Monday 30 March 2009

Funding for Women's Groups (II)

Here's another helpful, if slightly dated (2006) source on fundraising for women's organisations, a WORD document you can download from Siyanda - click here. For plenty of publications on mainstreaming gender equality, rummage about in the Siyanda site; it's rich!
As I am writing this I stumble across an entire website for networking between women's funds, the Women's Funding Network. The site includes a directory of its members with links to websites; if you go through these carefully you may well identify potential donors.

Saturday 28 March 2009

The Listening Project

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, best known for Do No Harm, its peace and conflict impact assessment tool, launched LISTEN in 2007. Under this initiative, the "receipients" of international aid, rather than its "providers", voice their views on international aid. Reports on listening exercises with wide ranges of informers in 13 countries can be downloaded from the CDA site. They are useful background information for appraisal or strategic planning exercises - and they remind us of the importance of seeking and keeping in contact with people beyond the microcosm of international aid systems.

Thursday 12 March 2009

Ring a bell, bang a pot, ask whether it's OK

Breaking the silence on violence may be taken literally these days. The Indian Bell Bajao campaign urges people to ring a bell when they witness violence against women. They can use a distinctive ding-dong for their mobile phone, downloadable from the Bell Bajao site. This reminds me of the South African soap opera Soul City, which has introduced a new form of community response to violence against women: pot-banging! A soul city episode shows neighbours leaving their homes and banging kitchen implements together to stop violence in the heroine's home. Apparently the practice has made its way into real life in South African townships. In a joint venture with the makers of these campaigns and a third edutainment specialist, Puntos de Encuentro, Oxfam Novib has documented using edutainment media for social change. Find it on the Oxfam KIC portal (URL below, link list).
Another new initiative against gender-based violence is consentissexy, a web-based project with students in South Africa. (I write it in one word because I don't want any anti-adult content filters to block my site!) The campaign may appear a tad too outspoken for very conservative societies, but its message is universal: in intimate relationships, no consent is not OK! And I find the design delightful, with its appealing, positive messages. The picture above is lifted from the campaign site.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Talking about grids...

A few days ago I presented Mary B. Anderson's grid for analysing work on conflict. Another favourite four-square box is by the late anthropologist Mary Douglas and political scientist Aaron Wildavsky. It visualises Grid and Group Cultural Theory, which I find highly relevant to social development. I first came across this model in Douglas's polemic "Traditional culture - let's hear no more about it", delivered at a World Bank Symposium on "Poverty and Culture" (2002). Douglas rejects the idea of culture as a form of collective thinking which, in its "traditional culture" incarnation, is assumed to hamper development and rational economic behaviour. She points out that thinking is an individual act.

Saturday 7 March 2009

Reflecting on Peace Practice - an application

In early March, the German Welt friedens dienst (WFD or "World Peace Service") celebrated its 50th anniversary with an international conference in Berlin. Guest Mary B. Anderson, President of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDA), shared critical reflections on peace work and, in a workshop, demonstrated the importance of defining one's notion of peace and one's theory of change before engaging in such work. The CDA Reflecting on Peace Practice research into the work of some 200 NGOs suggests that effective peace work addresses all four quadrants of the grid above (from CDA's Confronting War, 2003). The grid is not a planning tool but can be used to screen ideas for activities that better flow from a rigorous conflict analysis.

Monday 2 March 2009

Perceived Equality

German is great for big words. Even simple things grow to importance: for example, the post office used to call phone books Fernsprechteilnehmerverzeichnis, i.e. "speaking-at-distance-participants'-directory". Clumsy but accurate.

Thanks to a grammar permitting near-boundless word fudging we can get amazingly precise and poetic. Today, reading up on a 2008 conference on 21st century feminisms, I have come across a beautiful term: Gleichheitswahrnehmung - "perception of equality", or "perceived equality". For those who don't read German, I'll call it GHW. In her summary of the conference, Katrin Bremer raises the issue of GHW among young women in Germany.