The Participate initiative is a global network of participatory research organisations.  It works to ensure that marginalised people have a central role in holding decision-makers to account, from local to global levels.

Inclusive governance, which enables meaningful engagement of the most marginalised groups, is central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Building on our previous work, Participate has recently launched a new programme on Building Sustainable Inclusion.  Funded by the British Academy, this latest phase of Participate is exploring how different dimensions of identity (spatial, economic, physical or attitudinal) can intersect to exacerbate poverty and discrimination.

Our partners are working with denotified tribes in India, people living with HIV/Aids in Egypt, landless women in Ghana, people living with extreme violence in South Africa and people with disabilities and HIV/Aids in Uganda. As well generating knowledge on how intersecting inequalities prevent positive change, this research is learning how more accountable relationships can be built between extremely marginalised communities and duty bearers.

Participate aims to:

  • Bring perspectives of those 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

Video: Insights and recommendations from denotifed (DNT) and nomadic tribes

The Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, perpetuated by the Habitual Offenders Act of 1952, has stigmatised 150 million Indian people as born ‘criminal’. In June, Participate partner Praxis ran a Ground Level Panel and communications event as part of their current research. Representatives from eight tribes discussed the discrimination they face in everyday dealings with service providers such as doctors, teachers and police.

Their suggestions to improve SDG implementation were presented to policy makers on the final day, as part of action to raise awareness of their issues and leverage governance responsiveness.

Perception data as a metric of well-being – High Level Political Forum (HLPF) side event (UNICEF)

This HLPF lunchtime side event will take place on Thursday 13 July 2017 at UNICEF House in New York, USA.  Jo Howard (IDS) and Tom Thomas (PRAXIS) will presenting on participatory accountability work undertaken under the auspices of the Participate Initiative.  Other speakers include Mandeep O’Brien (UNICEF), Keila Gramajo Vichez (SEGEPLAN), Grasiano Nyaguse (Government of Zimbabwe) and Dilek Ozler (Unilever).

The event is being hosted by the Government of Guatemala, in partnership with UNICEF, WFP, SDG Action Campaign, Institute of Development Studies and UN Global Pulse.  Download the promotional flyer for the UNICEF-hosted event at the High Level Political Forum.