Involve communities to lead the future of development
Let's ensure all people can shape the decisions that affect their homes, environment and communities.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
Imagine a new highway is being planned to go through your neighborhood. Even if you are supportive of the new highway, as a resident you may want to share your thoughts about how the new highway may impact your walk to work or school. You may also want to ask if there are plans to limit noise and air pollution. Maybe your neighborhood really needs an improved hospital or school. You may want to share these priorities and explain how important they are to your community.
The problem, however is that around the world many development projects are designed, funded and implemented without the priorities and expertise of communities who may be affected positively or negatively by the project.
Complete information about proposed projects is often not available or accessible. Once the proposed projects are finalized, it may be more difficult for communities to be involved and contribute their experience and expertise.
How do we ensure all people can shape the decisions that affect their homes, environment and communities?
IAP uses the newest technologies to collect and make accessible hundreds of projects being proposed each year. IAP and its partners distribute this information to communities nearest each proposed project - before the projects are finalized. Once contacted, IAP and its partners provide advice and training materials to encourage community-led participation in the development process.
The experience and expertise of communities and local civil society are vital to the success of any development project. Development should be a process that enables all people to uphold and claim their rights, live with dignity and thrive on the land they love.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
IAP collaborates with people and organizations who are deeply connected with and dependent upon land and natural resources for their life, livelihood, belief system, culture and history. While communities may have their own development priorities or may not want any development at all, projects are often designed and implemented without their experience or expertise. Without considering their priorities or involving them at the earliest stages, development projects can cause harm.
Here is the current workflow of our pilot initiative to inform communities about development projects in their area and exchange ideas and expertise on how they can participate in the development process.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
IAP and its partners created the first software to collect and organize proposed development projects and distribute this information to those nearest the proposed project. The software receives 7-10 projects a day - destined for virtually all countries of the world. The team summarizes the proposed project and distributes the information by in-person meetings, email and secure mobile messaging. More than 350 organizations around the world are assisting this project.
Improved access to information and participation is multi-directional: the personal experience and expertise from communities and local civil society should be contribute to information held by governments, businesses and those financing development projects.
That's why IAP and its partners support community-led trainings and community-led research initiatives to reinforce a response to a particular project. This idea is a bridge between the newest technology and the best-tested community engagement approaches.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
IAP believes development should be a process that enables all people to uphold and claim their rights, live with dignity and thrive on the land they love.
IAP staff based are based in 7 countries.
Organization Filing Status
Yes, we are a registered non-profit.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
Gains by local communities and organization around the world have led to significant progress in recognizing the importance of community-led development.
However, until this initiative, communities often found out about development projects only when construction started - months or even years after the projects were designed and funded.
A new effort to move earlier in the decision-making process became necessary.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Development projects may carry strong political and financial interests by local and national positions of power. Especially within a closed or closing space for civil society and communities to exercise their basic rights, attempting to participate in the development process may be limited without the necessary information and materials on how to respond.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
More than 350 organizations around the world have signed up to receive updates about proposed development projects. As the pilot phase continues, this network will increase by at least 150 more organizations. To deepen global leadership and inclusiveness, more than a dozen organization will join to manage and direct the initiative's next steps.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
This initiative provides information communities need about potential development projects near them and materials to reinforce their participation.
Development is global and this is a global project.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)
If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)
In the past pilot year, the total number of reviewed development projects in the database grew from 1,370 in 2017 to over 7,000 so far in 2018. More than 1800 projects were distributed in 2017 and 10 community-led response were directly supported.
The results of a community-led research initiative in Malawi.
With new committed resources, we plan to increase the number of projects distributed and the number of community-led responses supported.
While the focus of the project will remain getting the information and support to communities and local organizations, the database and community training resources will be publicly available in the second half of 2018.