In this 6-episode podcast series (which publishes every fortnight, September to December), we share methods and approaches to locally-led development and research - developed by Christian Aid, its partners and communities living in the Global South - to improve the lives of local people. Hosted by Suzanne Fisher-Murray.
- Episode #6: Decentralising research in a north-south multi-country partnership
- Episode #5: Methods for locally-led development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
- Episode #4: Side by Side - challenging gender injustice
- Episode #3: Reflexive practice: what exactly is it?
- Episode #2: Faith in the time of corona
Episode #6: Decentralising research in a north-south multi-country partnership
Suzanne Fisher-Murray and Anupama Ranawana speak to Cathy Bollaert, Research and Learning lead at Christian Aid, and Talatu Aliyu, Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning Manager at Christian Aid Nigeria.
The Evidence for Inclusion project aimed to address knowledge inequalities in a research consortium of 9 partners led by Christian Aid and implemented by in-country partner organisations in Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe before it experienced funding cuts in 2021. How did it decentralise the research process? We’ll find out how they built a hybrid team of academics and practitioners, co- designed research together, decentralised the research budget and set up a research ethics panel by speaking to Cathy Bollaert, Research and learning lead, and Talatu Aliyu, from the Christian Aid Nigeria programme.
Want to know more?
- The Evidence for Collaboration page on the Christian Aid website provides an overview of the project.
- The Evidence for Inclusion website includes research reports, blogs and reflections from ECID community reporters.
- Christian Aid’s Research Ethics guide and toolkit help NGO staff, partners and consultants to conduct research and evaluation in an ethical way. It includes toolkits in 4 languages (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). Christian Aid, 2020.
- Rethinking Research Collaborative. Resource materials to support fair and equitable research partnerships produced by Christian Aid and The Open University. September 2018.
Episode #5: Methods for locally-led development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Suzanne speaks to Alicia Malouf, Israel Occupied Palestinian Territory Programme officer, and Mai Jarrar, Director of the Women’s development programme for the East Jerusalem YMCA.
Christian Aid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory introduced the Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment approach, which has helped people at risk of settler violence or other violations that are a consequence of illegal Israeli settlements or blockades.
Staff at the East Jerusalem YMCA Women’s Development Programme were originally trained by Christian Aid staff in this participatory resilience approach, who are now leaders in this field. What is this approach and why has it been adopted so widely? What has been its wider impact?
Christian Aid in IoPt also adopted an adaptive programming approach, which involves learning by trial and error, testing initial approaches and adjusting rapidly as evidence on possible avenues of change is acquired. What have they learned about the adaptive programming approach and how best to work with partners?
Suzanne speaks to Alicia Malouf, Israel Occupied Palestinian Territory Programme officer, and Mai Jarrar, Director of the Women’s development programme for the East Jerusalem YMCA, a world-wide youth charity, to get some answers.
Want to know more?
- Find out about Christian Aid’s work in Christian Aid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territory
- Keeping hope alive: Christian Aid’s work on peace, Impact Study, 2019. The research report profiles Christian Aid’s peacebuilding work in the IOPT and the participatory vulnerability and capacity assessment approach.
- What is helping communities mobilise resources? A learning review, June 2017 (PDF).
- Christian Aid Good Practice Guide: Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (PVCA) October 2009 (PDF).
Episode #4: Side by Side - challenging gender injustice
Suzanne speaks with Dr Nontando Hedebe, International Coordinator for the Side by Side movement, and Temitope Fashola, Christian Aid Nigeria’s country director, to find out more about Side by Side's work.
Side by Side is a coalition advocacy movement which aims to coordinate and mobilise people of faith (and faith actors) in Africa, and around the world, who want to see gender justice become a reality.
Local faith leaders are physically present in communities; they enjoy strong relationships of trust and have huge influence over communities. Side by Side believes that gender justice can be achieved if faith communities and faith leaders work together.
Suzanne speaks with Dr Nontando Hedebe, International Coordinator for Side by Side, (and a lay preacher and lecturer in theology), and Temitope Fashola, Christian Aid Nigeria’s country director, to find out more about the movement. They also discuss how effective such coalition advocacy movements are as a method for achieving wider change.
Want to know more?
- Find out about Christian Aid’s work in Nigeria
- Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders, Christian Aid Nigeria research, May 2018
- Masculinity and Religion in Nigeria: findings from qualitative research, Christian Aid Nigeria, December 2015
- This podcast episode was recorded in early June 2022. The Nigerian gospel singer Osinachi Nwachukwu tragically died on 8 April and, at the time of recording, her husband, a pastor, Peter Nwachukwu had been arrested. Nigerian police said an investigation was underway to determine her cause of death. This Guardian articles discusses how her death puts divorce beliefs in the spotlight.
Episode #3: Reflexive practice: what exactly is it?
What is reflexive practice? What does it mean? We speak to two Christian Aid researchers and programme managers, who led an internal Christian Aid study on race and ethnicity, about what a reflexive process meant for them personally - and about how others might find this approach useful.
Christian Aid's Anupama Ranawana - thematic research specialist, and Ann-Marie Agyeman - poverty and inequality strategic advisor, led an internal Christian Aid study on race and ethnicity. This week they join us to talk about what a reflexive process meant for them personally, and about how others might find this approach useful.
Want to know more?
- Reflexivity online resource, University of Warwick
- Christian Aid’s Research Ethics guide has specific references to reflexivity which can be found on pages 34-35 (section 3.2), Christian Aid, 2020
- Christian Aid appoints race and diversity lead as part of anti-racist strategy, 11 May 2021, Civil society news
- 5 steps Christian Aid is taking to become a truly anti-racist organisation, 2020
- Christian Aid announces steps to address racial injustice, press release, 14 October 2020
- Christian Aid Racial Justice Sunday blog, written by Grace Twum
Episode #2: Faith in the time of corona
When covid-19 began to sweep across the globe in March and April 2020, Christian Aid needed to respond. A central pillar in the immediate humanitarian response was a focus on working with local and national faith actors, including faith-based organisations and faith leaders.
Interviewees: Sneha Krishnan and Andrew Powell from Environment Technology and Community Health (ETCH)
When Covid-19 began to sweep across the globe in March and April 2020, Christian Aid needed to respond. A central pillar in the immediate humanitarian response was a focus on working with local and national faith actors, including faith-based organisations and faith leaders.
In this episode we'll find out more about Christian Aid-funded research, which aimed to understand the role of faith leaders working with communities as agents of change in Cox’s Bazaar Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp.
We'll talk to Sneha Krishnan and Andrew Powell from Environment Technology and Community Health (ETCH), a consultancy firm based in India. They're consultants who carried out research for Christian Aid Bangladesh to understand the role of Faith-Based Leaders in Christian Aid's COVID-19 Response Programme with the Rohingya Refugee and host communities in Cox’s Bazar.
Some of the questions we discuss include:
- how the Rohingya community viewed the faith leaders and their role in the pandemic? did their messages help to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the community?
- what broader lessons can we learn from the research?
Want to know more?
- Keeping the faith: the role of faith leaders in the Ebola response July 2015. The joint report by Christian Aid, CAFOD, tearfund and Islamic Relief was written by Andy Featherstone.
- The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar, Journal of health and human response 2018 Dec; 20(2): 105–122. This article in the Journal of Health and Human Rights provides background information on the human rights violations experienced by the Rohingya.
Episode #1 - Transferring power to local humanitarian responders
It’s more important than ever to transfer power to local responders. We aim to share lessons about adopting a locally-led approach to humanitarian responses by finding out about the Survivor and Community Led Response (SCLR) approach from two experts.
Podcast host: Suzanne Fisher-Murray
- Simone di Vicenz, Head of Humanitarian Programme Policy at Christian Aid
- Darare Gonchesalesa, from Indigenous Resource Management Organisation, Kenya
We talk to Simone de Vicenz, Head of Humanitarian Programme Policy at Christian Aid, who has led much of the SCLR work for Christian Aid and who is part of Local2 global, which champions this work. We also speak with Darare Gonchesalesa from Indigenous Resource Management Organisation, based in Marsabit county, northern Kenya who has practical experience of implementing the SCLR approach.
Partner organisation links
- CFTA Culture and Free Thought Association in Gaza
- European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Want to find out more about this approach?
- Read two Christian Aid reviews of the SCLR approach after the August 2021 earthquake in Haiti: a Christian Aid review which found that people are happier when they are in the ‘driving seat’ of emergency response projects, and a Learning Review which found that the approach was viable, accountable and an effective approach that worked at scale.
- Read Issue 79 on localisation and local humanitarian action in the Humanitarian practice network magazine.
- Find out more about Local to Global, which has developed the survivor and community-led crisis response approach.