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Syrian Civil Society: A closing door report

This report seeks to give a truer view of Syrian civil society, giving a voice to people who have often been mentioned only as a footnote to atrocities, as aid workers killed in a shelling, or vilified as terrorists in the narratives of the government and its allies. Since March 2011, Syria has experienced one of the bloodiest and cruellest conflicts of recent times. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands more injured.  But while these grim figures have been repeated in the western media frequently, less often told is the story of the Syrians who did everything in their power to counter this.  Against the backdrop of conflict arose an active Syrian civil society – Syrians on the ground who, more often than not, had no previous experience in this sector. Syrians who came from a society whose government allowed no space for civil society to grow: and yet it did. But as civil society’s space is being squeezed worldwide, to grasp the potential for Syrian civil society we must act now. The door is already closing and it will slam shut, returning the country to the pre-2011 hostile environment where civil society groups faced being shut down and their members and volunteers risked being arrested or imprisoned if they were perceived to challenge the state. This report is an appeal and a challenge. Will the international community support the Syrians who recognise the difficulty of the task they face?

Myanmar: Building a Culture of Dialogue manual - English

A facilitator’s manual to guide dialogue within and between communities in conflict. In Myanmar, violence and protracted conflict – often fuelled by fear, hatred and distrust – have a strong impact on people’s lives. Many years of peace building work make us believe in the importance of dialogue as a tool to build trust and strong relationships. Dialogue provides the opportunity to share feelings, understand different points of view and reflect on situations.   For our project ‘Sagar Wine’ (culture of dialogue) in Rakhine State, we developed a training manual. In three creative and interactive modules with many visuals, participants will explore personal development, understand the dynamics of conflict and practice dialogue facilitation skills. The manual ‘Building a Culture of Dialogue’ is available in English and Burmese language.

Myanmar: Building a culture of dialogue manual - Burmese

A facilitator’s manual to guide dialogue within and between communities in conflict. In Myanmar, violence and protracted conflict – often fuelled by fear, hatred and distrust – have a strong impact on people’s lives. Many years of peace building work make us believe in the importance of dialogue as a tool to build trust and strong relationships. Dialogue provides the opportunity to share feelings, understand different points of view and reflect on situations.   For our project ‘Sagar Wine’ (culture of dialogue) in Rakhine State, we developed a training manual. In three creative and interactive modules with many visuals, participants will explore personal development, understand the dynamics of conflict and practice dialogue facilitation skills. The manual ‘Building a Culture of Dialogue’ is available in English and Burmese language.

The Climate Challenge

Case study on community adaptation and women's empowerment in Bangladesh.

LPRR: action learning research

In order for productive learning to occur within the context of this project, monitoring practices must be robust and go beyond collecting data against indicators. This is especially important within a resilience context, as the pre-emptive baseline measurement that is usually used for measuring progress/success is not desirable here. Instead, an ‘outcome harvesting’ approach is more practical, as it does not measure progress towards predetermined outcomes or objectives, but rather collects evidence of what has been achieved, and works backward to determine whether and how the project or intervention contributed to the change. Within the LPRR project there is a need for rigorous evaluation, which balances accountability and learning. Given the ever-evolving evidence base of ‘what works under what conditions’ coupled with the need to demonstrate quality, impactful programming in both upwards and downwards accountability, these types of robust evaluations are essential. In order to ensure learning and accountability are achieved through evaluations, they must be well-planned and budgeted for. This is where the role of the learning strand comes in; by recognising that learning is essential at the outset, it enables it to be included within the design of the project.

Low-carbon development in South Asia: leapfrogging to a green future

The report gives examples of the potential for low-carbon energy in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.