What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world countries have a least the minimum trappings of democracy, but for many this is just the beginning. Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate control, electoral corruption and fraud in the North, representative politics in the Americas is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to redefine democracy under their own terms: local, direct and participatory. In Brazil, they have installed participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, in Venezuela President Chavez came to power with the promise of granting direct participation to the people, and all across the Americas social movements and constitutional assemblies are taking authority away from the ruling elites and putting power into the hands of their members and citizens. This DVD features interviews with Eduardo Galeano, Amy Goodman, Emir Sader, Martha Harnecker, Ward Churchill and Leonardo Avritzer as well as cooperative and community members, elected representatives, academics and activists from Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, United States, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and more. It takes us on a journey across the Americas in an attempt to answer the question "What is Democracy?"
This 18 minute video texted in English in gives account of a GRUPAL (Working Group for Local Participation) Learning from Experience Self-Reflection workshop financed by IDS, where 25 young leaders from youth groups in Villa San Juan de Lurigancho and Villa El Salvador participated. The workshop is introduced with a brief presentation of GRUPAL and the partiticpants etting to know each other. Part one Participation and leadership works with identifying types of leaders, decision making processes and project implementation, through the visualisation exercise æpower flowerÆ examining powers within the youth groups. Through role leadership styles are analysed, and a short dramatisation of political campaigning is included. Part two Democracy, Citizenship and Organisation identifies democratic processes in the youth organisations with an exercise illustrating the importance of rules and leadership for group coordination in executing a task; and a role game, portraying different leadership styles and positive and negative attitudes in the dialogue between them are identify,ed. Part three focuses Advocacy looks at how to establish relationships with other actors, includes a debate exercise. The video is concluded with short poems on the topic creating compromise a summary of the workshop with lessons learned on democracy, transparence, dialogue and consensus to lead the participants in their work with the organisation and in their private lives. Finally a DIY video recorded by the participants in the workshop where they have interviewed each other on the issues of the workshop
The Access Initiative (TAI) has developed this interactive toolkit CD-ROM to stimulate national progress on the access to environmental decision-making. It provides over 100 indicators that civil society organizations can use to monitor government performance in implementing public participation in decisions that affect the environment. Twenty-five civil society organizations from nine countries pilot-tested the original methodology and helped TAI identify global standards for public participation and information. These universally applicable benchmarks help civil society coalitions identify ways that their countries can move toward compliance with global norms for access to information, participation and justice in environmental decision-making. The methodology specifically measures the following: comprehensiveness and quality of the general legal framework for access to information, participation, and justice; degree of available access to selected types of information about the environment; degree of public participation in decision-making processes in selected sectors by actors in the development process at various levels; the accessibility of justice, both redress and remedy; and comprehensiveness and quality of capacity building efforts to encourage informed and meaningful public participation. The CD-ROM includes an interactive database for recording research and a detailed "How-to" Guide that provides user-friendly instructions for all phases of the assessment, including assembling a coalition, launching a study, selecting cases and research methods, finalizing data, and using the findings to stimulate tangible results. Additional resources such as a glossary, Internet links, PDFs with TAC publications and other background information is also included.
This is a digital resource that allows users to direct and monitor their learning on facilitation at their own pace. It has been compiled for use by a diversity of people who have different levels of understanding and practice of facilitation, and comprises two CDs. The first is designed to give the user a choice of learning pathways appropriate to their interest or needs. These include personal assessment and reflection, interactive games and exercises, video clips and stimulating questions to challenge and probe the learnerÆs thinking processes. The second CD is aimed at those who would like to think about training others to become better facilitators and includes a comprehensive set of training materials and some video material of other trainers in action.
This CD presents the D¨thchas project, which was a demonstration project funded under the EU LIFE 97 Environment Programme for the period January 1998-April 2001, with the aim of piloting an affordable, transferable process and framework for addressing sustainable development and integrated land management in peripheral rural areas of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The work was carried out with the full involvement, support and co-operation of three Pilot Areas: North Sutherland, the Trotternish Peninsula in the Isle of Skye, and North Uist in the Western Isles, each home to between 1400 and 2000 people. D¨thchas involved each community in a highly participative process to create a strategy for the sustainable development of their area. Each Area Sustainability Strategy identifies the community vision, goals and objectives for the area and the practical actions needed to achieve these, now and in the medium and long term. The strategies were defined by the local people and agreed by the Agency Partners. Innovative Participatory Methods were developed and used for facilitating the involvement of local people and for bringing public and other agencies around the table to agree the way forward and relate this to their own plans and resources. The CD contains a stage-by-stage analysis of the D¨thchas project and examines its concepts strategies and outcomes. Additional features include: a 20 minute film introducing the project and the pilot themes; photographic albums; a quick find facility; and a range of reports, reviews, newsletters and publication which have been produced by the project. The contents of the CD can be found on http://www.duthchas.org.uk/
This video provides a good introduction to the potential benefits of PRA in implementing projects which benefit those normally excluded by conventional approaches. It contains interesting interviews with villagers who had previously participated in a PRA process. It also uses dramatised scenes to emphasise aspects of PRA, mostly concerning behaviour and attitudes. Which scenes have been scripted is sometimes confusing. Key points made are that marginalised people are usually not reached by conventional development approaches (03, 05, 30). The attitudes and behaviour of development workers and academics contributes to this (13, 37). PRA facilitates outsiders learning from villagers (08, 18) and overcomes conventional biases (34, 38). This is shown through the experience of Paraikulan villagers who worked with an NGO, SPEECH, to reclaim barren land. The outputs of PRA methods shown include mapping (19), wealth ranking (25), seasonality analysis (26), matrix ranking of problems (28), oral history (29), and Venn diagrams (32). Women were included in village development activities, through literacy classes and increased access to agricultural inputs (34). Villagers reflect on the subsequent activities to reclaim barren land and its impact on their lives (42), both in terms of production and increased confidence (44). A resident of another villager reports that the experience of Paraikulan set an example for other villagers (46).
This video draws on the experience of an Australian funded participatory rural development project in the Philippines, to examine the challenges, risks and benefits of adopting a participatory approach. It takes the form of interviews with project staff, including foreign project consultants, provincial and local project staff, community development workers and agricultural extension workers. A range of issues is discussed, include potential factors causing conflict or distrust, the need for and obstacles to empowering farmers, the need for and resistance to a very slow learning process, transparency and agendas of various stakeholders, and the need to recognise and share constraints and strengths. These issues are discussed from the perspective of bilateral agency staff, NGOs, local government and community partners.
This ten-minute video was made by Manor Street Community Group in North Belfast, Northern Ireland with the help of students from King Alfred's College. Manor Street is situated in the heart of an area divided by religious and political conflict. The film focuses on efforts by the Community Group to get support from the community and funding for a new Community Centre. After a 3-year public consultation period plans for the centre were drawn up and the City Council was approached for funding to build and run it (00). There was a great need for the centre. Since a wall had been built between the warring catholic and protestant communities shops had closed and buses stopped running (01). There was nothing for young people to do and vandalism was common (02). The problems had been exacerbated by the loss of the old centre and its youth club. All community spirit had gone from the area and the lack of opportunity for protestants and catholics to meet meant the two communities were even more divided (04). The Community Group made contact with various bodies to obtain support and funding. Discussions with residents made it clear that people wanted a centre which would provide something for all ages (05). One person suggested that keep fit classes for women could help deal with stress. The Centre would help put the heart back into the area by providing the community with a focal point and a morale booster (06). The plans provided space for a creche as well as rooms for meetings and classes for the unemployed (08.30). Volunteers from the community were sought to fundraise, run activities and join the management committee (09). The aim was to encourage the whole community to join in.
This 20 minute video focuses on rural communities in the UK. It demonstrates the use of Village Appraisals and Parish Maps, two creative methods which enable village groups to study and express the needs and feelings of local people and then go on to influence the future of their community. Village appraisals are a systematic 'stock-take' of the resources and services in a community using a local questionnaire survey. Two examples are shown, from the Dene Valley near Bishop Auckland, County Durham and from Motcombe, Dorset. Parish Maps use maps, pictures or any form of art and craftwork to illustrate the natural or human-made features of a parish that people really care about. Two examples are given from Buckland Newton in Dorset and Lockwood in Cleveland.