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Participatory toolkits help rural marginalised communities make their voices heard on climate change

7 January 2021

In many rural communities, climate change affects men, women and young people in different ways, reflecting each group’s different daily responsibilities. Often, women and young people are marginalised from decision making and crowded out by more powerful actors, which means their climate adaptation priorities are often ignored and their vulnerabilities to climate change persist.

A new pair of toolkits has now been co-designed with partners and communities to facilitate inclusive, climate-resilient participatory planning by producer cooperatives or rural communities, to help make these marginalised voices heard.

The Pamoja Voices toolkits, designed and tested in pastoralist communities in Northern Tanzania and among cooperatives in Zanzibar, are easy-to-use guidelines for local actors seeking to enable men, women and young people in their communities to articulate their priorities for building resilience to climate change.

They are aimed specifically at local climate practitioners with relatively limited access to capacity building on gender and climate.

Inclusive planning and production

The toolkits were designed in two editions. The first, ‘Pamoja voices climate-resilience planning toolkit: to support inclusive climate-resilient planning for cooperatives’ is designed for use by, or by those supporting, local producer cooperatives. It was devised with producer cooperatives in Zanzibar to identify how the cooperatives can make their businesses climate resilient and how women and young people can equitably access benefit from the cooperatives activities.

It has resulted in a process where the Zanzibar cooperatives collectively agreed to adopt practical, inclusive climate action plans that address women and young people’s specific needs.

The second, ‘Pamoja voices climate-resilience planning toolkit: to support inclusive climate-resilient planning for rural communities’, is designed for use by, or those supporting, rural communities typically engaging with government or NGOs.

It was used to identify and raise awareness of the climate-resilience priorities of women and young people equally alongside those of men in pastoralist communities in Northern Tanzania, where entrenched power dynamics mean that traditional livelihood roles are still highly gendered.

Both toolkits, which are also available in Swahili, focus on identifying the distinctive climate resilience needs and priorities of young people and of women in communities where their specific climate change vulnerabilities often go unaddressed due to their systemic exclusion from community and government decision-making spaces.

With technical support from IIED, the Pamoja Voices toolkits were developed and tested by Bawakimo (Monduli Women’s Forum)Hakikazi Catalyst (HKC) and the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) in Northern Tanzania, and the Zanzibar Climate Change Alliance (ZACCA) and Pamoja Youth Initiative (PYI) in Zanzibar. They are part of the 'Strengthening the voices of women and young people in shaping local climate action' project.

Read the original story here