Why you do not want to miss this
In this workshop, we will discuss the latest findings of a research project conducted at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam based on observations, interviews and the development of ‘science comics’ in Kenya and Ghana. A toolkit for advocacy organisations will be presented, and civil society representatives from Ghana, Kenya and the Netherlands will share their reflections. All interested organisations are then invited to discuss how the findings relate to their own experiences, and how the toolkit might assist them in assessing their legitimacy towards communities in the field.
Toolkit presentation: Maaike Matelski, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Facilitation: Barbara van Paassen, independent consultant
Reflections from representatives of advocacy organisations:
- ActionAid Kenya
- Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (Kenya)
- Oxfam Ghana
- Wacam (Ghana-based human rights and environmental mining advocacy organisation)
- ActionAid Netherlands
Context of the research and toolkit
This project builds on previous research into the theory of change of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ former policy framework Dialogue and Dissent. Under the programme New roles of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for inclusive development a research team conducted a study with land rights advocacy organisations in Kenya. They found that sources of CSO legitimacy are context, time and actor-specific and that CSOs therefore have to balance the competing demands of community members, governments and donor representatives. The current project further explores community-based legitimacy for CSOs, especially in relation to rural, remote and otherwise marginalised groups. It focuses specifically on the role of local intermediaries who operate as spokespersons for their communities towards CSOs and other partners. Based on follow-up research in Kenya and in Ghana, a toolkit has been developed that addresses their experiences and positioning in advocacy campaigns. The toolkit also covers broader academic and field-based discussions on the legitimacy of advocacy CSOs in relation to local communities and will be available for free downloading.