A memo from Ravi Kanbur on the project is attached
This briefing looks at how participatory immersion techniques can be used to promote advocacy in policy planning, focussing specifically on gaining insight into the situation of the poor. Senior staff in aid agencies are involved in daily decisions about policy and practice which have direct impact on the lives of poor people. But in a rapidly changing world, how can they be sure that they are basing those decisions on up-to-date information about what poor people want and would consider to be most helpful? REALISE is a participatory approach to learning, whereby staff from policy institutions and donor agencies spend a few days living and working with host families in a poor community. This enables them to engage in critical self-reflection both on their own and in a facilitated group and can bring long-term benefits to the practice of development. The experience increases motivation and commitment and the personal contact ensures that poor peopleÆs voices and perspectives are heard and integrated into new policy approaches and practice at senior level.
This paper is about the practice and the potential of immersions. Immersions are occasions when professionals learn directly from encounters with poor and marginalised people by living with them and reflecting on the experience. Those taking part may be the staff of bilateral and multilateral agencies, diplomats, parliamentarians, government officials, NGO staff, academics, or other development professionals.|Aims were to:|describe types and purposes of immersions;|review practical experience with immersion design, logistical organisation and the host community;|assess the rationale and impact of immersions, including better awareness of the realites of poor and marginalised people, personal and institutional learning and change, reinvigorated commitment, and influence on decision-making and policy;|identify enabling conditions for making immersion experiences a normal, regular and expected activity for development professionals, together with good practices.|Authors' summary
This information pack from the Exposure and Dialogue Programme (http://www.exposure-nsd.de) contains instruction materials for immersion and exposure and dialogue programmes (EDPs). In EDPs participants share the life of poor, in order to get better insight in their life. The main aim of the EDP is to transform the existing structures in favour of the poor and underprivileged by encouraging key individuals form diverse sectors to make use of their respective competence and their possibilities to act in favour of the poor. ôGuidelines for Reflection and Dialogue in Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö are concerned with the two phases that come after the exposure phase. They cover the time spent in reflection of the experiences of exposures and in deepening these experiences in dialogue. The guidelines go throw five steps of dealing with this process including individual reflection; telling key stories, communicating the main experiences of the exposure; thematic deepening of experiences to feed into policy development; north-south dialogue and networking; and reflecting on consequences and follow-up. ôGuidelines for Facilitators of Exposure and Dialogue Programmesö goes through all the phases of the EDP and looks specifically at the role of the facilitator. It gives thirteen key recommendations on how implement an EDP. The ôHand-out for shaping the Immersion Process: Exposure, Reflection and Dialogueö is directed at participants of an immersion programme, and gives practical tips for shaping the phases of a programme, and the individual steps that participants should take during the course of the programme. The ôHand-out for shaping the process of Immersion and for analysing the findings about vulnerability, life cycle risks and the risk management strategies of women workersö is directed specifically at participants of an EDP undertaken with the Self Employed WomenÆs Association, SEWA, in Gujarat, India. It contains tolls for shaping the phases of exposure and reflection, and for the analysis of life cycle risks and for writing life stories focussing on risk management strategies. The booklet öDevelopment has got a faceö gives an overview of EDP process, and presents experiences from EDPs conducted by the Association for the promotion of North-South Dialogue in Brazil, the Philippines, India and Bolivia. The pack also contains an example of a brief report from an EDP conducted with SEWA, India.
Across the world, as new democratic experiments meet with and transform older forms of governance, political space for public engagement in governance appears to be widening. A renewed concern with rights, power and difference in debates about participation in development has focused greater attention on the institutions at the interface between publics, providers and policy-makers. Some see in them exciting prospects for the practice of more vibrant and deliberative democracy; others raise concerns about them as forms of co-option, and as absorbing, neutralising and deflecting social energy from other forms of political participation, whether campaigning, organising or protest. The title of this Bulletin reflects some of their ambiguities as arenas that may be neither new nor democratic, but at the same time appear to hold promise for renewing and deepening democracy. Through a series of case studies from a range of political and cultural contexts û Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Mexico, South Africa, England and the United States of America, contributors to this Bulletin explore the interfaces between different forms of public engagement. Their studies engage with questions about representation, inclusion and voice, about the political efficacy of citizen engagement as well as the viability of these new arenas as political institutions. Read together, they serve to emphasise the historical, cultural and political embeddedness of the institutions and actors that constitute spaces for participation. The bulletin comprises the following articles: Citizen participation in the health sector in rural Bangladesh: perceptions and reality by Simeen Mahmud; Citizenship, community participation and social change: the case of Area Coordinating Teams in Cape Town, South Africa by John J. Williams; Institutional dynamics and participatory spaces: the making and unmaking of participation in local forest management in India by Ranjita Mohanty; Brazil's health councils: the challenge of building participatory political institutions by Vera Schattan P. Coelho; Civil society representation in the participatory budget and deliberative councils of SÒo Paulo, Brazil by Arnab Acharya et al.; The dynamics of public hearings for environmental licensing: the case of the SÒo Paulo ring road by Angela Alonso and Valeriano Costa; Power, participation and political renewal: issues from a study of public participation in two English cities by Marian Barnes et al.; A sea-change or a swamp? New spaces for voluntary sector engagement in governance in the UK by Marilyn Taylor et al.; AIDS activism and globalisation from below: occupying new spaces of citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa by Steven Robins and Bettina von Lieres; Social strategies and public policies in an indigenous zone in Chiapas, Mexico by Carols Cortez Ruiz; Increasing space and influence through community organising and citizen monitoring: experiences from the USA by Andy Mott. The abstracts for each separate article can be found on http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/bookshop/bulletin/bull352.html
This paper looks at the exposure method part of the Immersion Programme with the goal to expose participants to the lives of poor people. The paper is part of the compendium Reality and Analysis (that can be found on http://www.arts.cornell.edu/poverty/kanbur/EDPCompendium.pdf), and a result of collaboration between the Indian NGOs SEWA and WIEGO, and the Cornell University, USA. The paper gives an introduction to the exposure methodology for dialogue (EDP) describing the concept and looking at how it evolved in a German and Indian context and how the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO EDP programme came about. It takes an in-depth look at the application of EDP based on the experiences of the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO programme. The paper proposes a design of business and issue-related EDPs for sensitising and motivating decision and policy-makers for shaping pro-poor policy. The specific phases of this type of EDP are examined and discussed including comments and recommendations based on experience. Recommendations are made for shaping the organisational process; learning about the methodology; learning about a culture of dialogue; and learning about the combination of ôExposureö with ôDialogueö on issues. An appendix looks specifically at the case of the Cornell-SEWA-WIEGO EDP, which had a as its objective to start a dialogue between mainstream economists, SEWA activists, and WIEGO researchers around key assumptions of neo-classical economics which trouble ground-level activists and researchers working on issues of employment and labour, including labour market interventions; and trade and foreign direct investment.
Conflict-sensitive approaches to development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding: a resource pack