Exposure and dialogue as a powerful instrument for shaping policy-making
A memo from Ravi Kanbur on the project is attached
A memo from Ravi Kanbur on the project is attached
It has been recognised that education is a powerful way of fighting poverty, and an empowering process, particularly with regards to the most marginalized groups of people such as poor women and girls. As a result, in Bangladesh, a literacy project is underway, with participants being poor women and girls. It is an ActionAid project, using the Reflect approach, which draws on the Freirean philosophy and facilitates a participatory learning process aiming to empower and promote social change.
This document is a review of the project so far. The first part describes the Reflect process and the perceived strengths of this approach to learning. The bulk of the document then consists of the review outcomes. The project is assessed on its impact on and benefits for participants, in terms of becoming literate, less marginalized and empowered to strive towards social change. It ends with a number of recommendations as to how the project can improve.
This guide aims to enable activists, trainers and other involved in development and democracy to promote citizen participation and to democratize decision-making. Drawing on experiences of NGOs from numerous countries, the document contains concepts, tools and step-by-step processes aimed at promoting citizen advocacy. It aims to help activists, practitioners and planners to work with civil society in a way that promotes political change, develops solutions to development problems and policies, creates strong and lasting links and transforms power relations, including gender dynamics.
These notes are a resource for putting ActionAid's new Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS) into practice. It is intended for use not only by ActionAid staff but also, where appropriate, by partner organisation staff. The notes assist in considering the implications and thus practical application of ALPS. An important feature is the inclusion of examples of processes to enable efficient utilisation of ALPS; by regularly updating this resource and constructing a corresponding website for interaction, staff will be invited to contribute by identifying what has and what has not worked well, in order to facilitate an efficient system of processes integral to ALPS.
This book intends to provide participatory development tools that will enable those traditionally excluded - particularly women - from decision-making processes and control over resources to have a voice and to play an active role. The authors contend that the tools described increase the capacities of local communities, NGOs and public sector agencies by integrating applied and analytical methods. To illustrate, examples from field experience in urban, rural and agrarian communities from around the world are described. A brief overview of participatory approaches to development is described, including issues such as power relationships within a community and between local institutions and outsiders. Its explores the opportunities for using multi-media tools to strengthen the impact of other tools in conscious-raising, data-gathering, advocacy, and community decision-making and action.
Indonesia is in a process of moving from authoritarian to democratic rule, and to more decentralised forms of governance. This paper sheds light on efforts to open space for women's participation in politics through the work of PPSW, a Jakarta-based women's NGO which helps women to change the way they think about themselves, and to analyse and understand gender relations at all levels of society from household to national government. It discusses the long-term process required to strengthen women politically; advocacy that involves education, consciousness raising and empowerment at the most basic and individual level.
This paper defines different levels of power and processes of empowerment. It argues that the fact that its expressions and forms can range from domination and resistance to collaboration and transformation, is a positive thing for advocates whose strategies depend upon new opportunities and openings in practice and structures of power. It uses two charts, the Chaz framework, and Power, political participation and social change, to explore both practical and theoretical issues and to reflect key lessons from gender work.
As development NGOs and official aid agencies embrace the idea of becoming a learning organisation, they are increasingly concerned with some form of knowledge generation and organisational learning. To date, the literature on these issues has tended to come out of the private sector and reflect a Western world view. Development and the Learning Organisation presents contributions from development scholars and practitioners from a range of institutional backgrounds around the world. These contributions are organised under five themes: Power, culture and gender: challenges to organisational learning; Learning together: multi-institutional initiatives; Levels of learning: organisational case studies; Learning from humanitarian action, and Ways and means: tools and methods for learning and change. Some introduce new approaches and models, others offer critical case studies of individual and group learning practice across cultures as well as organisational efforts to put theory into practice. The book ends with a review of resources including books, journals, organisations, websites and publishers.
This paper draws out lessons from gender mainstreaming work for those who seek to institutionalise participation. The author begins by discussing the shift from Women in Development (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD) and the conceptual frameworks that contributed to this process. The strategies used to mainstream gender, with achievements and challenges are then examined. This is followed by a discussion of the shifts from participation per se to governance, suggesting that the shift from æwomen in developmentÆ to ægender and developmentÆ is mirrored by a shift from æparticipationÆ to ægovernanceÆ, with a greater focus in both on a relational perspective, policy processes and institutions. The tensions between gender mainstreaming and participatory development are explored and ways of bridging the gaps between ægenderÆ and æparticipationÆ are suggested. The author argues that renewed alliances with emerging movements and more critical perspectives are required to prevent the cooption of visions and weakening of values which underpin efforts to mainstream both a gender perspective and participatory approaches to development and social change.
This paper analyses the role of civil society in advocating for the adoption of the Bill on the Right to Education in India. The author argues that recent successes in civil society mobilisation could form a good basis to implementing the right to education with the active collaboration and participation of the Indian government. Thus she demonstrates how civil societyûgovernment collaborative approaches have been able to tackle child labour and contribute to increasing access to educational opportunities for girls. In doing so, the author recommends: that there be an increase in sensitisation, mentoring, awareness-building, and in developing the participatory governance capacities of rights-unaware communities, while mobilising the masses to achieve reforms through advocacy; that there be a requirement for state bureaucracy to train staff in reforming legal and regulatory frameworks, and implementation systems; that at the local level designing methods of participation that incorporate new bargaining tools e.g. Public Interest Litigation (PIL); and working with women in æpositions of powerÆ as potential agents and champions of change. Some of the observations that have been made in the interim period following the passing of the Right to Education Bill include: a call from representatives from civil society to government to set up a 'National Commission on Education' comprised of experts, which would ensure a participation through involving civil society actors as an integral component in any planning and delivery to ensure implementation of the Constitutional provision; and the formation of state-level networks of civil-society organisations several Indian states to lobby the state governments to implement the principles of the Bill on the ground.
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.
This publication by SEWA (Self employed Womens Association), Ahmedabad, India and North South Dialogue, Germany, that examines poverty in a micro context with the methodology of an Exposure and Dialogue Programme (EDP) that is essentially an attempt to understand poverty first hand and record some of the factors that lead to the overcoming of it. The EDPs are used to assist understanding of the situation of SEWA members, appreciation of the womenÆs strengths, and to find strategies to overcome problems. The first part of the publication My home, my workplace: A life of struggle for security presents the story of Kamlaben Koshti, a bidi worker and SEWA leader in Ahmedabad derived from an EPD on Empowerment through organising in 1999. It examines the process leading up to the EDP, with aims of gather experiences that couldbe used for the World Development Report on Poverty, for designing exposures for politicians, and testing the exposure methods for SEWAÆs own purposes. It goes on to give account for the life history of Kamlaben with lessons to be learnt; analyse the relevance of KamlabenÆs life for SEWAÆs policy, programmes and macro policy; and examining the process of meeting Kmlaben and comprehending her life. The second part of the report Struggling for security illustrates the lives of Savitaben Jivanbhai Valand, a midwife in Vihchiya, and Jetunben Razak Sheik, agarbatti roller in Bapunagar, derived from an EPD in 2001. It looks at the life histories of the two women and reflects on exposure, reflection and dialogue as means to understand vulnerability and to learn about risk management.
This consultants report provides a framework for ActionAidÆs fundraising and communications activities in Greece, Ireland, Italy and UK. It examines income, expenditure and profitability; resource allocation and investment; number of supporters; communications and public campaigning; organisational infrastructure; and international fundraising for ActionAid in the four countries.
This toolkit draws on the lessons generated from learning projects and case studies supported under the Citizens and Governance programme of the Commonwealth Foundation. It offers practical guidance on how to promote the participation of citizens in governance. The contents of the toolkit include: the meaning of inclusive governance; ways for citizens to organise and engage in governance; strategies for multi-sectoral partnerships; key themes that emerge in governance, such as conflict, gender and power; suggestions for participatory methods in governance, including learning circles, popular theatre and role play; and methods for inclusive governance capacity building of citizens, intermediaries and government officials. Brief summaries of action-learning projects and case studies from the Citizens and Governance Programme from: India, the Caribbean, Vanuatu, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, UK, New Zeeland, Africa, Malaysia, Canada and Belize; are presented. A toolkit CD-ROM designed to run on Windows 95/98/XP and MacOS9 is also incorporated. The CD-ROM contains the toolkit in an electronic format and has a resource bank of downloadable materials, such as relevant publications, materials used by the project partners and a word bank which provides explanations of, and proverbs illustrating terms common in the debate about civil society and governance which project partners themselves have furnished.