Browse by Theme: Inclusive Governance

The Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) largest community reconstruction programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is rewarding the four best performing councils in the region of Maniema more than $100,000 of investment to part fund their own development plans. Can this work and how can the potential pitfalls be avoided?

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CARE Malawi developed the Community Score Card (CSC) in 2002 as part of a project aimed at developing innovative and sustainable models to improve health services. Since then, the CSC has become an internationally recognised participatory governance approach for improving the implementation of quality services. This toolkit gives practical, step-by-step guidance on using the CSC approach. The toolkit is generic in nature and can be applied in any sector including health, education, water and sanitation, and agriculture.

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Along with a delegation from CARE International UK, I recently visited colleagues at CARE Peru (or Cah-Rey Peru as its pronounced in Spanish!) to witness how they are reaping real results in tackling the challenges of poverty and inequality in a ‘Middle Income Country’ (MIC).

A MIC is defined by the World Bank as any country with a Gross National Income per capita above $1000. The EU, UK and other donors are busy cutting aid to these countries,  arguing that in times of austerity development aid should be only be spent in Low Income Countries.

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As NGOs gathered in London last week to begin discussing ‘Make Poverty History Mark 2’, an Indian colleague neatly summed up what he felt CARE needs to focus on if we are to make significantly more progress towards poverty eradication.

  1. Address unequal global power structures
  2. Improve governance in developing countries
  3. Secure better market access for poor people

A healthy potential recipe for a post 2015 MDG framework if ever I heard one.

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Boran, Gabra and Garri pastoralists in the border areas of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia have long relied on the management of natural resources to maximise land use and sustain livestock productivity. Managing herd movements plays a key role in rangeland management, with some areas suitable for use during the dry season and some during the wet season.

The rangeland as a whole constitutes a communally owned economic resource that must be shared among the different pastoralist ethnic groups and clans living in the area. They have developed an institutional system of primary and secondary rights of access with procedures and principles for negotiations between different pastoralist groups to regulate the sharing of water and pasture.

This indigenous institutional framework governs the mobility of herders and their livestock, including across the international border, maintains and restores collaboration among clans and ethnic groups and provides a framework for managing disputes and conflict.

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Pastoral areas in the Horn of Africa are frequently seen as a region of poverty and constant crisis, where repeated rain failures leave millions of people dependent on food aid. The long-term erosion of pastoralists’ resilience is ascribed to various causes: a degraded range, the loss of key grazing lands, increasing population pressure and conflict. But pastoralism is also a modern industry, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year from a thriving international trade, creating an increasingly commercialised livestock-owning class coexist-ing with an ever poorer majority.

This presents a dual challenge. How can this vital economic sector be supported, at the same time as sup-porting the majority of pastoralists to remain independent, with resilient livelihoods?

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Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes support extremely poor households with a cash subsidy, on condition that children attend school and health checks. Evaluations have shown CCTs have succeeded in improving children’s school attendance, and nutritional and health indicators. But there is comparatively less evidence on whether CCTs address women’s needs and rights.

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