Speaking Out: Case Studies on how Poor People Influence Decision-making

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Nikki van der Gaag, Jo Rowlands
Practical Action Publishing, 2009 - Political Science - 136 pages
Many poor people around the world are denied the opportunity to have their say. Politics generally works well for those in power, but those in poverty are often excluded from forums that directly affect their welfare and so are unable to hold decision-makers to account. Speaking Out describes different ways to strengthen the participation of people in poverty so that they become active citizens and shape policy decisions. The book includes different approaches, lessons learned, and useful case study examples on issues ranging from local community budget monitoring to popular mobilization and media work. The chapters show that addressing a lack of ability to speak out against injustice, as well as the more tangible issues, can make a big difference to people’s ability to achieve greater well-being and to get out of poverty, and so work towards a point where poor and marginalized women and men are more able to access their rights. This book will be of interest to all concerned with issues of citizen participation and equality worldwide, particularly trainers and practitioners in community development work.

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About the author (2009)

Nikki van der Gaag is a freelance writer specializing in rights, gender and development issues.

Jo Rowlands is a Gender Policy Adviser for Oxfam GB.

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