Location: Delhi, India
Jagori (‘awaken women’), established in 1984 is a women’s training, documentation, communication and resource centre that uses creative media to advance issues pertaining to women, including the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. Jagori is located in Delhi, a city of approximately 13.8 million inhabitants, which is known for being one of the most unsafe cities for women in the world (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p21). Delhi ranks the highest among the 35 largest cities in the world for incidents of rape, abduction and domestic violence. Women in Delhi are also at risk of sexual harassment (known as ‘eve teasing’) in public places (Viswanath, 2010). In an effort to transform Delhi into a safer place for women and other vulnerable groups, Jagori engages in a range of programs, activities and campaigns, such as their very successful Safe Delhi Campaign http://safedelhi.jagori.org/, launched in 2005, which draws attention to the importance of making public places safer for women. This works includes identifying interventions that can be undertaken to make public spaces safer.
More recent efforts by the Jagori team has seen the development of the Gender Inclusive Project, which is administered by Women in Cities International and funded by United Nations Trust Fund. As part of this project, Jagori conducted a gender safety audit of several neighbourhoods located in Delhi. The aim of this study was to use the information collected to guide INTACH’s (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), a non-profit organization that works to protect and conserve India’s natural, built and cultural heritage http://www.intach.org/ design process. INTACH’s focus is on creating inclusive urban spaces where people feel safe to move around.
Under the auspice of the Gender Inclusive Project, INTACH Delhi Chapter collaborated with JAGORI to survey 150 women using a safety audit to identify the areas used most by women as well as identify the areas where women face sexual harassment. The information obtained in this audit will go towards enhancing women’s right to the city by designing spaces that will help reduce vulnerability and exclusion.
The survey was conducted, during both the day and night, in Delhi gate- Ajmeri gate stretch of road where markets, colleges, residents, bus stops, hospital and parks are located. The methodology that was selected helped identify factors that lead to safety or lack of safety in public spaces. The kinds of questions asked allow information pertaining to the forms of sexual harassment and the location of where sexual harassment takes placed to be identified. Questions were also asked regarding what strategies women employ to make themselves feel safer, and what factors contribute to women feeling unsafe.
Study area and surrounds of the Gender Safety Audit from Delhi Gate to Ajmeri gate (Jagori, 2009, p, 6)
Example of gender safety audit drawings from Humdard Chowk Junction to Delhi Jal Board (Jagori, 2009, p9)
The study illustrated that the area under examination contains a shift from one end of the study area being a high traffic zone to the other end which has less traffic. The juncture between high traffic and low traffic occurs near the Delhi Jal Board (Jagori, 2009, p9). From this study some of the key points that emerged include the following:
· There should be properly constructed pedestrian friendly pavements
· Areas outside of hospitals need to be more accessible
· Need visible sign boards made with fluorescent colours to put at major crossings
· Toilets for women should be constructed
Following on from the key points that were identified, a series of design principles were established. These design principles included the need for proper lighting, signage, ensuring that pathways are open and visible, proper maintenance and continued community participation surrounding the upkeep of these principles (Jagori, 2009 & 2010; Viswanath, 2010).
Jagori 2009,Integration of Shahjahanabaad and New Delhi: Gender safety audits for public spaces and proposals for safe urban spaces, JAGORI & INTACH
Jagori 2010, Jagori, accessed 18 July 2010, http://www.jagori.org/
Viswanath, K 2010, Findings from Women’s Safety Audits in Delhi, Presentation for the Workshop on Urban Safety for the Poor in Asia, 16 June, Marikina, The Philippines
UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, (2009) Urban Safety and Poverty in Asia and the Pacific: Key findings from sub-regional studies on South-Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific
Location: Port Moresby, PNG
In Port Moresby’s Safer Cities Initiative, young people led a victimization survey to address the severe problems in that city. Port Moresby’s problems are fairly typical of low-income country (LIC) capitals, with growth in population outstripping employment opportunities and basic service provision. About 50 per cent of the population lives in informal settlements, and most of these have little access to adequate housing, clean drinking water, sewerage or other basic infrastructure. There are very high unemployment rates, particularly amongst young men. The problem is exacerbated in Port Moresby by there being very little economic development other than the administrative functions of the national government. There is little tourism, partly because of its reputation for crime and violence. Since most of the population lives at a subsistence level, there is little manufacturing and processing of the raw materials that Papua New Guinea exports, such as coffee and minerals. Since traditional landowners hold about 97 per cent of the land, most housing is illegally occupied. Most small businesses and other economic activities are illegal as well, thanks to an overly restrictive legislative system that was inherited from the colonial period.
Three tools were established and utilized: a survey of 1500 young people aged 15 to 30 in the city (1.5 per cent of the total population in this age group); an institutional survey of 112 agencies and organizations in the capital; and a detailed social crime mapping of one informal settlement, Burns Park, which was felt to be one of the worst problem areas.
The youth survey found that 24 per cent of respondents had committed serious violent offences, such as murder, rape or carjacking, with about 13 per cent having committed at least one serious offence in the past year. Men committed Ninety-two per cent of the crimes reported in the survey. The main crimes were burglary, carjacking, assault, drug dealing and petty crimes. Almost half of the crimes committed by youth involved violence, while in most cities in the world, only 25 to 30 per cent of crime involves violence. Although criminal gangs have a high profile in Port Moresby, almost 60 per cent of the crimes were committed outside gangs, and only 10 per cent of respondents said they were members of gangs. Similarly, the links between drugs, alcohol and crime were not as strong as expected. About 35 per cent of the young offenders said that they used the proceeds of crime to buy alcohol, illicit drugs (mostly marijuana) or cigarettes. About 47 per cent of young people drink alcohol, 45 per cent smoke cigarettes and only 18 per cent use marijuana. Thus, substance abuse could be seen as a widespread health problem, but not necessarily a major contributor to criminal violence. The age profile of criminals tended to spike in the late teens, where the most serious crimes were concentrated, and taper off significantly after age 30. It thus appeared to make sense to focus early intervention efforts on the socialization of young men.
In Port Moresby, violence rates are very high, but family and clan ties are strong, school drop-out rates are relatively low and church attendance is high. The diagnosis thus hypothesized that there might be something about these institutions that are currently contributing to violence, rather than preventing it. In terms of risk and resilience factors, there was definitely an aspect to the cultural construction of masculinity in Port Moresby that made it easier for young men to enter crime and harder for them to exit. About 44 per cent of the children in Burns Park did not regularly attend school, and while the girls tended to work in their homes, the boys were associating with peers in public space. Gang leaders have traditionally been perceived as sharing the proceeds of their crimes with their clan, attacking corrupt political leaders and foreign business owners, and fighting for the independence of the nation from an oppressive colonial regime (Papua New Guinea only attained independence from Australia in 1975). ‘The government’ is still viewed as a distant and corrupt institution, and there is dependence upon the ‘wantok’ system, solving problems and disputes within one’s ethnic and linguistic group (who share ‘one talk’). While there is potential to use this system to improve restorative justice, at present it acts to protect criminals and increase political and ethnic violence in urban communities. There are few male role models in most communities other than gang leaders, and virtually no female politicians or other leadership.
There is also the lingering impact of fairly extreme gender inequalities and endemic family violence. In some parts of Papua New Guinea governed by traditional law, women’s legal status is still that of property, rather than people with human rights. The legal rights of children are also a new concept. The youth and neighbourhood surveys showed that family conditions, including exposure to victimization or witnessing violence in the home, was a strong risk factor for youth violence. Twenty-two per cent of the youth surveyed had been physically abused, and 16 per cent had been sexually abused, within their families. In Burns Park, 48 per cent of households said that there was physical abuse within households, 36 per cent economic abuse (stealing money within families), 26 per cent physical abuse and 14 per cent sexual abuse. Since family violence is so much a part of life in Port Moresby, there is little recognition that it is a crime and there are few services for victims of violence, leading to a culture of silence and male victims feeling that the only way to avoid further victimization is to become perpetrators themselves. Furthermore, socio-economic pressures contribute to family violence. Only 18 per cent of adults in Burns Park were legally employed. Separation of parents for employment purposes, coupled with absence of organized childcare, weakened family ties and exacerbated violence by men in the family. On the other hand, being gainfully employed was a major encouragement for young men to exit crime.
Other institutions are part of the problem in Port Moresby. There is very little weapons control in the country, leading to 23 per cent of young offenders owning and carrying a gun, and 15 per cent owning and regularly carrying a knife, sword or blade. The police, prosecutors and courts have very high arrest, conviction and imprisonment rates: over half of young offenders who are arrested enter prison. However, this vigilance is a contributor, rather than a deterrent, to crime. The largest prison in Port Moresby, Bomana, is widely known as ‘the University’. Forty-four per cent of young offenders who had been incarcerated said that they had learned new criminal skills there, 49 per cent said they had improved their criminal networks and only 15 per cent said that their time in prison would deter them from committing further crimes. There are no rehabilitation or diversion programmes in Papua New Guinea prisons. The institutional survey revealed that members of the criminal justice system feel incapable of handling minor delinquency, let alone organized crime such as money laundering, gang violence and corruption. As for urban planners and managers, they still consider the majority of settlements in Port Moresby as illegal and are not willing to provide basic services. Housing providers also focus their efforts in the legal settlements, providing residences to middle and upper-income groups. Burns Park, for instance, lies outside the boundaries of the city and is not formally represented in any decision-making forum. It is not served by the police or any other government services.
The diagnosis was helpful in prioritizing problems and suggesting solutions for a phase-two intervention strategy. The very high incidence of family violence led to a recommendation that churches, schools, police, hospitals and NGOs undertake coordinated campaigns on family violence prevention. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has funded a Family Support Centre, which provides shelter, counselling and legal advice, and which has been active in developing public education campaigns on family violence. Rather than concentrate resources on more police or prisons, the national government received international funding to train police and judges to prioritize violence prevention issues, such as gun control. Village courts were provided with training and given further powers to provide mediation of non-violent offences, as well as land and service disputes. Urban planners and managers were directed by the national government to redraw their service boundaries and undergo legislative (by-law) reform to encourage legal housing and land tenure (UN-Habitat, 2005; Whitzman, 2008).
UN-Habitat 2005, Diagnosis of Insecurity Report: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, UN-Habitat, Nairobi
Whitzman, C 2008, The Handbook of Community Safety, Gender and Violence Prevention: Practical Planning Tools, Earthscan, London
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
With a population of approximately 12 million inhabitants and an estimated population of 20 million by 2020, Dhaka is one of the fastest growing cities in the world (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p25). Finding ways to manage this growth is a significant challenge. Dhaka is also experiencing challenges related to organized crime and violence, and this challenge is further exacerbated by the lack of reporting due to a lack of faith in police and political system (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p26). In an effort to address some of these challenges, the Bangladesh Police have embarked upon a reform project, which commenced in 2005. The aim of the Bangladesh Police Reform Program (PRP) is to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the police force in Bangladesh. The programme includes establishing a community policing partnership, which facilitates the prevention of crime in a more equitable manner. To help enable community policing the partnership brings together the police, non-government organizations and community-based organizations. These organizations are working together, uniting the community and police-based efforts, to address issues pertaining to safety by taking a community-based approach.
From 2003 and onwards, a number of organizations engaged in research and consultation with the community to advance their understanding of a number of safety related issues, including people’s perceptions of safety. A survey conducted throughout Bangladesh by the Department for International Development in Bangladesh as well as interviews conducted by the UNDP Police Reform Programme in 2007 found that 77 percent of people experienced personal property crime and gender-related forms of insecurity including sexual violence, harassment (at 21 percent) and domestic violence (at 11percent). The fear articulated in the interviews and the statistical evidence collected are some of the reasons why the Bangladesh government decided that a national strategy was in order to institutionalize a coordinated approach. The aim of this strategy would be to establish “a comprehensive policy framework which will enable government to address crime in a coordinated and focused manner which draws on the resources of all government agencies, as well as civil society…The maximisation of civil society’s participation in mobilising and sustaining crime prevention initiatives” (Bangladesh Police, 2009, p12-3).
Furthermore, this research also led to the identification of a number of crime prevention strategies and interventions. Some of these interventions include security and safety audits where the objective is to identify areas and issues of concern, and to improve lighting and visibility.
Resulting from this research has been the articulation that safety must embrace a whole of community approach where responsibility for action lies with the police, as well as the government, non-government organizations and the community. These results prompted the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bangladesh Police to start up a community safety programme, which included implementing a Community Policing Strategy. The report titled National Crime Prevention and Community Safety of Bangladesh (2009) provides the framework for the establishment of a national strategy. In this strategy, community policing is described as,
…a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows the police and community to work closely together in new ways to solve problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorder and neighbourhood decay. This philosophy rests on the belief that law-abiding people in the community deserve input into the police process. It also rests in the belief that solutions to contemporary problems demand freeing both citizens and the police to explore creative, new ways to address neighborhood concerns beyond a narrow focus on individual incidents of crime (Bangladesh Police, 2009, p3).
Community Policing Framework illustrating the partnerships and the way in which this program integrated within the broader policing structure (Bangladesh Police, 2009, p20).
The process adopted to develop this strategy included consultation. The consultations that were undertaken occurred in six districts across Bangladesh from September 2007 to June 2008. Here students, teachers, lawyers, religious leaders, business leaders, NGO leaders, Union parishad/ward commission representatives, women representatives, senior citizens, village police and police officers were engaged.
The format of the consultation events included topic introduction, identification of the crime issues and the possible recommendations to address these challenges. At the end of each of these meetings, the facilitator was tasked with producing a report. Individuals who held positions in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy, including the National Project Director and the General of the Bangladesh Police, participated extensively throughout the consultation process.
At the conclusion of the consultations, the information that was obtained fed into the community policing strategy and workplan for the Bangladesh Police. The information that emerged helped to inform the principles and the future directions for the implementation of community policing in Bangladesh. The consultation also delivered a set of key performance indicators to frame the development of the strategy. These indicators are as follows:
· Community Policing Strategy and Work Plan is aligned with the policing procedures of the Bangladesh Police
· Dissemination of correct knowledge of Community Policing among the members of the Police and community
· Enhanced capacity to implement Community Policing
· Reduced crime and increased complaints/reporting of crime
· Effective coordination among the key stakeholders at the national and local level
· Volume of Community engagement in crime prevention and problem solving
· An effective institutional set up within the organization to implement, monitor and evaluate Community Policing in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Police, 2010,p15)
As stated in the corporate-wide strategic plan, by the year 2010 a safer and more secure society will be established by focusing on (1) a partnership approach to policing; (2) increased community involvement (3) capacity building on police units for better service delivery, and (4) a reduction in the incidence, effect and fear of crime. Under this strategic plan, the key directions include:
· Organizational reform
· Community policing
· Capacity building of training institutions
· Women policing and gender sensitization, and
· Computerization (Bangladesh Police, 2010,p4)
The purpose of focusing on community policing is to transition the work of the police from a force that operates in a direct top-down manner to a service, which embraces a more community-based approach to policing. As such, the objectives of the community policing approach include the following:
· getting back to the people
· partnerships (Bangladesh Police, 2010,p7)
One of the key areas that this strategy hopes to address is the issue of trust. According to this strategy, trust among the police and the community will be achieved by bringing police and the community together through partnerships and consultations and empowering local Police as well as the local community. A partnership-based approach is adopted to help address the complex nature of crime prevention, which acknowledges that prevention needs to come from a range of different viewpoints, knowledge, skills and experience. In particular, a partnership approach has the added benefit of drawing upon the resources that different stakeholders possess as well as increasing the degree of commitment through joint operational and strategic planning and decision-making. Further institutionalization of the community approach to policing is progressed when partners examine their policies and plans in terms of how they work to prevent violence in the community.
As part of the strategic efforts to promote community policing, model thanas (police stations) are constructed in urban and rural locations around Bangladesh demonstrating how community policing can benefit the community to meet their needs and expectations. Police community consultation is adopted as a way to engage the community in crime prevention and safety enhancement through community policing. Furthermore, after this strategy is approved, the Crime Prevention Centre will finalize a work plan, which will identify the lead partners for each of the objectives listed in the strategy. Also a timeline will be provided stating when and how the activities will be completed. Furthermore, the Centre will call a meeting of stakeholders to develop a work plan that details the activities and channels for each of the interventions in the strategy (Bangladesh Police, 2009 & 2010; UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009; http://www.prp.org.bd/Menudownloads.htm).
Bangladesh Police 2009, National Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy of Bangladesh, Police Reform Programme, Minister of Home Affairs
Bangladesh Police 2010, Community Policing Service Manual, Minister of Home Affairs, accessed 5 August 2010 http://www.prp.org.bd/Menudownloads.htm
Bangladesh Police 2010, Community Policing: National Strategy for Bangladesh, Ministry of Home Affairs, accessed 5 August 2010 http://www.prp.org.bd/Menudownloads.htm
UN-Habitat & UNESCAP 2009, Urban Safety and Poverty in Asia and the Pacific: Key findings from sub-Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, Kenya
Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
Thimphu City is located in the country of Bhutan, which is nestled between China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. This city, which is only 26 square kilometres in diameter, has a population of approximately 43,000, which is expected to grow to over 150,000 inhabitants by 2027 (TCC, RBC & RENEW, 2010). Because of its location, Thimphu City has a number of urban safety concerns that revolve around the threat of natural disasters and the subsequent crime and violence, which sometimes follows in the aftermath. These natural disasters include earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, floods, fire and draught. In addition to the threats to the ecological system of Thimphu City, the experience of crime is on the rise from 1,773 reported instances in 2007 to 2,368 in 2009 (TCC, RBC & RENEW, 2010). What has also become problematic is that the strength of the police force is not keeping pace with the increase in crime. Therefore, part of the work undertaken by the municipality to address some of the violence related concerns have included the establishment of a Woman and Child Protection Unit, a Police Youth Partnership Program, a Police Parent Partnership Program, a School sensitization program, the creation of a live television panel discussion to promote awareness, the creation of a toll free phone line, and increased patrolling.
Compounding the threats associated with natural disasters and the growing rate of crime, Thimphu City is also facing housing shortages, traffic congestion, air pollution, unsustainable building patterns and the encroachment upon the surrounding forests by increasing rates of urbanization. The growth that is occurring is spotty and the development of land is being determined on a first come first serve basis creating a growing disparity within the community around access to land. The land that is developed is often unplanned and consequently, delivers densities that are too low to support social services. The construction of utilities is problematic when urban patterns are unplanned and densities are low (TCC, RBC & RENEW, 2010).
Part of Thimphu City’s efforts to address the growing rate of crime and violence and to effectively plan for these disasters is to move away from an ad-hoc approach to urban development. By embracing a more coordinated and thoughtful planning approach, this could help minimize the damage caused by these natural disasters and prevent degradation to the way of life experienced in Thumphu City and use the implementation of the plan as an opportunity to also address issues concerning safety. The government’s efforts to write a structure plan has been one approach embraced to better coordinate planning endeavours. The structure plan was approved in 2003, which saw the city move away from its previous plan, created in the mid-1980s when the population was less than 15,000 inhabitants. The structure plan that was created provides an in-depth understanding of the existing state of affairs for Thimphu City including the environment, culture, tradition, market conditions, infrastructure and social amenities. The plan also provides a detailed analytical assessment and presents proposals for action through land use planning, implementation tools and land pooling.
One of the prime factors for healthy planning of a city as identified by Thimpu City is understanding the natural systems that encase the city. This includes the natural determinants of Thimphu valley, including the topography, climate, geology, surface hydrology, flora and fauna. Effort is undertaken to bridge the efforts to protect the natural determinants and to construct land uses that are suitable. As part of this work, the municipality has created the Development Suitability Matrix. This matrix is a comprehensive chart, which determines the levels of inter-compatibility between urban land uses and the natural / environmental determinants. Using this matrix, each land use is tested against all other land uses to determine the compatibility and incompatibility of determinants.
Mapping the slope gradient, an effort by Thimphu City to better understand the risks associated with landslides (TCC, RBP & RENEW, 2010).
The structure plan, which is a 25-year plan, which functions as a tool to think about how to manage growth whilst maintaining a high standard of living for all inhabitants, in the face of very real threats caused by natural disasters, was developed by undertaking an extensive public consultation process. High priority was given to the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure that the plan was widely owned. This was a step away from the more traditional approach to plan-making which usually sees the release of a structure plan that contains investment plans and development control regulations for the rational growth of the city. Instead, the plan contains principles to guide decision-making in line with what is considered ‘intelligent urbanism’. What this suggests is a plan framed around broad consideration of the different aspects of planning which need to be thought about in order to ensure a more liveable Thimphu City. This is achieved by asking questions, such as the following:
· Where is the city valley will the growth occur? Where will we locate Neighborhood Nodes, new commercial and entertainment hubs, public open spaces and social amenities?
· What role will be assigned to the automobile? How will the domain of the pedestrian be preserved?
· What are the relationships between land use, density, infrastructure networks and transport patterns?
· To what extent can the cultural traditions and patterns of Bhutanese society be preserved? How will the existing open spaces, heritage precincts and religious structures be integrated into the plan?
· How will we create a balanced mix of human and natural activities in well thought out habitats? Is there a balance that preserves the sense of community, neighbourhoods and conviviality?
· What are the hierarchies of places, which respond to the individual, friendship, households, neighbourhood, communities and the public domain?
Building from these questions, the structure plan is particularly focused on creating communities that are oriented and of human scale, provide the people with more opportunities for livelihood, that are secure and safe, enhance skills, knowledge, and awareness through education (Ministry of Works & Human Settlement, 2003, np). The structure plan goes further by articulating measures to help actualize the kind of community advocated in this structure plan. Some of these measures include building gardens where grandparents can visit with their grandchildren and where elderly people can meet their friends, creating sporting grounds and ‘hang out’ locations for youth including cyber cafes, discos and libraries, and for women, building better sanitary facilities for women, that are sensitive to each age group (Ministry of Works & Human Settlement, 2003, np).
In this plan, ‘intelligent urbanism’ comes with strategies of urban development and management that emerge from the principles. It is from the formal processes established to create this plan including inclusive engagement of stakeholders that these principles emerged. What Thimphu City has produced is a structure plan that envisions “the capital as embracing settlements beyond the city that are highly influenced by the activities in the urban area. This urban region has a symbiotic relationship with the city, both feeding each other.” (Ministry of Works & Human Settlement, 2003, np). This is not a static document, but a living plan guiding decision-making and the implementation of projects.
In addition to the ‘intelligent urbanism’ advocated in this plan, the Bhutanese have also integrated Gross National Happiness (GNH) as part of their main themes of this structure plan. While GNH includes working to maintain a standard of living that is high, GNH also regards access to opportunity where individuals are free to explore their potentials, in a manner that is still responsible and consistent with the broad aims of the community (Ministry of Works & Human Settlement, 2003, np).
In summary, the structure plan has linked urban growth, natural disaster management, building vibrant communities and safety in a way that better enables a more holistic approach to planning in Thimphu City. Furthermore, because Thimphu City took an open and inclusive approach to the development of their Structure Plan, the plan itself is helping to guide democratic processes around the development of Thimphu City by continuing the involvement of the people within the community. The document remains accessible because of the consultative approach adopted by the municipality including meetings but also because of the use of information medians such as media releases, and information available on the internet. The plan-making process itself was also used as a tool to further institutionalize holistic planning approaches and the people’s engagement in this process.
In addition to the consultative and participatory methods of engagement around the development of this structure plan, the plan itself is being institutionalized into the system of planning with the preparation of Local Area Plans. The Local Area Plans further interpret the Structure Plan so that its components are expressed in greater detail and translated in a way that reinforces the desire for compact and walkable urban villages (TCC, RBP & RENEW, 2010; Ministry of Works & Human Settlements, 2003).
Ministry of Works & Human Settlement 2003, Thimphu Structure Plan 2002-2027. Department of Urban Development & Engineering Services, accessed August 5 2010 http://www.dudh.gov.bt/Thimphustructural/Index.html
TCC, RBP & RENEW 2010, Bhutan, presented at the Regional Workshop on Putting safety First for the Urban Poor on the Local Agenda, Marikina, The Philippines 15-17 June
Email Correspondence with Geley Norbu, Chief Urban Planner, 24 July 2010 email@example.com
EKTA is a women’s resource centre located in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India that works with women, adolescents, youth as well as men in an effort to create a society that is more equal amongst different castes, classes, religions, and gender. Generally, the work that EKTA engages in includes providing training and workshops on gender and masculinity, gender and governance, and gender and human rights to women, adolescence, youth and men in the community. As part of their work, EKTA looks to network with organizations and individuals to further its vision of social change, which emphasizes the importance of action that is both collective and reflective in nature. In particular, the use of study circles help to bring female representatives (these are women who collectively come from a range of different professional backgrounds) together to debate and discuss issues of community concern. In addition to the study circles, the wider population are encouraged to participate in workshops and other public events. The networks established by EKTA are further built upon through facilitation and linking with other non-government organizations to promote these networks for the purpose of ‘experiential sharing and collective action’ and to further promote issue-based campaigns to end violence against women.
On 26 December 2004, the tsunami disaster occurred killing over 300,000 people and injuring over 500,000 across South Asia and South-East Asia, including India. In Indian in particular, the tsunami caused extensive damage, where over 10,700 people lost their lives. Following the devastation caused by the tsunami, EKTA initiated the Field Intervention Programme in 21 villages of Chidambaram Taluk in Cuddalore District, which focused on promoting the rights of both women and children during the reconstruction efforts after the tsunami. As part of this program, Nambikkai was established as a centre to provide support to the victims of the tsunami including children of the most marginalized communities by providing shelter, care and support.
The Field Intervention Programme embraced a number of approaches to address the needs of women and children. In the case of women, EKTA held what was called socio-legal awareness camps. EKTA also organized women so that they could obtain access to government welfare programmes and EKTA also established linkages with different levels of government to advocate for desired change. For children, the methods used were more comprehensive and included shelter and study support to families with young girls who are living in poverty. Other activities included organized school enrolment camps, creative weekend camps, training for girls, self-defence and mobility, health and awareness education and the formation of a children’s club in the villages and Children’s Camps and Creative Weekend Camps. EKTA also provided vocational training opportunities to girls including tailoring and computer studies. EKTA also offered awareness programmes for parents and teachers and special training on child rights for teacher associations.
In addition to the Field Intervention Programme, after the tsunami, EKTA observed the different impacts caused by the tsunami on women compared to men and that these different impacts were not being adequately taken into account during the reconstruction efforts. In the 2005 study titled Gender Concerns in the Context of the Tsunami: A micro level study in the coastal district of Tamilnadu, EKTA recalled:
When we visited the Tsunami hit districts of southern Tamilnadu from Nagai to Kanyakumari, we were confronted with the challenges faced by the victims of tsunami especially women. Tsunami has neither altered the gender division of labour nor gender discriminating values. The despair in women’s eyes and the sense of dejection reflected in their voices was a very painful experience. Lack of space to ventilate their feelings, the physical and mental trauma had reduced them as refugees in their own homeland….very little attention was given to understand women as persons engaged in productive work and their livelihood loss (EKTA, 2005, preface).
In an effort
to build on the success of the study circles used by EKTA to address issues in
the past, another study circle was organized in
Participants for the study circle were those who resided in the affected region and who were already actively engage in the rescue and relief efforts. It is important to note that it was the concerns raised in the study circles that provided the basis for the objectives, which were eventually articulated.
2. The distribution pattern of relief operation has not adequately addressed the practical gender needs of women. The State and non-State agencies working with affected people are not sensitive to the gender specific needs of women.
What resulted from the study was a series of recommendations to be taken up by those involved in the reconstruction process. Some examples of recommendations arising from the study include, an emphasis on the inclusion of poorer people in the policies around the reconstruction, awareness building efforts directed at state and non-state organizations of the specific needs of women, and ensuring that land rights are restored to women and that this should be give priority (EKTA, 2005, n.p; Women in Cities International, 2004; http://www.ektamadurai.org/).
Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest nations with an estimated 30 percent of the city’s population living in informal settlements where the land is deprived and subject to flooding, eviction drives and different forms of crime (Ahmed, 2010, p2). Adding to these challenges is the growing lack of accessibility to education for women and girls. Some of the barriers reducing accessibility to education include family and work expectations and early marriage. More broadly, Dhaka and indeed Bangladesh experiences high levels of unemployment, which is compounded by the lack of training and skills.
The Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP) is a community-based organization that developed when a group of young people in Dhaka, Bangladesh came together having worked in different organizations before this merger. As part of their efforts PDAP works with people whose lives are dominated by extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease and other environmental problems. PDAP also works to improve the economic conditions of women, the gender relations among its members, and on increasing the social value of the contributions that women make in decision-making. With multifaceted development interventions, PDAP strives to bring about positive change in the quality of life of these people and strongly believes and is actively involved in promoting human rights, dignity and gender equity. PDAP is committed to making its programs socially, financially and environmentally sustainable and PDAP follows through on this commitment by drawing upon a range of new methods and technologies. As part of their work, PDAP engages in dialogues with representatives from local government and delivering projects such as health care programs.
Since PDAP started its health program in 1998, health education sessions and family planning sessions has been continuing. The program activities include savings schemes, skills training, credit support, basic education as well as health services. In addition, there are activities for preventing pollution of the environment and the hazards of early marriage. In the prevention of environmental pollution, the program provides sanitary latrines, a supply of safe drinking water and educating people on solid waste management. PDAP has a primary health care program, where experienced doctors, paramedic and health workers are involve in providing free treatment to the community. In addition to its health care work, PDAP has extended its support for the slum children through pre-schooling facilities. Every year since 1993, 50 children are identified and given pre-schooling education for a duration of two months and 150 adolescent are given basic education for a duration of 12 months. Because of this program, the mothers of these children and adolescents are now motivated to regularly send their children to this pre-schooling and basic education centre. PDAP has continued its efforts on this project, as well as continue its basic education course for disadvantaged girls.
Part of the work the PDAP engages in includes initiatives such as local dialogues, and leadership and self-reliance training, which focus on the empowerment of women and girls. PDAP has formed groups of women and young girls who visit communities to raise awareness and work to change attitudes and behaviour towards women and girls. The methods used include survey, local-to-local discussions, the delivery of basic education, skills training and the development of primary health care programs. The local-to-local community-based dialogue includes issues-based meetings to invite local leaders, influential persons, and government representatives to discuss issues in detail with community members and exchange ideas on how to solve the problem. Local-to-local dialogues are an effective tool used to motivate the people in the community. Every week, 10-15 members from each group meet in a certain place and arrange meetings with different stakeholders, such as community women, teachers, chairman or ward commissioners.
Due to these efforts, the PDAP has inspired women and girls that have participated in the program to utilize the skills they developed at the meetings in their work place and daily life. Now many of these girls are able to earn money and participate in decision-making with their family partners and within their daily life. Some of the other successes achieved by PDAP have included the fact that women are now well organized and they are also aware of their rights. These women are better informed about democratic and basic human rights. They are also informed about conflict resolution and social justice. PDAP has established a community-based learning centre and plans are currently in place to expand the program through a day care centre and an adult literacy program (Ahmad, 2010; UN-Habitat, 2009; Women in Cities International, 2004; http://www.planet-hosting.ht.st/pdap).
The Masculinity, Mental Health and Violence Project (MMHVP) addresses the growing number of out of school and unemployed youth, and any associated mental health problems that have contributed to acts of violence and crime in communities within Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu. In the Pacific, there is a growing trend towards youth engaging in violent behaviour towards themselves and towards others and in addition, there is also an increase in mental health problems including depression and suicide amongst youth (AFAP, 2009). The aim of the MMHV project is to stop the trend of young men, located in these regions, from using violence and asserting their masculine power to deal with depression. The objective of this project is to raise awareness and ‘de-stigmatise’ youth mental health issues (especially those affecting boys and young men) among parents, teachers, policy makers and traditional leaders at a community, national, and regional level. It is also the objective of this project to catalyse the development of community-based mental health interventions for at-risk boys/young men, including peer support networks, life skills training and drop in centres. Included as part of this initiative is research on sustainable livelihoods and the issues faced by male prisoners integrating back into Fijian society and the needs of homeless young men. The Youth and Mental Health Project evolved at Phase II to increase the gender dimensions and focus on advocating, building community awareness and promoting education to improve Youth and Mental Health for pacific peoples. The program works at the community, national and regional level and is funded by New Zealand AID.
Mental Health and Violence project and Youth and Mental Health (YMH) projects
are managed by the Foundation for People of the South Pacific International
(FSPI). FSPI is a regional non-governmental organization that works alongside
was structured into phases. Phase I of the MMHV project started in April 2003
in four Pacific Countries:
The aim of this project is to increase the knowledge-base and awareness of Pacific Island Communities. This project focuses on communities located in rural and urban regions, as well as their workplaces and political leaders. National and regional experts put together a resource kit, which consists of topics like stress, mental health, recognizing stress, dealing with stress and more.
The aim here is to influence policy and action relating to mental health issues at the community, national and regional level. The target group includes political and traditional leaders as well as policy makers. The efforts by regional and national Network Partner health teams ensure active participation on the Mental Health national committees and related bodies. This is to ensure that the information from the communities and mental health human rights and gender sensitive responses integrate into policy levels and national plans to help raise mental health as an important concern. Networking with government ministries, NGOs, communities and media is a key advocacy approach for MMHV and YMH, which always ensures dialogue with traditional leaders at a local and national level and political leaders at a national and regional level. This component also includes research on what services and people living with mental health illness, which could inform national supportive frameworks, need assistance.
The aim of this project is to engage young men and
women in life-planning and income generating activities that will improve their
livelihoods. The target group is young people. Participatory processes were
carried out in selected urban and rural areas to identify stressors and
concerns faced by youths and their communities, the resources available, and
potential solutions. Some of the activities selected by youths in
The Mental Health Promotion project highlights mental health issues using a range of media sources. This project targets the general population and both young men and women in communities. In each of the locations network partners are involved in the discussion and planning processes for the MMHV and YMH activities to promote and record youth to youth behaviour change and communication to reduce stigma and discrimination and promote improvements for youth and mental health.
Some of the successes achieved by the MMHV project include awareness raising among boys and young men of mental health issues that affect their lives. This has led to young boys and men to seek out information and assistance from support structures, rather than resorting to violence as an outlet. Furthermore communities are offered a supportive environment for boys and young men with mental health problems and that non-government organizations, governments and regional organizations work together to develop effective support services for at-risk boys and young men.
Other successes achieved have included the identification of more than 300 participants, mostly men, from five settlement communities (June Valley, Morata Two, Two Mile Hill, Joyce Bay and Kaugere). These participants are working with the Partners for Community Development Fiji and with the Papua New Guinea staff to find ways in which they can combat the growing trend where young men use violence to deal with depression and assert their masculine power.
which has expanded to include the Youth and Mental Health Project (YMH),
addresses the inter-related issues of youth in relation to mental health in the
WHO & The University of Auckland, Centre for Mental Health Research, Policy & Service Delivery 2005, Situational analysis of mental health needs and resources in Pacific Island countries, accessed 10 August 2010, http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/pimhnet/Pacific_islands_needs_assessments.pdf
The Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family and Adolescents is a non-profit, non-government organization that advocates for the rights and the development of women and children in Vietnam. CSAGA is the first of only five organizations working in the area of domestic violence and through their work they have implemented gender-based violence interventions (CSAGA, 2010, p4). CSAGA hopes to become a pioneer among Vietnamese non-government organizations in using an art- and culture-based approach in preventing domestic violence, human trafficking, and corporal and psychological punishment of children. In addition to this work, CSAGA also focuses on:
· Enhancing awareness and developing the responsibility of communities, local authorities, social organisations, and governmental organisations to support gender equality and the rights of children and women
CSAGA embraces a cultural perspective that prioritises the use of art and creativity to solve social problems. Partly, this is so to enable the community to learn together and to affect change on a collective scale. Building on these efforts, CSAGA also seeks to affect change through the advancement of knowledge and skills in the area of self-protection and assisting women and children in the community. As part of their efforts, CSAGA has embraced a wide range of engagement methods including role-playing, the use of short stories, body play, puppet play, body games, etc. These approaches have been integrated into CSAGA’s more traditional activities, such as counselling.
In addition to counselling, training programmes are used to increase the capacity and change the awareness of local authorities, staff of social organisations, and/or women and children who are victims or at high risk of becoming victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, or corporal punishment. CSAGA’s courses combine various forms of art in combination with theory and ten- years of experience in research and the prevention of domestic violence, corporal punishment, and human trafficking prevention. Lessons are designed to draw on the participants' experiences and to create a safe learning environment conducive to cooperation that actively helps participants to absorb knowledge to then use this knowledge in practice.
CSAGA engages in designing and management programmes. For example, CSAGA is working with 15 youth volunteers from universities who are teaching formal school subjects to 40 urban economically poor children who cannot attend formal schools due to poverty and the demands of work in the city. Most of these children work as rubbish pickers and vendors, and the rest beg to survive, exposing them to crime, accidents, street violence, and the drug trade. CSAGA has trained youth volunteers to incorporate "living values" education as an important component of academic subjects. This focus is linked to CSAGA's belief that the inculcation of life skills and living values such as peace, respect, cooperation, happiness, and responsibility (among others) empowers children to believe in themselves, to respect others, and to make good choices to promote their own rights. Active teaching methodologies and learning-centred techniques are designed to enable children to accept their own difficult situations and to reflect upon their experiences. Together with an emphasis on values education, the teaching of life skills helps children cope with day-to-day life, preparing them to choose education and safe work.
As part of CSAGA’s work, communication is used to increase awareness and spark behaviour changes related to issues such as domestic violence, gender inequality, and violence against children. Amongst the tools used for sharing information are reports, leaflets, seminars, and mass media such as television and newspapers. The media, in particular, are part of CSAGA’s intervention strategy to address issues of domestic violence. The program, "Promoting effectiveness of communication on making the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and control to real life" was launched in July 2008 in response to the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. At the same time, the first of 52 interactive television programmes were aired - with law experts and psychologists directly answering audience questions on domestic violence issues.
These television programmes came about as a result of a carefully considered partnership. Noticing that the mass media play a role in supporting and protecting the victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, CSAGA held a workshop in December 2007. This gathering affirmed and supported the media's responsibilities in providing timely information to the public, providing basic knowledge of domestic violence and human trafficking, raising their voice to protect victims, and helping to make changes in the public's conception of victims. In order to promote cooperation and the positive impact of mass media's support and protection of victims, the workshop "Mass Media Support and Protect the Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking" brought together representatives of NGOs working in the field of domestic violence and human trafficking, reporters, newspaper journalists, and also victims of domestic violence and human trafficking (The Communication Initiative Network, 2009; CSAGA 2006, 2010).
SPARC is one of the largest Indian non-government organizations working on housing and infrastructure issues for the urban poor. As part of their work, SPARC bridges the gap between the government and the poor, and facilitates the efforts by slum dwellers and pavement dwellers to address issues related to urban poverty, and collectively produce solutions for affordable housing and sanitation.
Since 1986, SPARC has been working in partnership with two community-based organizations, the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and the Mahila Milan, which means “women together”, who together form the Alliance. The Mahila Milan is a network of women’s collectives working on managing the credit and savings activities in their communities. The NSDF organizes and mobilises the urban poor and negotiates with resource providing institutions, whereas Mahila Milan supports and trains women’s collectives to administer and manage their community’s resources and participate in NSDF activities; SPARC provides the administrative, financial policy, documentation and other support necessary for these processes to be successful on the ground. Today the Alliance works in approximately 70 cities in the country and has networks through the Slum Dwellers International (SDI) in about 33 countries internationally ( see www.sdi.org).
As part of their work, SPARC provides sanitation facilities to the urban poor. In cities that lack sanitation facilities for more than 50% of the population, slum and pavement dwellers have little option but to squat along roads and rail tracks. This daily ritual of defecating in the open cities and with the absence of running water and sewerage connections, the quality of life for these people is degraded not to mention that these conditions can be potentially life threatening, with a very real risk of spreading infectious diseases. Under these conditions, women face sexual harassment and embarrassment, and in addition, health risks during menstruation cycles and pregnancy due to the lack of sanitation. Very often, women even eat and drink less in order to avoid public defecation. This lack of basic sanitation often leads to a variety of nutritional and digestive disorders.
When toilet facilities are built, it is usually the work of government agencies who have little connection with the community. As a result of a top-down delivery approach, these toilets sometimes lack the kind of maintenance attention needed, because of the lack of ownership by the community of these toilets. Furthermore, the toilets that are built by the government agencies often are not suited to the conditions that they will have to endure. This is the result of a one-size-fits-all approach to the widespread construction of sanitation facilities in communities. What this has shown is the importance of community involvement to increase the perception that these toilets are a community asset. By promoting these toilets as an asset, there is greater likelihood that there will be greater participation by the community in the upkeep of these toilets.
As part of SPARC’s work in improving sanitation for the urban poor, the initiative “Zero Open Defecation” led to a National Task Force for Sanitation set up in 2005 to promote the zero open defecation campaign at a countrywide level. The demonstration toilets that were built served a number of different purposes, which included,
During this process, Mahila Milan came up with several innovations for toilet design, which included toilets with separate spaces for men, women and children and also a care takers room for a person from the community who is chosen to take care of the maintenance and proper functioning of the toilet block. Furthermore, these community toilet blocks are designed, constructed and maintained by community collectives, who are trained and supported by federation networks. The capital finance for construction comes from the state or municipalities who also have to ensure that water and electricity are provided to the toilet blocks.
In 1998, the Alliance was invited to engage in a dialogue with the city of Pune in Maharashtra about the construction of a community toilet block. Out of this dialogue, a plan emerged to provide complete sanitation cover for Pune over a period of five years and implemented in three stages. What is special about this process is the fact that Pune has made this commitment from its own municipal funds, while the maintenance and management of the toilets was the responsibility of the community. One third of the 400 toilet blocks required in the first phase were constructed by women from Pune Mahila Milan. These are now maintained by community caretakers and supervised by the Pune Mahila Milan “Toilet Committee”. These women have been trained to do small repairs and masonry work.
No two toilets are alike: All toilet projects undertaken by the alliance embody the federation’s fundamental ideas about building the capacities of the communities of the urban poor. Yet, each project is different, and represents a tailor-made response to complex local needs and realities. The different toilet projects reflect different political climates, different negotiating strategies, different degrees of official support, different material markets, different skill levels, different site realities, different access to sewer and water mains, different community dynamics. The projects do not present a single toilet type but a range of toilet options, that work for the urban poor (Patel, www.sparcindia.org/projects.html)
Due to the strengthening of the networks between the 70 cities, people are engaging in exchange visits to the toilets built in Mumbai and Pune. After these visits occur, the federation leaders go back to their respective communities to seek similar demonstrations in their own cities. It is also observed that these federation leaders invite their municipal officials to visit these projects and explore this total sanitation coverage model for themselves. Over the last few years of campaigning, state governments, city administrators from India and abroad continue to visit and as a result there has been emerging partnerships, which has led to the emergence of MOUs and contracts with various cities to build community toilet blocks. In Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Bangalore and several smaller towns in India, model community toilet blocks are constructed as part of an effort for governments to take up this issue at state level. In Andhra Pradesh, India the city of Vijaywada has completed Phase 1 of 14 community toilet blocks and the process is now moving to Vishakhapatnam.
After building these toilet blocks, there is an opportunity for communities to learn from one another and about their experience of building toilet blocks. When a community decides that they want to embark on a process of designing and constructing a toilet block, they will visit communities where toilet blocks have already been constructed to learn from their experience and to also encourage the formation of ideas around how to go about building a toilet block in their own community. This process of community visits is important as a way to understand and adequately prepare for the building of a community toilet. What has been discovered is that the circle of preparation, including the design of the toilet blocks and its construction gets smaller with each iteraction as the expertise around building these toilet blocks becomes entrenched within the communities. Furthermore, each time these toilet blocks are built, the standards surrounding their design and construction become better understood. With each new toilet block comes a new standard (SPARC, 2010; Patel, n.d.; International Forum Insight, 2010).
International Forum Insight, Case Study: The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) (Originally published in March 2007, International Forum Agenda Book, India Forum) accessed May 26, 2010, http://internationalforum.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/the- society-for-the-promotion-of-area-resource-centres-sparc/
Port Moresby is often regarded as being amongst the most dangerous cities in the world, this combined with a lack of livelihood opportunities, and poor governance, the city is experiencing some significant challenges (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p62-3). With a population that is set to double in 30 years Port Moresby is presented with the task of managing urban growth in a context where currently half the population lives in unplanned or informal settlements, and faced with the issues of urban violence, which further threaten the city’s livability (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p63). Yumi Lukautim Mosbi Projek (YLM) (Let’s Look After Moresby Project) was launched in 2005 with the message of “a just, safe and secure society for all”. YLM aims to reduce crime and enhance public safety by engaging community and combining their efforts with appropriate Law and Justice Sector agencies. Embracing multi-sectoral solutions to meet the needs of the community, the four pillars that guide these partnerships are as follows:
(4) community engagement, where communities are encouraged to develop forums which build consensus on needs and seek funding for initiatives (source: http://www.housing-the-urban-poor.net/Docs/WUF-IV/UrbanSafety-Study.pdf).
particular, pillar number three, which focuses on building the awareness within
the community around problems associated with crime and insecurity, emphasises
the importance of building working relations with media outlets. Subsequently, a partnership was forged with
national television and radio stations enabling YLM to broadcast their short
thirty second “infomercials”. Presently,
these infomercials are the most embraced medium by YLM to communicate the
concept of community engagement at the national level. Appearing in these infomercials are real
people, real prisoners and real police working in the community who are
offering their advice to
focused on these core programs the strategic success of YLM has been in its
innovative and organic development of partnerships, which have looked beyond
standard solutions and partners. For example, an early strategic success of YLM
has been the creative use of media by those affected by, and those contributing
to, the city's crime. Awareness programs
were processed through the distribution of thousands of t-shirts, which
reinforce key messages such as keeping
This project has sought community-level vehicles through the youth themselves to undertake community engagement. Supporting sporting activities with youth from poorer communities (and including greater recreational opportunities for girls) reinforced a positive image for girls and also allowed sponsorship opportunities. An overarching feature then has been in delivering creative means by which to maintain visibility of the project and its messages throughout the community.
An example of where a community-based approach has been taken in communicating the message of a safe and equitable PNG came by way of the Rabiagini Youth who are all ex-raskols. The Rabiagini Youth are those ex-raskols who have had enough of crime and the hardship and pain that it has caused them, and their families and their communities. Collectively, the Rabiagini Youth decided to prevent other young people in the same predicament from getting involved in crime and so commenced a campaign of creating awareness through music by directly addressing social issues, which have impacted on their lives. Their songs provide positive messages on negative issues such as crime, family and sexual violence, HIV AIDS and government corruption. The Yumi Lukautim Mosbi Projek has made it possible with the provision of musical instruments, but it was the energy and vision of the Rabiagini Youth who did the work in creating these songs. Their first ‘grass roots’ song, titled “Yumi Lukautim Mosbi”, focused on stopping crime and becoming involved in making Port Moresby safer. This song was so well received in the nation that it climbed to #5 on the Top 20. The video can be viewed on you tube at the following web address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVzWnzcPY5E (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, n.d.; Government of Papua New Guinea, 2010).
With a population of 13.8 million inhabitants, the women in Delhi experience feelings of insecurity in public spaces both in the evening and during the daytime. There is a high rate of domestic and public crime and Delhi has developed a reputation for containing public spaces that are unsafe for women, as well as being the city with the highest incidents of violence again women (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p21). Women are continuously at threat of sexual harassment in crowded places such as public transport and parks as well as secluded places such as public toilets and cars. Jagori, a non-government organization in Delhi, in collaboration with the Delhi Government, UNIFEM and UN-Habitat recently commenced the Safe City Free of Violence against Women and Girls Initiative. The purpose of this initiative is, by adopting a survey-based approach to data collection, to gather information to better understand the issues surrounding gender-based violence and harassment in public spaces.
The survey included 5,010 people, including 3,816 and 944 men or common witnesses above the age of 16. The common witnesses are men and women who, because of location and proximity to public space are likely to observe acts of harassment. The major findings of the study, which can be retrieved at http://jagori.org/unique-study-on-womens-safety/, include:
The findings from the survey also report that stalking has been experiences by 45 percent of women, while 51 percent of men and 48.6 percent of bystanders reported witnessing a women being stalked. The report also found that the most common experience amongst women is the experience of feeling discomfort and danger while taking public transport.
As part of their work, Jagori emphasizes the importance of consciousness raising and building awareness through the production and distribution of creative material, which includes information and knowledge to meet the needs of women’s groups, non-government organizations and development organizations. The more substantive outputs, which result from surveys such as this one, are newspaper articles, short videos and you tube clips used to help disseminate knowledge. In this recent study, Jagori communicated their findings widely including online media outlets such as the Daily Times India, zeenews.com and the southasiannews.com containing quotations like this one from the Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia,
Nearly three out of every five women reported facing sexual harassment not only after dark but also through the daytime. But it is good that 68 percent of the women deal with harassment in some way like confronting the perpetrator or seeking help from family and friends…There was a necessity to understand the problem. Now we have realised that problem, we will be able to find a solution. For instance, we will write for installing CCTVs in buses, then we will make sure that sexual harassment becomes a non-bailable offense
There is a law against domestic violence to protect women at home and the one against sexual harassment in the workplace to protect women in offices….I feel there is a need to have a legal framework to make our roads safer for women. This survey is the first step towards understanding the issue and taking measures accordingly. The lack of faith is police is a matter of grave concern but we need to understand that it is the social mindset that needs to change to bring about a real difference (Times News Network, 2010)
The findings from this survey contribute to a much larger project and strategic framework that will guide the interventions embraced to help make Delhi a more safe city for everyone. The particular findings from this survey will feed into future dialogues and the development of planning policy around gender-sensitive infrastructure. Some of the key areas include more urban design of public space to help develop a more women-friendly environment, better lighting and walkable pavements, civic awareness campaigns to increase understanding of women’s unique issues, etc (UN-Habitat, 2009; ICPC, 2008; Jagori 2010, n.d.).
Some of the other knowledge dissemination efforts undertaken by Jagori over the years have included the Jagori short film titled, “Safe Delhi For Women – Together we can make a difference” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRIRqy4Covs
Times News Network, 2010, Public transport unsafe for women: survey by Delhi Government finds sexual harassment rampant in public places accessed 10 August 2010, http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Pa ge&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=CAP/2010/07/09&PageLabel=5&EntityId=Ar00500&ViewMode =HTML&GZ=T
Every year in Cambodia, women and children are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour. To circumvent this from occurring, the Cambodian Women’s Development Agency (CWDA) was created, a small local, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that emerged out from the Phnom Penh Municipality Women’s Association. The Supreme National Council accredited CWDA as a non-government organization in May 1993.
The aim of CWDA is to promote self-sufficiency and self-reliance amongst Cambodian communities and the advancement of women’s economic and social rights as well as the rights of children. It seeks to do so by empowering women in both their productive and reproductive capacities through education, organization, self-development, access to resources, advocacy and cooperation. The philosophy and practice of CWDA is the recognition and enhancement of the capacities and contributions of women in the process of national development. In order to reach these objectives CWDA’s current activities focus on three main programs areas:
CWDA seeks to empower women through collective organization, personal development, skills training, access to resources and advocacy. CWDA facilitates the active participation of grassroots women in awareness-raising activities on women’s issues, creating favourable local environments for women’s forums and activities. To assist with these efforts, formal and informal networks with local communities and leaders, local, national and international governments and non-government sector organizations have been established. CWDA works in partnership with local communities in establishing gender sensitive, participatory community development initiatives and is involved in national lobbying efforts for the promotion of women’s rights.
As part of CWDA’s work against the trafficking of women and children, it has established eight Community Information Centres within eight villages on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in order to provide information and raise awareness to prevent the trafficking of women and children within communities. The CIC’s provide a forum for women and other members of the community to obtain information on trafficking as well as other important issues such as domestic violence, health, hygiene and sanitation, HIV/AIDS and STDs prevention, women’s rights, laws against trafficking, domestic violence, marriage law, and conventions such as the convention on the rights of the Child. CWDA provides support through weekly monitoring visits and the regular provision of new documents and materials. The CICs also provide an important meeting place for women to gather to discuss problems within their families and communities and to seek solidarity and support amongst female villagers. Community members provide the materials and labour to construct the CICs, creating a sense of ownership and responsibility for CICs amongst community members.
CWDA has supported the establishment of women’s leader groups within each of the CIC villages. The members of the women’s leader groups appoint one woman to act as overall manager of the CIC while all of the women are responsible for the day-to-day running and maintenance of the CICs. The women take turns staffing the CICs and to record the names of who borrows books. CWDA trains women leaders in CIC management and leadership, as well as providing education on the prevention of trafficking and other issues such as domestic violence and health care.
Members of the women leader groups meet every month to discuss issues within their communities and ways to collectively solve these issues. The women leaders also make regular home visits to provide information to other women and community members who are unable to visit the CICs. The women leaders are an important means of disseminating information about trafficking and the strategies and tricks used by traffickers. The women also provide information and support to other women on other issues such as domestic violence and children’s health and sanitation Cambodia Women’s Development Agency, 2008, 2007; Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, n.d.)
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women n.d., Cambodian Women’s Development Agency, Accessed 19 May 2010, http://www.gaatw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=599%3Athe- cambodian-womens-development-agency-cwda&catid=127%3AAsia&Itemid=7
Jakarta, like many cities located in Asia-Pacific is urbanizing at an exceedingly quick pace (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p44). Adding to the challenge is the increasing number of urban poor who are being further threatened by the increasing cost of living and lack of infrastructure and services (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p45). Because of the rate of urbanization experienced in Jakarta, the level of crime and violence is also increasing particularly in the area of physical attacks (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p45). Furthermore, police reports indicate that burglary and homicide has increased by 20 percent, robberies occurring during daylight have increased and opportunistic and organized gangs are prevalent (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p46).
One organization that is working in the area of addressing the needs of the urban poor is the Urban Poor Consortium. Since its formal foundation in 1997, the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) has focused its activities on addressing urban poor issues in the greater Jakarta region. Their vision is to establish a strong network of well-organized urban poor groups that are capable of addressing the poverty problems faced by the urban poor and to help meet their practical needs and strategic interests. The Urban Poor Consortium aims to succeed in their endeavour by promoting participation and self-determination through community organizing, information dissemination, knowledge and skills development, thus empower the urban poor.
The consortium has several non-government organizations as members and individuals from various other sectors in the community. Some of the individual members work in the area of or possess skills in the arts, as a city planner, architect, sociologist, anthropologist and/or journalist. Presently, the Urban Poor Consortium has 13 paid full time employees (6 community organizers, 2 multimedia staff, 1 housekeeper, 1 office manager, 1 financial chief, 1 cashier and 1 technician) and 1 full time volunteer. At the community level, the Urban Poor Consortium has 986 community volunteers/leaders, including both women and men, who are active in community organizing programs and the activities that are being implemented in their communities.
Each member of the Urban Poor Consortium functions as a facilitator for one particular issue. In turn, these facilitators become the Community Leaders (CL) who are required to possess a sound understanding of their community, and with cooperation with the Community Organizers, the Community Leaders are to raise issues as well as address and formulate solutions to problems in their communities. The Urban Poor Consortium also facilitates the development of different inter-community teams especially those for economy, advocacy, health, settlement and legal issues.
Advocacy with national issues enables UPC to reach out to many urban poor communities in the greater Jakarta area and mobilize people to participate in its activities. The aim of the Urban Poor Consortium is to increase people’s political awareness and participation; promote strong horizontal networks among the urban poor sectors and communities; identify potential community leaders; increase public awareness and educate the public on urban impoverishment issues. The focus regarding building public awareness is to increase solidarity towards the poor among media outlets, professionals, academia, the NGOs and others.
Facilitation is used to engage the community on issues involving their community. Part of the responsibility of the facilitators is to be informed about the condition, potentials, historical and social roots of the challenges experienced in the community. Furthermore, it is the role of the facilitators to formulate activities to solve the problems and improve their quality of life. One of the outputs from this work is the creation of leaders in the community who are committed to the vision as articulated by the community. Furthermore, the outputs of it are organized groups in the community or sector that work to improve the community’s welfare and access to resources. Through the emergence of these local community leaders, there is greater commitment to assist the community and the urban poor in general.
The backbone of the overall activities of the Urban Poor Consortium are the community volunteers or community leaders, who in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the activities work closely with the Community Organizers of the Urban Poor Consortium (Leaders and Organizers of Community Organizations in Asia, 2005; UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009).
Leaders and Organizers of Community Organizations in Asia 2005, (Indonesia) Organizing People – Urban Poor Consortium, accessed 27 May 2010, http://www.locoa.net/home/?doc=bbs/gnuboard.php&bo_table=p_co_theory&page=2&wr_ id=11
The population of the Philippines is over 90 million people and it is a society where men are traditionally the main earners in the family, while women maintain a more traditional role of tending to the house. Although men have been the main income earners, the Philippines are seeing more and more women engage in work outside of the home to supplement the family income. In 1995, the devastating demolition of urban poor regions particularly in the Smokey Mountain Region of Metro Manila unfolded leaving hundreds of families that live in these areas without basic services and in need of social protection. DAMPA, a community-based organization based in the Philippines, was established in response to these demolitions. DAMPA (Damayan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api) is now an organization with a membership of well over 17,700 families that focuses on promoting community development in urban poor communities. Their work also focuses on the economic development of poor families and working toward ending violence against women and children. Following the demolitions in 1995, DAMPA’s work embraced a gendered approach to consider the gender related issues, which were not necessarily being adequately addressed. DAMPA followed by starting a gender program focusing on the role that women maintain in the community as primary actors.
DAMPA’s aim is to engage in processes where the purpose is to find solutions to problems of basic concern to the urban poor. The problems that are addressed include finding affordable and adequate housing, provision of basic services and offering programs that assist with bettering the literacy and livelihoods of those that live in the region. DAMPA embraces a community-driven approach to addressing these challenges in a manner that promotes greater empowerment within the community. DAMPA builds partnerships with national government agencies that are willing to engage directly with grassroots organizations, whilst also aiming to engage with other levels of government as well as with NGOs and other private agencies.
DAMPA is as example of a community-based organization that uses local resources to initiate action and involving people to help identify key basic service needs. DAMPA uses creative engagement strategies that include a multi-stakeholder approach with issue-based community organizing and the use of dialogues. Through established partnerships with NGOs and private institutions, DAMPA also engages in direct advocacy and information campaigns in areas such as gender sensitivity, anti-violence and anti-harassment against women and children, land rights and housing finance, health and family planning education.
DAMPA’s goals stem from this acknowledgment that ‘issues of poor are also issues of women’. Building on this idea, DAMPA’s goals are to link basic community issues to gender and development, and to broaden community program initiatives to include specific responses to gender issues and child and family concerns.
These strategies follow a ‘models of engagement’ approach to influence government’s policy-making processes, including the ways in which government engages community-based organizations and the spending of public funds. The engagement included dialogues with a range of stakeholders with the aim of achieving common ground around programs and projects. Part of the dialogues included identifying stakes held by the different stakeholders, which were determined by the unique capacities and expertise possessed by these stakeholders. Government participates in these dialogues to offer legitimacy to the process. Non-government organizations participate and through their participation they add their technical expertise to the process as well as offer a pool of resources from which to extract volunteers. Finally, the role of the community in these dialogues is to learn from their experience about the reality of the program once it is implemented.
The stakeholders engage in a range of skills that are gained through the work that DAMPA undertakes. By engaging in dialogue with government and stakeholders, this affords community-based organizations the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge. These skills and knowledge acquired include:
To measure success, DAMPA looked towards the Millennium Development Goals to provide the framework. Some of the successes achieved by DAMPA, in line with the Millennium Development Goals include engaging in partnership with the Gender and Development Resource Coordinating Office of the local government of Quezon City and passing the Gender and Development Code, which falls in line with Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women. Other successes achieved by DAMPA have included the creation of community pharmacies, cooperatives and a range of different micro-lending programs. Reproductive health projects were created as were reproductive health networks. Finally, the work has also led to local organizations actively participating in Barangay (village) development planning and local governance (UN-Habitat, 2009; ICPC, 2008; Abagao & Duka, 2004).
Abagao, E & Duka F.H. 2004, “From Dialogue to Engagement, from Programs to Policies: Grassroots Initiatives on Women, Children, and Development in Poor Communities in the Philippines: The DAMPA Experience”, paper presented at the Grassroots Women’s International Academy (GWIA), September 7-11, 2004, Barcelona, Spain http://www.huairou.org/assets/download/PhilPartner.doc
The focus of
the Vanuatu Kastom Governance Partnership (VKGP) is
on conflict prevention, community governance and community development. The
Partnership grew out of discussions between the Malvatumauri
National Council of Chiefs of Vanuatu (the MNCC) and the Australian Centre for
Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPACS) at the
to the pressures faced by Chiefs, the Secretariat of the MNCC embraced programs
to support and assist customary leaders who are struggling with pressures
associated with rapid change in peri-urban and rural
The Vanuatu Kastom Governance Partnership brings together the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs of Vanuatu (the MNCC), the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPACS) at the University of Queensland and AusAID. In this partnership, ACPACS possesses skills and experience to offer chiefs as well as the other participants who also have skills and experience to share. Part of the role of the partnership is to establish positive connections among the different bodies within Vanuatu (e.g. local customary bodies with provincial government and relevant NGOs), within communities about what they see as the critical issues facing them in the context of the values and directions they hold most dear, and between Australians and ni-Vanuatu, as neighbours. These processes call for reflection from ni-Vanuatu participants, but they also require a context of self-reflection from Australian or expatriate participants, to enable listening and dialogue. All parties contribute actively to the agenda of activities. In this partnership, all of the actors contribute to the agenda-making process.
ACPACS works closely with partners from the Malvatumauri VNCC to assist people with experience in kastom governance and community leadership to understand the contemporary environment they operate within, to build confidence so they can interact with “introduced” systems and structures, and build skills to negotiate through increasingly more complex challenges and issues. The three broad themes within which this takes place are community development, community governance and conflict resolution. Topics within these themes include conflict resolution, contemporary development processes and the interaction between kastom and introduced systems of governance. The partnership also works to support kastom leaders to strengthen linkages with Provincial and central government authorities, non-government organizations, community-based organizations, and with others who may be located in different geographical regions.
The Partnership has four key activities. The most visible activities are the holding of five-day workshops called dialogues (or storians in Bislama) at sites around the country as well as training of local facilitators (women and men) to run such workshops. ACPACS and MNCC initially facilitated these workshops, however, local facilitators and MNCC are increasingly taking over as facilitators. ACPACS facilitators still participate and become more prominent when the partners decide that new themes need to be introduced. ACPACS, in consultation with MNCC and with the local facilitators, has taken a lead role in developing the content of workshops and train the trainer activities, and developing the research outputs. Participants at the workshops develop action plans, based on the issues that they have been exploring. The MNCC then assists with the implementation of these activities. The partnership aims to contribute the following:
· Research on the value of kastom governance systems, their contribution to national and community governance and their interaction with introduced systems and values, and on associated models of community governance. Research increasingly includes monitoring and evaluation, carried on in large part by the local facilitators.
· Dialogue (storians) are used to discuss issues concerning community leadership and community development, community governance, including kastom governance, as well as conflict resolution. Particularly contentious issues, such as land, are a key focus of many workshops. Storians assist community leaders in managing change and development processes more confidently, and provide support for the development of skills.
· Supporting the network and institutional capacity of the National Council and Chiefs and through them, the council of chiefs system (including Island Councils) (Source: http://www.issr.uq.edu.au/acpacs-projects).
represents an effort on behalf of AusAID to engage
more fully and appropriately with the institutions of community development and
Any investing in the capacity of Chiefs necessarily entails strengthening communities and vulnerable groups in that social structure (such as women and youth). It further requires that Chiefs are able to represent effectively these views to government and state institutions. It also requires that their own institutions, such as committees, councils and the Malvatumauri can play an effective advocacy and support role.
In the initial phase, the three partners developed a program of workshops with customary leaders and others in the community at a number of sites around the country. The workshops were called ‘storians’ – conversations or storytelling – which focused on sharing experiences and developing strategies for better outcomes. Storians are typically facilitated by ACPACS staff called ni-Vanuatu who have been trained to form a core of expertise in the project, as well as staff from the Malvatumauri. The storians build on the values, problems and definitions offered by the participants. While some skills training is offered, their role is to facilitate conversations around difficult topics, provide opportunities for conversations and follow up actions around critical themes, including reflection, exchange of experience and information sharing on the challenging interactions between customary and state-based approaches to governance. Land is a recurrent theme in this context. Gender is another complex and sensitive issue involving confrontation between local values and international principles. The partnership also includes support for the management capacities and outreach of the National Council of Chiefs. The project also includes key stakeholders such as provincial government and non-government organizations. Input is also offered by the Department of Law, University of South Pacific, which especially focuses on the rights and responsibilities of Chiefs in dealing with community development.
Key outcomes arising from this work have presented themselves in the form of jointly conducted workshops throughout Vanuatu, which addressed sources of conflict and developed strategies. These workshops build up local bodies of knowledge and essential skills in conflict management, community development and governance. The action plans have enabled groups to work, often very effectively, on a wide range of issues affecting their communities, including serious local conflicts. By recognising and paying attention to customary values that are widespread throughout Vanuatu, they have contributed to communities reflecting, in a relatively organised way, on how what they value might continue to change circumstances. The storians contribute to ongoing discussions on difficult social issues, such as land and gender. The ability of local faciltators’ including MNCC to deal in a nuanced way with these complex issues has increased markedly. These workshops also strengthen the network between local Chiefs, Island Councils and the Malvatumauri. The partnership has contributed significantly to the MNCC’s outreach capacity. Other workshops have focused on building the capacity of the MNCC to represent Chiefs and to be able to identify the changing needs of community-level governance. The MNCC also conducts joint research on key issues with ACPACs staff.
This resulted in initial workshops and Chief Action Plans focusing on conflict resolution techniques and analysis. Though not anticipated at the time, Chiefs indicated that the principle sources of tension came with women changing roles and meeting the needs of youth. Subsequent workshops have given more time to these issues, as well as opening training up to more women and a broader audience including provincial and local governments and non-government organizations. Land, and sources of cash income in rural regions (including as an alternative to leasing land as a source of cash) has also emerged as a key issue for storians.
Since 2005, storians have expanded which has been prompted by the needs of the Chiefs changing and also reflecting a greater desire to deal with new issues and confidence in doing so. Expanding on workshops that were initially focused on conflict resolution, workshops are now giving attention to governance, community development, and participatory planning.
Several workshops have been conducted with Port Vila’s urban and peri-urban customary authorities. The interests of urban Chiefs in clued developing skills in community planning and how to develop a vision, undertake community development, work with, as well as understand government on gender, transparency, accountability and administrative skills.
Over the life of the project, participants also indicated that their level of understanding of key issues had increased, especially regarding governance/administration, gender, law, youth, planning, problem solving and conflict management. Evaluations that have been undertaken suggest that participants strongly agreed that they can now make better decisions, deal with conflict more effectively, are aware of good/bad leadership/governance, the constitution and had better relationships with other Chiefs. Many Chiefs also felt they had developed skills in organizational management, which included how to run meetings more effectively.
Overall, the Malvatumauri has benefited from its greater exposure to Chiefs via the workshops, something that has not been possible in the past given its limited resources. Malvatumauri staff commented that they both enjoyed and learned from the experience of running workshops for Chiefs, and felt that they could now contribute more effectively to both the design and implementation of workshops in the future. They were also able to use their experience to build up more linkages with Chiefs as well as clearly establish their role. Horizontal linkages among Chiefs and their institutions were encouraged as preferable to dependence on the vertical linkages of the past.
A key part of the project involved participants developing their own ‘action plans’. Participants determined these plans but following the workshop, the plans typically required that the participants draw up goals and strategies to further strengthen these plans. In Port Vila, workshops provided impetus for the restructuring of Chief councils and the development of their relationships and roles. In Port Vila greater emphasis is now placed on building the capacity and role of the Port Vila Municipal Council and the Police. Workshops have also provided a forum for urban Chiefs to meet, build relationships and discuss key problems.
Chiefs returned to communities and disseminated lessons on more effective ways to resolve disputes. After these workshops, In Port Vila several councils have tried to work more effectively together over disputes and one Chief was attempting to create better communication between Port Vila Chiefs and island Chiefs around the issue of migration between Port Vila and home islands and how to meet the needs of migrants when they arrived in town (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, n.d.; Australian Government, 2007; The University of Queensland, 2010; Westoby & Brown, 2007).
Australian Government, AusAID 2007, Aid Activities in Vanuatu: economic reform and governance Accessed on 19 May 2010, http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/cbrief.cfm?DCon=6034_4754_8370_9688_2737&Countr yID=17
Developed under the leadership of the former police commissioner of Mumbai A.N. Roy, the police panchayats were built to strengthen the relationship between the community and police. Furthermore, the purpose of the panchayats are to provide a channel for communication between the police and the community to work cooperatively to solve cases at the local level. The aim here is to save time and money for both the police as well as the people in the community, as well as further reduce the likelihood of small fights and arguments escalading into more serious incidents of violence.
The police panchayat concept started when the former police commissioner A.N. Roy was looking to customize policing efforts to reflect the unique differences and needs between communities. Having spent time in Pune as their police commissioner, a city with 4 million inhabitants, 40 percent of which live in slums, it was then that A.N. Roy experimented with the police panchayat concept. At this point in time, A.N. Roy decided to enlist the National Slum Dwellers Federation and the Mahila Milan who had already been very active in Pune. These organizations were already very active in Mumbai and were involved in initiatives, including designing and managing slum rehabilitation projects and housing developments for slum and pavement dwellers. With groups such as the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan already present, the structure was in place to support the community police committees. Since then, the ‘Police Panchayat’ scheme, which was launched in Pune in July 2003 in ten slums, has grown rapidly to represent more than 200 slums in Pune.
The former police commissioner evolved the concept of community policing in slums through the creation of a ‘Slum Police Panchayat’. One part of this program is to place a police officer in a slum who is dedicated and accountable to the slum. In addition to the police officer, a group of ten representatives are chosen from among the slum dwellers to form the ‘Panchayat’. The team of ten representatives hold meetings once a week to discuss and solve problems related to policing. The ten representatives are composed of seven women and three men. The proportion of women over men in the panchayat is so to reflect the disproportionate rate at which women are victims of violence, including domestic violence. When these panchayats are formed, it is cause for community celebration where we see community representatives tie flower bracelets around the wrist of each police officer. In return the community receives symbolic assurance that the police officers will provide safety cover to the slum. Presently, there are approximately 152 police panchayats operational in the different zones of Mumbai, out of which 64 are functional. Collectively, these police panchayats have solved more than one thousand cases, which can be classified under the categories of ‘family’, ‘property’ and ‘criminal’ cases.
The panchayat is a ‘participatory crime strategy’ enabling those who live in the slums the opportunity to have access to the services of the police, which have traditionally been lacking due to the attitudes, resources and policies that have been preventing the police from effectively addressing the needs of the poor. One of the benefits of the panchayat is that the community gets to know the police and the police get to know individuals that reside in the slum, creating a better understanding between the two groups and the possibility for a long-term relationship to develop.
It is understood among the volunteers of the police panchayat that they do not have police powers, but instead their role is to participate in dispute resolution processes, which are undertaken as a committee. Each of the cases brought forward for dispute resolution are recorded. In a situation where the resolution is acceptable to both parties, the process gets resolved there. In situations of violent crimes including rape, assault or death, this group assists locals to reach the police station and make sure that the communities are assisted, that they don’t get ignored by the police station or asked for bribes which is often the problem faced by poor women when they visit the police station. This joint venture is seen as a process that benefits both the community and the police.
As part of the activities of the panchayat, the volunteers will patrol the settlements to help maintain law and order. When disputes arise, the slum dwellers can notify the police panchayat, which will then address the problem. The panchayats have been able to resolve a number of disputes, prevent disputes from escalating, all of which helps to free up police time to enable them to focus on other important issues. While the first police panchayat commenced because the police commissioner championed the idea, they have sustained over time because they meet the needs of both the police and the community. These panchayats are anchored into the community because of these ten volunteers (Roy, 2010, n.d.; SPARC, 2010; http://internationalforum.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/the-society-for-the-promotion-of-area-resource-centres-sparc/).
A.N. Roy 2010, Slum Police Panchayat: An innovative concept of community policing in slum, presentation at “CITYNET: Putting Safety First for the Urban Poor on the Local Agenda, Workshop 15-17 June 2010, Marikina, Philippines
International Forum Insight website, accessed May 26, 2010 “Case Study: The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC)” (Originally published in March 2007, International Forum Agenda Book, India Forum) http://internationalforum.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/the-society-for-the-promotion-of- area-resource-centres-sparc/
The focus of the YLM project, which was launched in mid-2006, is to promote “a just, safe and secure society for all”. The YLM is an initiative supported by AusAID and is run under the Law and Justice Sector Program. It is managed by the Urban Safety Advisory Committee of the National Capital District Commission (NCDC), which consists of representatives from the corporate sector, donors, women and youth councils, the church, media, police, local government and community representatives. Its advisory committee is the Law and Justice Sector working group.
It is the objective of YLM to reduce crime and enhance public safety by engaging community as well as combining their efforts with appropriate Law and Justice Sector agencies. YLM engages with private and corporate sector agencies who are major stakeholders in urban safety. These agencies engage with YLM by contributing to the enhancement of urban safety by increasing service delivery and engagement of the community.
YLM’s work can be characterized by its innovative and multi-sectoral solutions adopted to meet the needs of the communities in Port Moresby. Their work focuses on four key pillars, namely (1) the promotion of sport and youth engagement, particularly through schools and informal settlements, (2) reintegration and skills development, which specifically targets the inclusion of private sector involvement, skills development and employment creation (3) awareness of urban safety through positive stories, use of media and examples of community initiatives, and (4) community engagement, where communities are encouraged to develop forums which build consensus on needs and seek funding for initiatives (Source: http://www.housing-the-urban-poor.net/Docs/WUF-IV/UrbanSafety-Study.pdf).
In its 2006-2010 Strategy, the NCDC aims to secure a safer community in the National Capital District (NCD) in partnership through building workable, vibrant partnerships to facilitate behavioural change in the people, the sector agencies and all instrumentalities in the provision of goods and services and to respect the rule of law. In so doing, the emphasis is on building coalitions and strengthening formal (the police) and the informal strategies of law enforcement, dispute resolution, restorative justice and diversion.
Consequently, in dealing more effectively with crime the NCD committee is also seeking to consolidate community and city governance and enhance the role of (urban) institutions, planning and the functions of the municipal authority. A key approach has been to create alternatives to institutional responses and solutions to crime. This has involved forming new partnerships between community and the private sector, which stands to gain from an approved public image as well as from a more committed and motivated workforce. Diversion into skills-based work programs has met the need for vocational training and access to paid employment, but for business, it has also offered a cadre of trainees for companies in need of trained workers. Employment opportunities for youth in keeping markets clean has also provided alternatives.
YLM activities have also sought to create safer working and recreational spaces, which encourage greater use but which also reinforce to people the benefits of utilizing public areas. YLM has arguably gained greater traction than previous approaches as it has directly targeted improving people's sense of safety and the opportunities that arise from pursuing alternatives to crime. This has reinforced the benefits for individuals and communities in participating in YLM initiatives. For example, a recent PNG Power 'Lets Light up the City' initiative both creates safer public places at night but also offers the opportunity for business benefits. The creation of businesses as emergency shelters simultaneously creates places of emergency refuge for women at participating businesses around the city, provides positive community roles for businesses, promotes a message that assault against females is not to be tolerated, and is more likely to be prosecuted.
One of the key reasons for recent successes in YLM has been that the community itself feels that it directs priorities, and these priorities reflect their existing needs. This same philosophy of sharing ownership and the benefits of change has also meant more successful partnerships, which are inclusive of communities, non-government organizations, the Church, local government and the private sector. This has created an increasingly dynamic and somewhat organic process emerging in which YLM coordinators facilitate rather than directly manage. These partnerships have succeeded, arguably where past initiatives driven by donors and the public sector have failed, because they have tapped into a broad demand for change across society and engaged communities and institutions (both public and corporate) which have vested interests in addressing crime, poverty and a lack of infrastructure and social services (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, n.d.; Government of Papua New Guinea, 2010).
· Creating partnerships between local government, the private sector and communities, which mutually reinforce each other’s role but also creates new types of services and systems which improve people’s sense of safety (source: http://www.housing-the-urban-poor.net/Docs/WUF-IV/UrbanSafety-Study.pdf).
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, has a population of 1.01 million. In Phnom Penh urban violence in growing with a high incidence of violence amongst youth (9 out of 17 cases), including school based violence, as well as domestic violence (5 out of 17 cases) (UN-HABITAT & UNESCAP, 2009, p42). In addition to these violent acts, rape is also a problem for women who walk along dark, unlit paths or roads at night (ILO and World Bank 2006 in UN-Habitat UNESCAP, 2009, p42). Not only are women at high risk of sexual harassment and rape, but the rapist often goes unpunished because of the culture of impunity prevalent in Cambodia (UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009, p44).
The Municipality of Phnom Penh in collaboration with UNESCAP embarked upon a project that aimed to adapt the safety audit tool to the context of Phnom Penh. The aim of this activity was to use the safety audit to diagnose the safety issues in the city by collecting information on the issues of safety and security. As part of this project, focus was given to building the capacity of local actors to analyse, address and prevent insecurity and crime. The safety audit tool uses a set of established methods to assess how communities experience safety and security in public spaces. Local actors who work in poor communities in Phnom Penh were trained to use the safety audit as a tool for community mapping. From the data that was collected, appropriate interventions for their pilot study were identified. The framework supporting the safety audit was developed with local actors in a collaborative process to suite the local context. According to the Terms of Reference, the project’s aim was to:
As part of their efforts to conduct the safety audits in Phnom Penh, a series of training meetings were organized. The first meeting was organized by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Municipality of Phnom Penh, UNESCAP and the Government of Italy, and was held from 7-9 April 2009 to develop the capacity of local stakeholders which included local government, non-government organizations (NGOs) and community leaders from urban poor communities in Phnom Penh. Also present at this first meeting were representatives from the Municipality of Phnom Penh, NGOs, civil society organizations, urban poor communities, research institutions and universities. The actors represented at the meeting were trained in how to conduct a safety audit. The workshop enabled actors to learn more about the issues as well as discuss these issues and how they may be addressed. The meeting included the participation of a resource person who presented the issues and was available to answer the more technical questions. A dialogue between NGO’s, communities and local government occurred as part of this meeting on the insecurity and safety of the urban poor in Phnom Penh. Presented at this meeting was a conceptual framework that would be used to guide any future discussions on safety and insecurity. Additionally the framework provided the participants with ideas on how vulnerabilities in the city could be identified and what contributes to the feeling of insecurity in the city and in the communities.
The outputs from this audit included the creation of training material outlining how to conduct a safety audit that focuses on youth and women, which is adapted to the local context. This included a locally adapted safety audit checklist. Approximately 15 to 20 people were trained in Phnom Penh to use the safety audit to map the communities. Lastly, recommendations were made on what safety interventions were appropriate to the area. The data obtained from the diagnosis established the foundation for a plan of action to be established (Terms of Reference, 2009; UN-Habitat & UNESCAP, 2009).
The city of Mumbai has over 12 million inhabitants with over 50 percent of that population living in slums or as pavement dwellers (Phadke, 2007, p 1510). In the city of Mumbai, there has been a growing sense that women are more freely able to move around, the result of various social and cultural reform movements over the years (Phadke, 2005, p 43). Yet, despite these advancements women must still negotiate risk and danger in public spaces, a reality that is much greater for women in terms of potential threat than it is for men in Mumbai (Phadke, 2005, p43). Research conducted into the use of public space by women reveals that no more than 28 percent of people occupying public space are women at any given time (Phadke, 2007, p1510).
The Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR) is a group in Mumbai who undertake research to better understand the relationship that women have to public space. PUKAR’s aim is to democratize the research and to broaden the access to knowledge among disenfranchised groups including women. PUKAR does this by creating a space for people who possess non-traditional and non-expert knowledge to be able to contribute to local, national and global debates about their futures. It promotes research as a right for everyone inside and outside the formal educational system and uses research as a tool for pedagogy, advocacy, transformation and intervention. The goal of PUKAR is to create a world-class incubator for knowledge, debate and innovation about cities and globalization.
Among the various projects that PUKAR has taken on, the aim of the Gender and Space project was to move the discussion on women and public space beyond safety, to challenge the ideological assumptions about a woman's proper place in society. It is these assumptions that normalize women's anxieties in relation to public space. The Gender and Space Project also examines “the city in its varied geographical, class and religious contexts in order to understand how meanings of respectability, risk, safety, violence and excitement are attached to both women and spaces” (Phadke, 2005, p42). At the same time, PUKAR makes a strong claim for women's right to the city and to experience the varied pleasures it offers. The intention is for the research to contribute to policy changes as well as to generate public debate on the subject.
The Gender and Space Project focuses on gender as a category to examine the ordering and experience of the city and its varied spaces, particularly public space. Public space in the context of the study refers to public places, ranging from streets, public toilets and market places (across class contexts) to recreational areas and modes of public transport. The project is located in and focuses on the city of Mumbai.
The research conducted on the Gender and Space Project combined social science research such as ethnography, interviews and group discussions along with methodology drawn from the areas of film photography and architecture. The project also had a strong pedagogic component involving elective courses in architecture and liberal arts colleges and short workshops. The project aimed to understand the hierarchies and boundaries that determine access to public space along a variety of axes (class, caste, religion, geographic location and gender).
By focusing on the everyday, PUKAR unearthed the 'taken-for-granted' nature of women's negotiations to access public space, which demonstrates unequivocally that women do not feel an uncontested claim to any kind of public or even semi public space. By drawing attention to the everyday strategies and harassments, the research implicated the processes of urban planning and the provision of infrastructure squarely in the concerns of women's access to public space.
This project hoped to unsettle the gendered binaries regulating women's presence in public space, raising questions about the ways in which ideas of private-public, respect-disrespect, safety-violence, rational-risky are reflected in the discourses of public space and citizenship.
PUKAR’s research has demonstrated that despite the apparent visibility of women, women across class do not share equal access to public space with men. The research suggests that a concern with sexual safety for women constrains their movements and reduces access to public space. Although the work is based in Mumbai, the ideas and insights of this project find resonance with the experiences of women in other cities in India and the world, especially those cities that are re-envisioning themselves as global cities. The project engages with the common myth that feminism is passé in the 21st century, and shows why and how relevant feminist politics re-imagines a vibrant and inclusive concept of citizenship in contemporary India.
The Gender and Space project was conceived between the years 2001 and 2003 and research was conducted between the years 2003 and 2006. This three-year study provided substantive data on the subject of women, public space and safety. The project was successful in providing a detailed and layered understanding of public space. By bringing the issue of the ‘everyday’ into focus, the project looked at processes rather than at sporadic events and thereby achieved a better understanding of issues of safety and the city. Finally, the project managed to balance its research agenda with its advocacy and pedagogic work. PUKAR’s research demonstrates beyond doubt that despite the apparent visibility of women, even in urban India, women across class do not share equal access to public space with men. The research suggests that a concern with sexual safety for women constrains their movements and reduces access to public space (UN-Habitat, 2009; PUKAR, 2010a, 2010b; Phadke, 2005, 2007).
Community Organizers Multiversity (COMultiversity) operates in the Philippines promoting community organizing as a tool for establishing an integrated and innovative approach to development that is sustainable and builds empowerment within the community. COMultiversity is engaged in the pursuit of realizing its framework for sustainable development as a contribution to the growth of the body of knowledge in community organizing. The framework gives emphasis on gender, ecology, ethnicity, equity, justice and democracy, where its main initiatives include advocacy, capacity building, building public awareness, networking and community mobilization.
The four main initiatives frame COMultiversity’s work and provide direction in its efforts to realize development that is supportive of women as well as sustainable. For instance, advocacy includes assisting the gender and development advocates to access the gender and development budget to support their project as women. Through organizing efforts, women from the different communities have been formally organized to identify and act on their challenges. The work surrounding capacity building focuses on developing the capacities of women to empower them to do something for themselves. This is done through formal and informal training and capacity building. Regarding public awareness, this is the process of providing the committee with the opportunity to understand and become more aware of the issues of gender and development. This is done through workshops and forums. Networking focuses on implementing activities through coordination and networking with partner non-government organizations by inviting them to act as resource persons during sessions. The final initiative focuses on community mobilization. This is where women participate in protesting against eviction, making sure that concerns of women and children are articulated during negotiations. To enable community mobilizations, there are linkages with government institutions that are involved in housing and land rights issues.
The initiatives listed above are executed through a number of methods including the development of a women’s agenda to be incorporated into the overall urban poor alliance agenda. The agenda is now being advocated by a team of individuals who work at the local government level and who work to express the needs of women on these agendas in a manner that conveys the significance of the issues to the community. Following the establishment a women’s agenda was the development of a kit that incorporates the overall organizing process to ensure that the application of ten community organizing steps, which has been developed is gender sensitive. The kit is now available for community organizing training and reference.
Along with the kit, a social investigation tool has been devised to promote gender sensitivity by community organizers. Community organizers, who work in the community as facilitators of some of these initiatives are trained so that they are more conscious about the inequalities between men and women and how to use the tools that have been developed to ensure that a gender perspective is embraced in the application of community organizing steps. Part of the role of community facilitators is to be conscious, which a central tenet communicated at the community organizing training.
Because of their efforts, COMultiversity has been able to achieve success in organizing the community towards the elimination of child labor and the implementation of the Successor Generation Program for the leaders and officers of the Caucus for development NGOs. This program was supported by the FORD Foundation. The Peace and Development Program in Mindanao trained former combatants to become peace and development advocates. The program was funded by UNDP and currently supported by OXFAM-HK, CIDA-LGSP, Peace and Equity Foundation and Trocaire.
The creation of the Mainstreaming Gender in Community Organizing is also a significant milestone. A handbook was developed incorporating gender sensitive indicators and a gender perspective in the community organizing steps as well as concrete illustrations by COMultiversity partner NGOs and People’s Organizations highlighting roles and contributions of grassroots women in community empowerment and development (UN-Habitat, 2009; Community Organizers Multiversity, 2010, n.d.).