The Local-to-Local Dialogue Resource Manual: A Guide for Grassroots Women-Led Engagement with Local Government and Decision Makers. Edited by Sarah Silliman. Contributors: Susanna George, Esther Mwaura Muiru, Everlyne Nairese and Sarah Silliman. 2011.
After three years in the making, the Huairou Commission is proud to present an essential guide for grassroots women-led engagement with local government and decision makers.
The Local-to-Local Dialogue Resource Manual combines collective knowledge, evolved from nearly a decade of experiences around the world, into a series of practical tools and locally adaptable strategies for initiating and engaging in Local-to-Local (L2L) Dialogues. The manual will guide grassroots women's groups in negotiating a wide spectrum of development issues that affect grassroots women and their communities.
You can download a free pdf of the manual or order a print copy for $15 by contacting email@example.com.
What is Local-to-Local Dialogue?
Through the L2L Dialogue process, women collectively identify priorities, develop action plans and carry out programs to enhance community participation. According to Ann Wanjiru from the Mathare Mother Center, a member of GROOTS Kenya:
"The Local-to-Local Dialogue is a long process [that] begins with the communities having a lot of problems continuously. Then they identify who has the solution for their problems. To mobilize the communities we come together, we sit down, and then agree- we identify the issues. Then...we identify...which relevant authority we can invite to help us get a solution...and who is the key person to call for the dialogue."
What makes L2L Dialogues successful?
The Local-to-Local Dialogue is a uniquely powerful tool for building grassroots capacity because it is initiated, developed and led by grassroots women and community members. The success of this approach is the result of sustained engagement between communities and decision makers.
For nearly a decade, with the support and coordinated efforts of the Huairou Commission and UN-HABITAT, Huairou Commission member organizations such as GROOTS Kenya and Czech Mother Centers have initiated and engaged in L2L Dialogues in their own countries, as well as developed training resources to share the Local-to Local methodology.
As stated in the manual: "When we document our own realities, build consensus, and form alliances, we build a power base to access resources and create solutions that we own and manage. Our engagement as grassroots women in local decision-making results in governance in which the state, civil society, and grassroots people work in partnership."
Who can use the manual?
The L2L Dialogue Resource Manual is designed for grassroots women's groups and community-based organizations, along with the local authorities and institutions that work with them.
Beginners to community organizing will learn about identifying and exploring community needs and issues, developing leadership and engaging other members of the community. Seasoned organizers will find resources for specific challenges and problems and strategies for difficult negotiations.