Global Action for Gender and Land Policy Impact
In August 2021, HIC kicked off its ‘Connecting across Human Rights Related to Habitat: Civil Society Action for Gender and Land Policy Impact’ project. The initiative is run by HIC Members, with support from the HIC General Secretariat and Reference Centers (HIC-HLRN, HIC-MENA, and HIC-AL), as well as the University College London-based Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) program. The project, supported by the Catalan Agency for International Development, involves capacity building through ‘co-learning spaces’ on (1) feminist approaches to habitat and (2) land rights, with the purpose of enhancing and delivering HIC’s human rights-based advocacy.
Co-learning spaces are cross-regional, multi-session encounters open to all HIC Members, Friends and allies to generate and multiply emancipatory learning practices that can be applied in the defense of human rights related to habitat.Each co-learning space will be facilitated online, over the course of several weeks in the first quarter of 2022 by HIC Members in Africa, Middle East/North Africa and Latin America.
The Civil Society Action for Impact initiative emerged as a response to priorities shared by HIC Members at the HIC General Assembly in February 2021, with the objective of strengthening the social force of HIC through cross-regional interaction, mobilization, networking, knowledge creation and communication. The first phase of the multi-year project focuses on the two themes: feminist approaches to habitat and land rights. A third practical course builds capacity in multi-level advocacy, which is the core objective of the distinct-but-interlinked co-learning spaces.
Planning of the co-learning spaces is well underway, led by HIC Member facilitators, who will shape each co-learning space based on the interests and priorities of HIC Members, shared through a recent survey completed by members this past summer. Facilitators are also benefitting from capacity-building workshops, organized by the KNOW team, to help guide them in the creation of this spaces. To date, facilitators have attended the initial kick-off meeting to learn about the project and meet for the first time with their co-facilitators, four capacity-building workshops on emancipatory pedagogies and strategies to activate learning for collective action, and each co-learning group (feminist approaches, land rights and advocacy) have convened numerous meetings in preparation for the sessions with participants.
At the core of this unique project is the vast experience and expertise held by HIC Members world-wide, who will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with other participants. Each co-learning space will provide participants with a range of opportunities to discuss and reflect collectively on specific issues pertinent to the work of HIC Members, Friends and allies.
The co-learning spaces will offer interpretation in Arabic, Spanish, French and English, and are open to all HIC Members, Friends and Allies. The first phase of the project will culminate in HIC Members engaging in related advocacy forums in February and March 2022.
Future iterations of HIC civil society action for policy impact initiatives will take up other human rights habitat issues, including climate justice and social production of housing.
Photo: One of the online co-learning space meetings in session. Source: Heather Elaydi.