Uniting for community-led development

Participants of the Global Advocacy Team Expert Meetings

“The exchange of learning and experience among communities can create a common understanding of what development is and what it means for communities to share a common dream.” — Participant

In the 5 regional Expert Meetings, participants joined a virtual bonfire circle to share stories and inspiring moments. As new friends we exchanged a wide range of tools and tactical experiences — including on community-led research, land rights, the right to information, community protocols by Indigenous Peoples, community mapping, community mobilization, community consultations in education, using culturally-informed approaches, accessing local grievance mechanisms, accessing seed funding for community plans and how to link local campaigns to global advocacy.

“We must devote enough time to take into account inequalities and to explore what special measures we have to implement to ensure inclusive and representation.”

Suhayla Bazbaz Kuri, Cohesión Comunitaria e Innovación Social A.C., Mexico

After these deep conversations in regional languages, the participants reconvened for the second global meeting to consolidate cross-regional learning and to discuss how wider groups can engage with the Global Advocacy Team going forward.

  • Collective unity and mobilization of the community
  • Participation of different groups within the community especially where there is women and youth leadership
  • Understanding and implementation of their rights (including Free Prior and Informed Consent)
  • Understanding of structural violence that shapes histories and societies, like colonization
  • A community that uses its own resources to collect evidence (community developing their own media)
  • When a community’s resilience speaks truth to power and uses different strategies and negotiations to sustain their visions of development
  • Knowledge and planning of the community is at the center of development planning (land use plans, planning for housing, drafting their own policies)
  • When communities have access to information that allows them to organize and participate
  • When communities have support of networks and civil society

“It is inspirational to see when the process of community-led development breaks the culture of silence of people in the community who believe it must be their destiny to be poor and marginalized. This is when they begin to understand and claim their rights to establish their own space within development.” — Participant

Video: An Introduction to the Global Advocacy Team



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IAP is a human and environmental rights organization that works with communities, civil society and social movements to change how today’s development is done.