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@landrights4all's picture
1 year 18 weeks ago

Thanks for your Land Portal March Newsletter. It was there that I learnt a paper ‘Connecting people, sharing knowledge, increasing transparency’ had been finalized.

We were asked to address the question “For the collaborative online platforms you have used, what have been the advantages and drawbacks? What suggestions do you have to improve them?” I think my most recent experience in this very online discussion is illustrative of the need for a new design in online platforms. 
http://landportal.info/sites/default/files/e-discussion_proceedings_fina…

 I hope my further feedback might help advance the cause of empowering people by “Sharing information and fostering dialogue”.

 My comment before the final paper was “Turning conversation into action then depends on ‘leadership’” was not at all meant to uphold leadership, but, as might now be seen by reviewing the context, to decry that dependency, to point out that it is built into existing online platforms like this one, and that it is actually disempowering for all but leaders – not at all good for women or any other oppressed landless people.

 However, in the final paper, my input has become “with reasonable expectations about the degree to which online dialogue can add new insights to a policy process, and a recognition that ‘turning conversation into action depends on leadership’ (LP Dialogue, 2013) it can play a part of government strategies to consult and engage in relation to land governance.” http://landportal.info/sites/default/files/wb_landportal_final_paper.pdf

 It was largely my own failure to communicate my point, but just as I don’t blame anybody else for this outcome, I don’t blame myself either. The platform itself played the most important part in this, and the purpose of this conversation is understanding the nature of an online platform and how they do or don’t work, right?

 So let’s look at the way the online platform worked here – or rather didn’t work.

 As I said, I learned of the finalized paper in the Newsletter, not from any inbuilt notification function on the platform. This points to one programming defect which could be solved with inbuilt auto notifications.

 Half way through the conversation process, apparently on her own good initiative, Sabine gave some early feed back with a synthesis of contributions to date. That gave opportunity for further comment or clarifications – but it was at her initiative.

 Even if a synthesis was part of some internal policy or process, it was not built in to the platform itself. It should be, and that could be addressed by a programming function.

 There was no subsequent synthesis before the final paper was posted. The reason such exclusion of contributors could happen is that the online discussion platform is of a design that doesn’t protect against something so disempowering happening. In fact it actually requires that at some point, some individual has to end the conversation and then present their own interpretation to their own leader, and so on up the chain until all but one are disempowered - the World Bank perhaps which asked for (and gets) submissions from left right and centre. Keeping all participants engaged, including eventually the world bank is a programming issue that could be addressed.

 Now some will say that unless someone takes the lead and decides when to conclude a conversation and to compose a plan, nothing will ever happen – or it will take so long to agree that it will frustrate everybody. But such a response is defensive of the status quo rather than being open to the idea of a platform design that would address the problems that I hope are evident. Moving the conversation along, keeping it on track towards an action or outcome within a timeframe can all be dealt with by programming rather than by the appointment of or submission to a leader.

 The first step towards a better platform is to take on board such clear problems of existing platforms.

 I would like to keep you posted on the progress of my own effort at a better platform for discussion, collaboration and action, but clearly recognising the dynamics is key to understanding the essential online design features.

 Regards

Chris Baulman

@landrights4all

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Anonymous's picture
2 years 1 week ago

Hey Ian,
As the article was published online on the governmental NAFRI page, I assumed it was the official version. Maybe for further reference you can add the link here.
Thanks a lot.

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Ian Baird's picture
2 years 3 weeks ago

Please check the first issue of the Journal of Lao Studies for the published version of this article. The article is open access. The earlier version of this paper should not be cited.

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lmeggiolaro's picture
2 years 10 weeks ago

Hi, thank you for your message. I suggest you to register as a user on the Land Portal and then create a profile for your organization, upload your logo etc.


let me know if I can support in any way


Laura


Land Portal Coordinator

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Anonymous's picture
2 years 10 weeks ago

Brief Organizational Profile
UNITE SOCIAL WELFARE SOCIETY
(Empowering Communities for Development)

CONTACT DETAILS
United Social Welfare Society (USWS)
Khan Pur, District- Rahim Yar Khan- Pakistan
E-mail: usws_74pk@hotmail.com.
Web: www.freewebs.com/uswspakistan
Phone: +92-068-558156
+92- 301-3944662-346-8435861-345-8030114

1. INTRODUCTION

United Social Welfare Society (USWS) is a local NGO established in a small village Chak # 74/A Feroza Tehsil Khan Purr District Rahim Yar Khan (RYK)- Punjab. USWS was established a group of like minded young people to work for development of the village. With the passage of time, members and supporters of USWS considered the need to reorganize its initiatives and efforts in a more integrated and professional manner so that it could support other communities in neglected areas of RYK. The strategic envisioning of its members has worked well and now USWS is working at district RYK level and have increased its outreach to other districts of Punjab. The development interventions initiated by USWS are benefiting large number of marginalized communities.
An autonomous Board of Directors (BOD) governs present USWS. The board members are highly motivated and committed to work for development of poor communities in the region and have taken many initiatives that support community members, especially women to build capacity to work for their own development.
USWS has now established strong roots in the community and has created a culture of participatory development among its target communities. To reduce poverty, injustice and miseries of the marginalized communities in its target areas, USWS is focusing on livelihood, WatSan, Health, Human & Institutional Development, Education, Women Empowerment and Disaster Management.
2. VISION STATEMENT

Society based on the principle of Justice, Peace, Interdependence and Non-Violence.
3. MISSION STATEMENT

Improving the role and capacities of marginalized communities to improve their quality of life with equal participation of all;
4. OBJECTIVES

USWS has following aims and objectives:
• Advocating for change within existing community structures to create a safe and supportive environment development.
• Build/ strengthen the social institutions in support of the marginalized communities.
• To provide clean drinking water and building up sanitation infrastructure in remote areas.
• To provide health care services in mother and child care, women reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.
• To impart skills and knowledge for improvement in human and institutional development through training and consultancy with NGOs, CBOs, and community groups.
• To facilitate women empowerment through interventions for women rights, gender and equal participation with men in leadership and decision-making.
• To contribute in developing quality education through enhancing capacity of existing establishments/setups with conscious efforts for increasing literacy in girls and deserving sections of society.
• To promote Inter-faith harmony and peace.
• To network with like-minded organizations and forums for collective efforts at local, national and international levels.

5. CORE VALUES
• 0ur work is built upon the values of equality and rights of all people. This includes work towards the eradication of all discriminations based on gender, sexuality, religion, age, ability, ethnicity, language, nationality, class or other factors.
• We are committed to work as part of a movement to build our collective voice, power and influence.
• In all our interactions we strive for transparency, responsible use of financial resources, fairness, accountability and integrity.
• We strive for excellence, while being creative, bold and courageous.

6. PROGRAM AREAS

6.1. Livelihoods Program
Majority of the communities in RYK district attribute their problems to lack of livelihood opportunities. The main sources of livelihoods of the communities are agriculture and livestock especially among womenfolk. People lack skills in natural resource management, agriculture and small enterprises. They also lack access to required investment to start and manage small scale enterprises through manipulating natural resources and enterprises at community level and are unable to earn enough living. It has resulted in poverty that affects their capacity to address issues relate to health, education, economic development and human rights discrimination. The 2010 floods further exacerbated the state of natural environment and resources in these areas by damaging irrigation channels, water harvesting and conservation methods at the village level.
6.2. Water and Sanitation (WatSan) Program
Majority of the rural areas in RYK district have no access to clean and safe drinking water. The communities mostly use unprotected dug wells at the household level. The communities complain about poor water quality (in terms of taste) and insufficient quantity of water presently available to them.
Only few families use pour flush latrines with septic tanks in their homes. Due to non-availability of latrine facilities, the male members are compelled to practice open defecation, whereas females and children use existing household premises for open defecation. Personal and environmental hygiene conditions in the areas are found in poor shape. Most of the people have very few means to take care of their personal and environmental hygiene because they use unprotected water for drinking. Communities do not have adequate knowledge about health and hygiene issues and complain about stomach and skin diseases.
6.3. Health Program
Lack of awareness about hygiene and sanitation practices, and preventable diseases in the target areas have resulted in spread of hepatitis A, scabies, diarrhea, malaria, and cholera. Communities are unable to manage these health problems due to lack of knowledge about the causes of these diseases and access to appropriate health services. There is also scarcity of health care professionals, such as TBAs (Traditional Birth Attendants), LHVs (Lady Health Visitors), LHWs (Lady Health Workers), Doctors and nurses in the rural areas to deal with health problems related to women health and maternal and child mortality issues. There is great need to increase focus on programs such as mother and child health (MCH), and to prevent spread of communicable diseases like scabies, diarrhea, malaria, cholera and hepatitis A. Since many males from these areas work in Middle East countries as laborers therefore few cases related to hepatitis B, C and HIV/AIDS have been reported.
6.4. Human and Institutional Development Program
RYK district has quite a number of small CBOs, and NGOs active in the rural areas for last two decades to help poor communities. Due to lack of skills and capacity to manage development projects effectively and professionally, they cannot raise required financial resources for long-term development in this area. As a result, they have not been able to sustain their organizations and projects. There is greater need to build institutional capacity of these small CBOs and NGOs and their staff so that they access resource available under local government development programs and from INGOs.
6.5. Education Program
Access to educational facilities in the rural areas is limited in RYK district. There are very few public and private sector schools in the settled villages and the city center. Moreover, it is difficult for children of many poor communities to access education from these schools because they do not have adequate means of transportation while living in difficult hilly areas. Girls in particular have to discontinue education after primary level education because their parents cannot afford to send their daughter to high schools near urban areas due to security reason. Likewise, lack of public transport in the hilly terrains coupled with excessive expenditure on transport fares forces parents with low economic status to keep their children out of schools.

6.6. Women Empowerment Program
Women contribute a lot in diversified livelihoods activities but they are often not allowed or encouraged to participate in decision-making processes and to manage financial resources. The relegation of females to only being implementers and restricting their initiative taking abilities, not only limit their productivity in the family but in the community as a whole. Violence against women is observed especially in the rural areas. Unless women are provided equal opportunities in education and other development interventions such as health, livelihoods, water and sanitation it is difficult to further the agenda of sustainable development in this area.
6.7. Disaster Management Program
USWS’s community development interventions in RYK district are compromised due to frequent disasters such as floods, heavy rains. Because of these disasters, they loose livelihoods sources, which are based on agriculture, livestock and poultry. Likewise, it also affects infrastructure, irrigation, drinking water and sanitation systems. Despite occurrence of frequent disasters in NWFP including RYK district, communities have no knowledge about disaster preparedness and mitigation. There have been no concrete efforts made to build capacity of communities to manage effects of disasters. The rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations are the only efforts made by public and private sector during and after disaster. The importance of these efforts can never be under-estimated but there is a great need to consider capacity-building needs of the local communities to mitigate impacts of the future disasters to prevent loss of precious human lives, livestock, and family and community assets. These losses can be averted if sound preparedness and efforts for disaster mitigation are taken. USWS believes that disaster management is a cross cutting area and it should be in-built in all development projects undertaken by local the local CBOs and NGOs working in this area.
7.0. MANAGEMENT:
The organization is governed by its board of directors consisting of 7 members, who make the policies and set the goals and targets of the organization. The board has engaged highly devoted and professional staff to carry out the activities undertaken by the organization.
USWS has its written policies and procedures to operate its Administration, Financial and Program departments. The Board of Directors is responsible to ensure that the organization exercises its values in all its planned projects to meet the objectives

8.0. DEPARTMENTS
USWS has two major departments to manage its program and operations.
8.1. Program Department
The projects and programs are implemented through Program Department. The department is responsible for proposal developments, reports, policy & programming, monitoring & evaluation of projects, liaison with donors and line departments, field operations, and capacity building of different projects’ stakeholders. The department works every professionally to manage the quality of services and programs.
8.2. Operations Department
Operations is responsible for financial records, physical control over assets and records; independent checks on financial and non financial activities; proper authorization of transaction and activities; and administrative affairs, human resources management and procurement. The department ensures financial and administrative systems are maintained and internal control systems are in compliance with improvement of established policies and procedures. The department works through its trained and highly professional staff.
9.0. STRATEGY
USWS ensures social inclusion of socially and economically vulnerable communities and groups. USWS believes in participation and activism of children, youth, women, disabled population and minorities to realize their potential and need to develop and help eradicate injustice and poverty. USWS ensures capacity building of the beneficiaries for sustainability of the projects and building up structures and capacities of local communities to cope with the problems caused by injustice, poverty and disasters.
10.0. SUSTAINABILITY
The sustainability question is of prime concern for USWS. USWS has been working on an approach of optimum utilization of local resources. USWS has always focused on building the capacity of these communities to take charge of handling these programs through their own resources. The CBOs formed under USWS’s network are maintaining their own savings and through further strengthening will soon be in a position to operate individual revolving funds of the credit component.
USWS applies following strategies to raise its funds.
 Membership fee
 Sale of printed material
 Community based development funds
 Donors support (Local)
 Donors support (International)

11.0 REGISTRATION
USWS is registered under Volunteer Social Services (Registration and Control) Ordinance of 1961 Societies with the Government of Punjab. The registration number is DO/SW/BM (RYK) 2003/0 of 2003.

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Anonymous's picture
2 years 10 weeks ago

extensive relating to the cultivation of vast areas of land with a minimum of labor or expense. For more information see this
site www.skilch.com

marion
 www.skilch.com

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Anonymous's picture
2 years 11 weeks ago

This habitat progromme is one of the basic necessity in life. United nation should make every effort to let it work in all the Nations under United Nation by so doing making the World a better place for us to live in. I have applied to UNVolunteer to use the opportunity to contribute to this worthy goal. I hope they accept my application.
May God Almighty strenght us to contribute and make it work.
Best regards,
ojo samuel

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Jyoti Baidya's picture
2 years 13 weeks ago

Publication of Community Self Reliance Centre(CSRC)

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sabine_ilc's picture
2 years 17 weeks ago

Of particular concern is that apparently one of the obstacles to reaching a consensus was that some governments want to safeguard “traditional values at the expense of human rights and fundamental freedoms of women. As many of us know “traditional values” are often used as an argument against equal rights for women, and traditional values can severaly discriminate against women.

As the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions clearly states: “‘No one may invoke the provisions of this Convention in order to infringe human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or guaranteed by international law, or to limit the scope thereof (Principle 1)” http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001429/142919e.pdf

Please see the page of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development for a statement by feminist and women’s organisations on the failure of the CSW to come to agreed conclusions:

http://www.apwld.org/uncategorized/say-no-to-safeguarding-traditional-va…

Sign on to Say NO to “traditional values” over women’s rights!

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Luca Miggiano's picture
2 years 24 weeks ago

Feel free to add any further international instrument (global or regional) you consider relevant, and help us in building this page.

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