In this publication, Panos London sets out what it believes should be the role of communication in long-term, sustainable development. It challenges governments and all involved in policy-making and planning to listen to the views of ordinary people, to involve civil society in decision-making and to recognise the important part the media can play in debating development issues and challenging government accountability. It suggests four key areas for action by governments, NGOs, the media and international organisations, in order to realise the power and potential of information and communication.
Bangladesh Reality Check Annual Report 2007: listening to poor people's realities about primary healthcare and primary education
This article describes Redd Barna - Uganda's experiences in using the Issues Matrix to analyse intra-communal difference, by facilitating independent discussions of different gender and age groups, in order to arrive at communal decisions. The Issues Matrix is a table, which captures, in a summary form, all the issues of concern that arise out of the initial application of PRA methods by interest groups. Marginalised groups in a community can advocate for their issues in the decision-making process, through the independent analysis that this method entails. The Issues Matrix can be used for situation analysis, as a practical starting point to address concerns that need immediate attention, as a benchmark for community-based planning and for participatory monitoring and evaluation. It is not only a tool for the analysis of intra-communal difference - it also promotes consensus building and paves the way for long term community planning and action.
Combining different knowledges: community-based climate change adaptation in small island developing states
Communities meet policy-makers : from institutional research agendas to community research and representation.
This document reports and reflects on research undertaken in three regions of Malawi. The reserch was initially based on a very narrow narrow research question and moved to an action-oriented approach focussing on participatory research carried out by communities using videos. The villagers involved presented the findings of their research on video to national policy makers
This paper looks at social change in South Africa, highlighting the disjuncture between constitutional provision for community participation in local government and the absence of such institutional space, bureaucratic orientation and political will to introduce, create, foster and maintain appropriate spaces/opportunities for participatory democracy at grassroots level. It documents specifically the story of Areas Co-ordinating Teams, (ACTs) in historically black ghettos of Cape Town, using open-ended interviews and structured questionnaires to ascertain the levels of understanding, co-operation and commitment to community participation in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects. The paper is made up by a number of sections which highlight different aspects of ACTs. The first locates ACTs within the socio-economic and political dynamics of the city. This is followed by an outline of the constitutional and related statutory frameworks that underpin the concept and practice of community participation in local government. The remaining sections of the paper discuss the direction of ACTs as well as their benefits and disadvantages. The paper concludes with some of the main findings and suggestions as to how community participation could be promoted and become embedded in local governance:| ACTs constitute good public policy and should be encouraged as they create institutional space and opportunities for individuals, communities, Council administration and elected representatives to discuss issues;| In practice, however, ACTs are a structural failure as they are non-binding, the Council is not obliged to follow up issues raised through ACTs, and individual officials and Councillors are not obliged to attend scheduled meetings.| Hence, for ACTs to become effective instruments of social change Councils must support them by passing appropriate by-laws and by drawing up a code of conduct that compels officials to take these initiatives seriously.
This paper describes the experiences of community based organisations from settlements and municipalities in Southeast Mexico City in participatory planning and in the development of local projects and new employment opportunities. The paper is largely descriptive and looks at the following:
À The myriad projects implemented in San Miguel Teotongo, Cananea and Sierra Nevada, including new schools, health centres, community museums, settlement lay outs, markets, the protection of green areas and historic sites and the development of new agricultural products and eco tourism
À Community based mapping of municipalities for natural resource management
À How these inititives have developed over the last 20 years and their role within Mexico's complex political changes, including their relations with different political parties.