Does Grassroots Activism Work? Two new collections of case studies

December 4, 2008

     By Duncan Green     

NGOs talk a lot about empowerment, voice, agency, grassroots mobilisation etc but it sometimes sounds a little woolly and you can’t help wondering if it actually amounts to much more than talk. Still those doubts. Two new collections of case studies, from the Institute of Development Studies and Oxfam, provide a gold mine of real life examples.

Building Responsive States: Citizen Action and National Policy Change, a new publication from the Institute for Development Studies pulls together eight case studies of long term change brought about by citizen action, including several I used for the book. They include winning women’s rights in Morocco and Turkey, land reform in the Philippines, urban reform in Brazil, South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign and reducing maternal mortality in Mexico. Each case study has a summary and a full paper.

Oxfam’s new ‘Programme Insights’ series, called ‘Speaking Out’, pulls together case studies on everything from grassroots anti-corruption campaigns to community participation in local budget setting in Georgia, women and labour rights in Honduras, fostering local accountability in Malawi and even how poor people in the UK are organizing to influence government policy. Plus further studies from Guatemala, Peru, India and Indonesia, and one global initiative – the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).

Go on, have a browse…..

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December 4, 2008
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Duncan Green
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