Ireland Aid 3 (IA3): Realising the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples in East and Central African Programme
The expected results of this IA3 programme were ‘To make IP voices stronger’ and ‘to keep decision makers accountable’. The programme objectives evaluated were ‘Programme effectiveness’ and ‘Recommendations for changes in methods or targets’.
This report encountered confidence from interviewees within and outside IA3 that indigenous land rights issues are gaining ground, even in an unfavourable global environment of closing borders and profit maximisation. The link to environmental stewardship by IPs – expressed in the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) – provides powerful potential for MRG partners to deepen global public understanding and create advocacy links to IPs. Continued support for regional litigation can ultimately provoke concrete national law changes.
The report demonstrates that completion of logframe activities have been effective in strengthening IP voices and gains in community understanding of human rights. Generally, the program should continue long-term its community level ‘discussion under trees’. Effectively trained Paralegals at community level, and community representatives through accountability mechanisms, have raised those voices to partners, MRGA, local political structures and even made some spectacular interventions at the highest national level decision makers and power structures. The research found that paralegals showed good understanding of a paralegal’s role conceptually and in their respective communities. Partners also knew what they wanted from capacity building in their job of making voices stronger; more can be done in planning with them on a strategic approach to the more difficult job of holding decision-makers accountable.
The programme overall was effective and provided Irish Aid with good value-for-money, with multiple activities sharing relatively small sums. It can only be seen as one stage in a long-term and expanded commitment; history teaches that the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples always have to be claimed in an arduous, painstaking manner, requiring long-term, concerted, expanded donor, MRG, partner and community commitment.
You can read the full report here.