IAP’s Global Advocacy Team Finalists for 2015 Equator Prize

by Ryan Schlief

IAP’s Global Advocacy Team: (clockwise) Sek Sokunroth, Cambodia; Jessica Amon, the Philippines, Mohamed Abdl Azim, Egypt; Sukhgerel Dugersuren, Mongolia; Mela Chiponda, Zimbabwe; Jamil Junejo, Pakistan; Moon Na Ly, Myanmar / Burma; Bernardino Morales Tera, Panama.

Out of +1400 nominations, the International Accountability Project (IAP) and its Global Advocacy Team were finalists for the Equator Prize. Sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme and more than a dozen other global partners, the Equator Prize is awarded to 20 outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Each winning initiative receives US$10,000 and participates in a series of special events at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December. IAP congratulates the winners of the 2015 Equator Prize, who were announced recently at the United Nations.

IAP started the Global Advocacy Team Initiative to show that those who have seen first-hand how development changes lives — for better or for worse — are best placed to advise on improvements.

The 8 members of IAP’s Global Advocacy Team represent communities that have experienced or will experience forced evictions as a result of a development project. In order to influence policies at the World Bank and other development finance institutions, each member was trained by IAP to conduct community-led research on development and human rights and turn this research into concrete policy recommendations.

The community-led research in 8 countries involved 800 respondents and led to one of the most extensive community-led reports on development and human rights. Back to Development — A Call For What Development Could Be outlines specific country findings and makes global recommendations to the World Bank and other development finance institutions on how development must include human rights.

The persistent work of IAP’s Global Advocacy Team is changing how development is designed, financed and implemented. With this honor, the Equator Prize also recognizes IAP’s innovative approach for community-led expertise to determine what is development and what it should be.

The Global Advocacy Team report, Back to Development — A Call For What Development Could Be, is available in English, Spanish and Arabic. Copies are available in print and for download. Ryan Schlief is the Executive Director of the International Accountability Project — an international human rights organization supporting community-led policy initiatives and development priorities. Follow IAP for more updates — bit.ly/IAP4FB and @4accountabilty.

International Accountability Project works to defend the rights, land and livelihoods of people threatened by destructive development projects.

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