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SSCN / RESEARCH  / Gender 002 – Hayhurst, Sundstrom & Arksey 2018

Gender 002 – Hayhurst, Sundstrom & Arksey 2018

What is it about? (Aim/objectives)

Investing in a SfD programme by an International Non-governmental organisation (INGO) through a regional grant-making organisation to a local NGO for young girls to address girls’ rights and gender-based violence (GBV). It is about international-regional-local NGO relations to bring about normative change for girls.

Where is it from? (Context/location)

Central America (INGO) and local implementing NGO is in a rural community in Nicaragua.

Who are involve? (Research participants)

Global northern donor (INGO), regional NGO and local NGO, as well as staff (including volunteers) from the local NGO and 19 young women.

What are the readings and main concepts?

Transnational activism – International agencies or actors want to bring about social transformation by changing local norms (e.g. how people think and act, particularly how men with superior legal rights take violence against women as acceptable).

Norm behaviour change – Bring international understandings and norms to a ‘target population’. Girls are supposed to change their norms and behaviours, and that of their (male) family members and the community at large. This is to happen despite legal and structural barriers (e.g. criminalization of abortion and no recognition of lesbian or bisexual discrimination).

What are the main findings? (Results)

The regional NGO focus on leadership development, promoting and defending women’s rights, monitoring and evaluation support and allocation of grants from international donors to local agencies.

The local NGO offers human rights education through workshops and camps. Offer girls the right to play (participation) in a soccer (fύtbol) programme (regular practices and life skills, and tournaments for girls only). The International donor expect that ‘girls are capable of change’ and seek evidence –

  • Requiring local instructors (volunteers) to capture information regularly on their cell phones (e.g. use Software, a customer relationship management tool to send data and report on expected outcomes and indicators).
  • Reporting success stories (narrative reporting) that would proof their claims and relate to their indicators.
  • A curriculum should be adapted to the local culture (e.g. taboo to discuss use of condoms).
  • Sport is a safe space where girls can learn and discuss their ‘rights’ and gain new insights.
What are the main lessons? (Discussion/Reflections/Learnings)

Local NGOs have a ‘double personality’ to deliver on the donor and on local expectations –

  • Deliver evidence beyond ‘just playing soccer’.
  • Deliver a flexible programme and additional content to adapt to local culture.
  • Use local instructors to translate human rights in the national and local contexts.
  • Deal with time-consuming monitoring and evaluation procedures.
  • Operate within material barriers (e.g. lack of transport).
  • Realise normative change takes time not possible on short-term funding and tick-box reporting.
Is it useful? (Chat room, knowledge sharing)

How can international donors and regional grant agencies form a partnership with local NGOs to:

  1. i) meet the needs of the international donor and ii) use international insights for local girls?

What strategies can international-regional-local partnerships use to change local gender norms that guide behaviour in addressing girls sexual and reproductive rights and GBV at the local level?

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