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 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 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.