VOICE FOR CHANGE

What emerged out of a growing interest among global civil society and state actors on how to decide what should replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, evolved into a space for direct talk where communities could make themselves heard in the policy-making space.

In 2013, the United Nations announced a 27-member High-level Panel to advise on the post-2015 global development framework. At the same time, organisations across the world reached out to poor and marginalised people to make their voices heard before the policies determining their fate are framed.

To contribute to this process, Praxis facilitated participatory processes with people across the country to know what their vision for the future was. As part of the Participate initiative with the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, Praxis organised a Ground-Level Panel where people who face poverty and exclusion came together over five days to deliberate on the post-2015 framework. In the years that followed, similar platforms were created for vulnerable groups to come together to express themselves on the global goals and how they impacted lives and how they could be influenced. 

Through similar Ground-Level Panels, participatory videos, digital stories and action research, Praxis integrated the Voice For Change initiative.

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL PROCESSES

The Ground-Level Panel brings together people facing different kinds of vulnerabities and marginalisation to take part in a deliberative dialogue process, during which the participants discuss a significant policy initiative that impacts their lives. The aim of the Ground-Level Panel process is to provide a counterpoint to the dominance of 'professional, political and academic voices in the global policy-making processes'.
 
The Facilitator's Handbook aims to guide facilitators in organising similar ground-level panels. It focuses on the day-to-day process that was followed during the first Ground-Level Panel hosted by Praxis anddraws from the findings that emerged from the deliberations to offer broad suggestons and tips for facilitators. The handbook can be viewed here.

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK

 

In July 2013, Praxis hosted the Ground-Level Panel - a group of 14 people facing poverty and exclusion who came together to deliberate on the United Nations High-Level Panel Report and make recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda. Their recommendations are available in the Ground-Level Panel report.

 

The Ground Level Panel concurred that all human beings should have access to the basic needs basket comprising food, shelter, education, health and livelihood. To ensure that these needs did not get sidelined in local politics and development debates and discussions going on around the world, the 14 panelists came up with goals. The set of 15 goals which are process-oriented, rather than objectives to be achieved, can be viewed here.

 

To view some of the debates and discussions on the Ground Level Panel's work and the broader post-MDG development debate, do visit our blog on Post 2015 voices

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON AGRICULTURE AND CLIMATE CHANGE

 

In May 2015, Praxis brought together a panel of 13 farmers and agricultrual workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to review the State Action Plans on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals from their perspective. Please view the action plan of the Ground Level Panel on Agriculture and Climate Change (in Hindi). To view the state reports for Bihar (in Hindi), Uttar Pradesh (in Hindi)and Uttarakhand (in Hindi), please click on the respective state.

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Praxis organised a Ground Levl Panel in September 2015, on the United Nations' to-be-announced Sustainable Development Goals. This Panel consisted of people from marginalised backgrounds- disabled, urban poor, women, farmers, sexual minorities among others who were best able to enumerate the ways in which the UN goals, with the slogan of Leave No One Behind could leave people behind in the development process. The Panel also gave their recommendations on how participation and social equity could help governments achieve this goal of development for all. Read full report here.

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON THE DRAFT NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2016

Praxis, with support from organisations working with children and child rights, brought together children from marginased backgrounds such as nomadic and denotified tribes, rag picker communities, homeless families, tribals among others to make recommendations to the draft National Education Policy 2016 shared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Read full report here.

 

 GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON CHILD LABOUR

Praxis supported Vaagdhara to bring together children from tribal communities in southern Rajasthan to share their experiences of working in different sectors and the hardships they faced. The experience guided them to analyse issues around child labour and strategise to make their communities child-labour free. Read full report here.

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL ON THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION

In March 2017, Praxis, along with Community-Led Organisations, brought together children from marginased backgrounds and drop outs to talk about the relationshipn between children and the education system. Read English or Hindi report here. 

 

GROUND-LEVEL PANEL OF NOMADIC AND DENOTIFIED TRIBES WITH RESPECT TO SDGS

In June 2017, Praxis and the National Alliance Group for Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNT NAG) brough together people from communities that had been stigmatised by an archaic law that had branded their predecessors as criminals and by government policies that declared their livelihoods were illegal. These communities, who have faced discrimination through their lives, shared their experiences vis-a-vis the Sustainable Development Goals and came up with suggestions for the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes. Read full report here.

 

'BY THE PEOPLE' - COMMUNITY-LED ADVOCACY ON POLICY ISSUES

The project, 'By the People' funded by the European Union, aims to build leadership capacity among the marginalised section of society in the six states of India - Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Praxis, in partnership with Oxfam India and Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI), supports community-led organisations of Dalits, Tribals and Muslims to advocate for a fair and Inclusive society. Praxis supports the facilitation of Ground-Level Panels of these communities across specific themes, which are outlined in the table below:


Bihar Jharkhand Chhattisgarh Uttar Pradesh Odisha Delhi
Forest Rights  Y Y     Y  
Right to food and nutrition Y Y     Y  
Health Y Y   Y   Y
Education Y   Y Y Y Y

 

 

PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH

 

Praxis facilitated participatory research with several marginalised groups. Their views were consolidated into the Voice For Change series.

1. Voice for Change: Collective Action for Safe Spaces by Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities (read in Tamil) A narrative of issues faced by sex workers and sexual minorities mainly in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra

2. Voice for Change: City-Makers Seeking to Reclaim Cities They Build A narrative of issues faced by city-makers in Chennai and Delhi. The book looks at problems of slum dwellers, people living in streets and in relocation sites in Chennai and of the homeless living in shelters and in slums in Delhi. 

3. Voice for Change: Sewerage Workers Negotiating Caste, Dignity and State Apathy (read in Hindi) A narrative of issues faced by sewerage workers in Delhi, focusing on the plight of contract workers and the impact of the work and living conditions on health, livelihood and well-being. The full report, Down the Drain! A Study on Occupational and Health Hazards and the Perils of Contracting Faced by Sewerage Workers in Delhi, is also available online.

4. Voice for Change: Urban Poor Children Redefining Safe Spaces A narrative of issues faced by urban poor children living in Delhi. The book looks at problems of homeless children and those living in urban slums and talks about their experiences with regard to safe spaces and their access to the same. 

 

PARTICIPATORY VIDEOS AND DIGITAL STORIES

 

Praxis facilitated participatory video processes with the urban poor, sanitation workers and sexual minorities and digital story-telling sessions with homeless children and children hailing from tribal areas of eastern India.

 

Participatory Videos

1. Beyond 2015: Voices for Empowerment – a participatory video made by sexual minorities in Tamil Nadu and facilitated by Praxis 

2. Chennai – of the Magnified and the Mangled – participatory video made by citymakers in Chennai and facilitated by Praxis

3. Saare Jahan Se Achha – participatory videos made by citymakers in Delhi and facilitated by Praxis  

4. Satya Ye Kadve Hai (Bitter Truths) – A participatory video made by children living in urban slums in Delhi and facilitated by Praxis

5. Down the Drain (Gutter Me Zindagi) – a participatory video made by sewerage workers in Delhi and facilitated by Praxis 

 

Digital Stories

Hosting a Ground-level Panel: A Facilitators' Handbook

 

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For information related to Research and Capacity Building
write to: research@praxisindia.org


For information or collaboration related to Communication 
write to: communications@praxisindia.org