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.
ALNAP's Global Study on Participation and Consultation of Affected Populations in Humanitarian Action: review of French literature
This literature review is intended to complement the English and Spanish literature reviews carried out as part of the Global Study. Many of the issues and points of discussion raised in the English review were also noted or confirmed in the French literature. There are inevitable influences and overlaps between the various literatures, such that to make a clear distinction between the French, Spanish and English literature is, to a certain extent, artificial. However, it cannot be denied that there are some differences in approaches and emphasis, due to the predominance of certain schools of thought or institutional cultures. This paper emphasizes the differences by focusing on elements that were not yet necessarily covered by the other views, or that are addressed from a different angle. The objectives of the review are to clarify the concepts and definitions of terms related to participation and consultation in the French literature on development and humanitarian aid; present and analyse key debates around the concept and practice of participation; review lessons learned, recommendations, and manuals that can be useful for the elaboration of the Global Study Practitioner's Handbook and overview book; and illustrate the issues raised through case studies that are relevant to humanitarian action.
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".
Bottom up planning? Participatory implementation, monitoring and evaluation of PRS processes in Bolivia
This article explores links between the social unrest in Bolivia in October 2003 and the processes involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Poverty reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The article suggests that the participation of civil society organisations has been limited and ineffective in these processes for a number of reasons. The author analyses the role that civil society has played in monitoring and implementing the PRSP, focusing on how the Grupo Nacional de Trabajo para la Participacion (GNTP) has worked with the government, NGOs and other civil society organisations. Specifically, the author looks at one case of successful peopleÆs participation in Vallegrande and concludes by drawing out lessons learnt from the Bolivian experience. These include: bottlenecks for peopleÆs participation can in part be overcome by strengthening networks and learning communities; key factors enabling peopleÆs participation in PRSP processes include government openness to participatory processes, access to information, organisational capacity within civil society organisation and commitment to participatory processes; and the role that South-South exchanges can have in strengthening learning communities.
Case Study on advocacy, influence and political participation in the Philippines: constituency-building and electoral advocacy with grassroots women in the Philippines
This case study describes how the membership federation of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) has used advocacy to organise and advance the interests of grassrootsÆ women within the political arena. The advocacy experiences in this story range from local level denouncements in cases of domestic violence, to legislative reform, and to electoral organisation establishing a womenÆs political party and field women candidates for the Party List Law in 1998. The study is primarily a description of how a national federation mobilises its membership to advocate at different levels. The experience from DSWP provides lessons about organising the power of numbers and responds to a number of questions: how grassroots members are incorporated into and ultimately drive the advocacy agenda; how decisions are made at the community level and in the organisation so that the process is empowering and owned by the members; and how women and other disadvantaged groups have created alternative forms of political strategy and organisation in order to engage in politics and at the same time, transform political culture. The study was an initiative of the Asia FoundationÆs Global Women in Politics Program (GWIP) supported by USAID (United States Agency for International Development).advocacy, influence, Philippines, domestic violence, women, gender, legislation, election
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.
Conflict-sensitive approaches to development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding: a resource pack
'Voices of the Poor' is a series of three books that collates the experiences, views and aspirations of over 60,000 poor women and men. This second book of the series draws material from a 23-country comparative study, which used open-ended participatory methods, bringing together the voices and realities of 20,000 poor women, men, youth and children. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people's experiences. The common underlying theme is one of powerlessness, which consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The book starts by describing the origins of the study, the methodology and some of the challenges faced. This is followed by an exploration of the multidimensional nature of wellbeing and illbeing. Most of the book comprises the core findings - the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study - and is organised around these themes. These include livelihoods and assets; the places where poor people live and work; the body and related to this, accessing health services; gender roles and gender relations within the household; social exclusion; insecurity and related fears and anxieties; the behaviour and character of institutions; and poor people's ratings of the most important institutions in their lives. These dimensions are brought together into a many-stranded web of powerlessness, which is compounded by the lack of capability, including lack of information, education, skills and confidence. The final chapter is a call to action and dwells on the challenge of change.
This issue of Compas magazine focuses on the main controversies that individuals, communities and agencies involved in endogenous development are experiencing, and to show examples of methodologies to handle these controversies. Many of the articles presented show that the experiences of development agencies in consciously and systematically dealing with controversies are still few. The issue focuses on four controversial issues dealt with in separate sections: traditional leadership and governance, gender roles, agriculture and health care. Some of the main questions dealt with are how controversies between traditional leadership and formal government can be bridged; how to build on the strengths of both traditional and modern health care systems; how to understand culture-based gender concepts and support women in traditional cultures who face suppressive gender-related taboos; and how understanding between scientists and traditional farmers can be increased to help agriculture adapt to changing conditions. The issue includes articles on traditional ways of dealing with controversies; challenges between African, Asian and western philosophy; contexts, concepts and controversies between Andean and western cosmovisions; potentials and questions regarding indigenous institutions in Ghana; blending governance systems in Ghana; revitalising traditional leadership in Andhra Pradesh, India; conflict transformation between pastoralists and settled farmers in Sudan; dealing with land conflicts in Zimbabwe; livestock controversies in Europe; traditional leadership and gender in Kenya; rituals, taboos and gender in Sri Lanka; lessons from Buddhism on equality and diversity in Sri Lanka; ancient farming and modern science in Sri Lanka; changes and controversies in Uganda; controversies between farmers and scientists regarding grain storage n Nepal; and integrating different healing practices in Cameroon. The magazine also contains book reviews relating to the subjects discussed and descriptions of future issues. Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Europe, the Andes, Uganda, Nepal
Domestic abuses against housewives in haor areas of Bangladesh: understanding the impact of Concern's intervention in reducing abuses
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.