What we do
Gender and protection
CCP’s gender and protection programme provides support to affected men, women, boys and girls. CCP is an active voice among the voiceless, creating awareness against GBV and advocating for child rights and protection.
CCP has been enhancing efforts to strengthen community-level support and referral networks, alongside interventions to improve the provision of specialist VAWG services. Participatory reflection drawing on human rights principles appears to play a crucial role in bringing about collective change. This has been well-documented in relation to wide-scale abandonment of harmful practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriage. An in-depth analysis of interventions that have led to abandonment of FGM shows that programmes are most effective when they support community members to deliberate collectively on concerns and values within the community and link human rights principles to these local concerns and values.
Ending Female Genital Mutilation
For CCP to build rapport with communities, the project sets up a range of community development projects to meet practical needs, such as health centres, women financial inclusion/ empowerment and livelihood projects. Once trust has been established, the project provides space for reflection through ‘community conversations engagement sessions, where whole communities come together to discuss their values and concerns. Human rights concepts are introduced, but are closely relate to the concrete local circumstances and concerns identified through the community conversations. For example, participants move from identifying concrete challenges in their daily lives and communities (such as, ‘some of our friends are victims of domestic violence’) to identifying concrete actions (such as, ‘we need a committee that can protect survivors of violence and intervene when necessary to stop girls from being cut’) to linking this to human rights (such as, ‘everyone has the right to be free from violence’).
CCP trains women/girls to become community conversation facilitators and to motivate their peers to take action. Groups of women, uncut girls and students become active promoters of women’s rights. Nearly all traditional leaders and religious leaders declare the need to abandon FGM once they understand the concept, and dangers of VAW. A number of village associations can also be motivated to draw up a list of sanctions, including expulsion, to be imposed on those who fail to comply. This can be followed by more public declarations at the sub-district and district levels. Involvement of government officials means that they are obliged, but also willing, to take action to enforce these declarations, community conversation members also reported violations.
Lessons learnt by CCP while using this Approach/Model
Key factors identified as contributing to the changes in attitudes and prevalence are:
- Using a rights-based approach, which encourages discussion of concrete local circumstances and concerns, and links these to human rights principles
- Introducing community discussions as part of broader community development
- Developing interventions which address practical needs rather than functioning as stand-alone activities.
- Holding community conversations at the village level and not only the district or sub-district levels. Programmes in other parts which engaged only at higher levels failed to change social norms and behavior because they were not working with existing clan or community structures and securing the backing of traditional and religious leaders, and sub-district and district structures.
- Having a national legislative framework that could be used to mobilize the community and community leaders and hold government service providers to account.
- Ensuring project implementation was led by a local organization trusted by the community.