Monthly Archives: February 2014

Presentation at UN on Narratives from the Margins

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Praxis CEO Tom Thomas addressing the audience

On February 21, Praxis and Vaagdhara organised Voice for Change: Narratives from The Margins – a presentation of the voices of marginalized children, women and poor from excluded sections including dallies, tribals and minorities at the United Nations. The session was part of the Fifty Second Session of the Commission for Social Development and located the aspirations, challenges and barriers of the marginalized communities in the context of the post-2015 debates.

These voices state that despite having goals, plans and rights enshrined in the constitution, communities are still deprived of basic and essential rights of education, health, food, safety, shelter and livelihood. The goals should not be sectoral but should focus upon addressing barriers such as discrimination, stigmatization, corruption and lack of community participation in governance.

Anita Nayar, Chief of UN NGO Liaison Service, who attended the session picked up points from the Ground-Level Panel report such as Trade Justice and Tax Justice and reiterated that these should not get lost in the din created by the ‘international development industry’. She also stressed on the need for ‘political partnerships’ between government and NGOs.

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Space for marginalised in decision-making

In early February, Praxis made a presentation to Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, who is also the CEO/Founder of the Center for Development Policy Solutions and Adjunct Professor of Master’s Programme for Development Practice at Columbia University, New York.

 

Praxis stressed the point that the slogan for Post-MDG work, ‘No one be left behind’ should not mean only that everyone should benefit from any future development policies, but should ensure that “everyone has a say on all decisions that directly or indirectly concern them”. There should be an institutionalised space for community participation in decision-making, policy execution and monitoring. It is also to be understood that when we say community participation, Praxis means participation of marginalised communities, through systems and practices such as social equity audits and community-led monitoring of programmes and projects.

 

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