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.
Although a key advocacy goal is to influence policy processes, it is rare for this to genuinely happen in practice. Deciding when and how to engage with policy processes is not straightforward or simple. This paper highlights some key questions that can help advocates determine whether an opportunity to engage with decision makers is truly a meaningful chance for influence and change.
This article explores constraints encountered when using PRA on an ODA-funded natural resources project in a tribal area of Western India. It was particularly evident that women's participation in the PRAs was minimal. The reasons for this were practical (women were not available collectively for long periods of time & there were few women fieldworkers as the project had just begun), social (PRA activities tended to take place in public places where women felt awkward) and methodological (women respond to PRA activities in different ways, sometimes feeling bored and "communicating by singing instead"). The author argues that an organised PRA "gives privilege to certain kinds of knowledge and representation and suppresses others" : the emphasis given to formal knowledge and activities tends to "reinforce the invisibility of women's roles". However, once the formal and public nature of PRA is perceived as a problem, it can become a means by which "women's knowledge and activities.. can be transferred from the informal to the formal arena of project planning", thereby increasing women's profile. Suggestions for encouraging women's participation in PRA include: making non-public contexts (since women are more used to the "private sphere"), using women's knowledge and ways of communicating (songs, sayings, proverbs). There are constraints: the "production of observable outputs (maps, diagrams of PRA) have more status for fieldworkers" than scribbled songs or informal interview notes and women's expressed needs (eg a flour mill) "don't fit easily into established categories of natural resource development".
This reports the findings of a village appraisal carried out in North England by the parish council. The purpose was to gain a better idea of local opinions to inform council decisions on a range of topics. The booklet gives overviews of the locality's main characteristics, population, housing, transport, local needs and concerns and suggested options for the future.
Official policy documents are outcomes of intensely fought internal struggles. Through an analysis of a series of publicity booklets produced by the British aid programme between 1986 and 1998, this article explores how particular ways of thinking about women and gender were taken up by one donor agency. Based on the author's own experience, the article identifies the underlying processes related to power and knowledge that shaped a protracted and evolving bureaucratic contest over the text and pictures each booklet contained. The article explores how certain gender myths were used by the various contestants either to preserve or transform a policy agenda as represented in these booklets. In that contest, myths or stories were selected to resonate with the wider currents of ideology that were shaping aid policy at the time of each booklet's production. The article considers the external and internal political environment to which each booklet was responding and links the key policy messages of the booklets with the gender myths that each contains.|Author's abstract
This paper argues that transnational corporation ventures ought to factor in and mainstream accountability at the early stages of a project, implying that corporate accountability is a process to be nurtured over time. It also outlines a role for civil society actors as being instrumental in creating spaces for engagement with diverse stakeholders. It also draws emphasis to the role of advocacy in combating exploitation and human rights violations. The paper is based on a case study from the Titanium Mining Campaign in Kwale, Kenya. Some of the key lessons learnt from this paper include: ways in which the campaign brought together diverse players working against major obstacles in a bid to counter Tiomin and its allies; effective poverty eradication strategies will warrant a review and harmonisation of government policies to facilitate equitable access and control of productive resource by the immediate owners; the newly enacted Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act of 1999 needs to review observed inconsistencies and loopholes, particularly those requiring Environmental Impact Assessments be undertaken by project proponents to undertake EIAs for proposed developments; advocacy is most effective when backed up by a solid information base; as International NGOs continue to demand for accountability, they ought to focus on developing local capacities for engagement. This paper can be found at http://www.eldis.org/
This publication reports on the findings of an advocacy Working Group of NGOs in the Philippines. The study documents the experiences of the NGOÆs in influencing public policy and provoked reflections on the current conduct of advocacy in the country. It identifies competencies and techniques useful in effecting policy changes, and identified the capacity-building needs of NGOs and the requirements for developing a discipline for advocacy. A case study method is employed to look at policy-influencing experiences from 1990 to the present, of advocates working on cooperatives, gender, ancestral domain, agrarian reform, labour, aquatic reform, local governance, debt and taxation, and social services. The cases examine processes and techniques for achieving policy reform and focus on the interaction between public policy makers and social actors. The study is also based on reflections and information emerging from discussion fora with key informants (academics, government, etc). Eight case studies are presented and analysed in the report, examining levels of advocacy within the organisation and action impact on policy. In conclusion, the study lists some of the reasons for success and failure in advocacy and gives recommendations for capacity building for supporting advocacy, which concentrates on: enhancing a framework; integrating research and information management; research; skills for market research; ability for negotiation; broadening linkages and networks; strengthening organisation and management; and developing the discipline Finally it proposes some general and comprehensive indicators on measuring advocacy outcomes.
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 book provides case studies and analytical critiques of experiences in participatory governance in the Philippines. Seen as one of the most important experiments in grassroots democracy, the experiences of the Barangay-Bayan Governance Consortium are explored in the book through a combination of case studies and analytical chapters. The chapters look at the complexities of deepening democracy at the local level, including an exploration of power, democratic spaces, and fundamental questions about how social and political change occur. Each of the ten case studies tells a unique story, based on the experiences and reflections of each of the authors. Yet together, they describe how people are changing their role in the politics, and the nature of politics in general. The case studies, built on by the analytical chapters, explore and challenge concepts of æparticipationÆ, ægovernanceÆ and æempowermentÆ. The chapter titles include: æFinding meaning in local governance through popular participation at the Barangay-BayanÆ by Tom Villarin; æDeepening Democracy of æSophisticatedÆ patronage? The experience in Barangay KawayanÆ by Teresa Naraval; æTransforming leadership by creating alternative centres of power: the experience in Barangay Santa CruzÆ by Lin Ramos Mendez; æCombining multiple strategies for community organizing and local governance in an urbanizing communityÆ by Ariel Santos; æThe rebirth of the Makiling Forest Dwellers: Environmental governance and empowerment in Bagong SilangÆ by Conrad Castillo; æInstitutionalising participatory development planning: The experience of the municipal government of AlimodianÆ by Goldelino Chan; æInnovations in resource mobilisation: Surallah does it fiesta-styleÆ by Nina Iszatt; æAssessing the Barangay-Bayan governance programÆs impact on womenÆs participation in governance: the experience in Barangay Binitayan, DaragaÆ by Maria Dolores G. Alicias; æMainstreaming gender in local governanceÆ by Kissy Haynes Sumaylo; æParalegalism, local governance and development: PESANTEchÆs work in progressÆ by Vincent Festin; æCreating participatory tools for impact assessmentÆ by Mario Glavez Jr. and Rene D. Clemente; æMaximising gains in participatory, democratic governanceÆ by Marisol Estrella and Nina Iszatt; æEmpowerment and governanceÆ by Joel Rocamora.
This article focuses on gender aspects of participatory projects. It draws on the author's own research as well as secondary sources and states that gender inequalities in resources, time, and power, influence the priorities and framework of participatory projects as much as "top-down" development and market activities. Increasing the numbers of women involved in participatory projects cannot, therefore, be seen as a soft alternative to specific attention to change in gender inequality. Meeting the demands of poor women in the South will require not only local participatory projects, but a linking with wider movements for change in the national and international development agenda.
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.