Launched in 2012, the Participate initiative undertook participatory research to gather high quality evidence on the reality of poverty and marginalisation at ground level. Comprising a network of 18 participatory research organisations working with poor and marginalised groups in 29 countries, it aimed to bring the perspectives of those left behind into the post-2015 debate. Its work aimed to influence decision-makers in the run up to 2015 and thereby affect the shape of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With the official launch of the SDGs in September 2015, a call has been raised for the need for a participatory monitoring and accountability approach to their implementation. This is the current focus of Participate. Maintaining the ‘leave no one behind’ approach to the post-2015 development agenda, Participate launched the Participatory Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) programme in November 2015.
Building on its global participatory research network, and track record in demonstrating the value of participatory action research, the PMA programme is working with groups of people living in poverty and marginalisation to strengthen processes of citizen-led accountability for the implementation of the SDGs. The first stage of the programme is a collaboration with three African partner organisations: Radio Ada member of GCRN (Ghana), CDS (Egypt) and SLF (South Africa) is now underway.
Background to the programme
The initiative was established to provide high quality evidence on the reality of poverty at ground level, bringing the perspectives of the poorest into the global debate on what should follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Participate’s overarching aims are to:
- Bring the perspectives of those living in poverty into decision-making processes
- Embed participatory research in global policy-making
- Use research with the poorest as the basis for advocacy with decision-makers
- Ensure that marginalised people have a central role in holding decision-makers to account throughout the life of the SDGs
- Generate knowledge, understanding and relationships for the global public good
Participate is a network of 18 participatory research organisations coordinated by an internal steering group of self-nominated members. Initially it was co-convened by Institute of Development Studies and Beyond 2015 but the initiative was only possible because of the energy, expertise and vision of numerous organisations in the Participatory Research Group (PRG); as well as each and every one of the research participants.
Participate’s first phase was funded by the UK Government, and through a Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The current phase is implemented in partnership with UNICEF and UNDP. For more information please contact one of the core team members.