly challenging to ensure that the most marginalised members of a community are included and actively engaged in the process . In the case of Afar, this encompasses women, those with little to no formal schooling and those with very low levels of literacy. With this learning paper the authors want to share their experiences of using a methodology designed to include the voices of those most marginalised – in particular, women’s voices – in a nutrition and WASH participatory research project in Northern Ethiopia.
Fostvedt-Mills Consulting (FMC) was contracted by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) as part of their Improved Food security through Transitional Aid for Resilience Project (IFTAR), which aimed to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable groups and the nutritional and hygiene behaviours of caregivers. They were asked to investigate the attitudes and practises of target communities in Afar relating to nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene and then to design a subsequent intervention that was contextually relevant to the communities.
For the study, FMC sought to answer the questions:
- What are the social and gender-based factors determining the nutrition and WASH practices of the communities?
- How are those factors affecting the nutrition and WASH practices of the communities?
In designing the approach, FMC wanted to ensure that they carried out their research with the communities, rather than on the communities, in a way that would build trust and create a shared understanding of the future intervention and generate interest and a sense of ownership in its potential outcomes.
The full study carried out by FMC included a desk review as well as primary quantitative and qualitative data collection. In this learning paper they share the findings from the qualitative research. Specifically, FMC examine how the use of photovoice and Community Action Planning methods worked to amplify the voices of women and ultimately engage a more diverse group of community members in the research process. They will share our most important findings and discuss some of the advantages and challenges of using these methods in Afar, as well as the potential for application of these research methods in other challenging contexts.