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No more harmful traditional practices: working with faith leaders

In 2017 a consortium of members of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) undertook a study funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), entitled ‘Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices'. The United Nations has defined harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as follows: Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them. Faith leaders are men and women recognised by their faith community, both formally or informally, as playing authoritative and influential leadership roles within faith institutions to guide, inspire or lead others (of faith). This may be within a formal religious hierarchy of accountability, but also includes informal movements. This report serves as a synthesis of the study findings.

Research summary: better forecasting delivers impact

Since 2007, Rice Watch Action Network has been helping small-scale farmers adapt to a changing environment through the Climate Resiliency Field School. This is a summary of the impact assessment on developing climate services in the Philippines.

Power analysis: A learning review

This learning review explores how power analysis is integrated in Christian Aid resilience programmes funded by CHASE and General PPAs 2011-2016.

Picture Power: ECRP Malawi

Developed by Christian Aid, Picture Power uses participatory photography to provide communities with the skills and equipment to conduct their own project evaluation, most recently on our ECRP programme in Malawi. ECRP Picture Power project

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.