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The Access of Selp-Help Networks to the International Arena

International Meeting of Rambouillet (France) - March 23—25, 2009

In March 2009, the Ford Foundation and the Institute for Research and Debate on Governance (IRG) invited members from eleven different self-help networks and community-based/grassroots organizations, to participate in a joint seminar.

Its aim was to come to a better understanding of how groups of this kind structure themselves and how they engage in global advocacy. The seminar was also meant to strengthen the groups themselves, through the sharing of experienced practices, successes and failures.

The participants:

  • Streetnet: is a global federation of organizations from the informal sector.
  • International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), is a global network of inhabitants associations and urban social movements.
  • Shack/Slum dwellers international (SDI): it was created after South-African organizations of slum dwellers.
  • International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW): is a UK-based international network.
  • Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases (WORLD) started off with a newsletter.
  • The Network of People living With HIV/Aids in Nigeria (NEPWHAN): is the umbrella to 500 Nigerian support groups.
  • Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood (GROOTS): has twenty-three members in eighteen different countries
  • Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML): there is no formal membership, but “networkers” and “active networkers”
  • The Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) was created in 1982. Based in California, it aims at defending “the underprivileged and the hardworking people
  • The Katosi Women Development Trust: is a network of eleven Ugandan support ngroups.
  • The World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishermen (WFF): aims at upholding human rights and social justice for fishermen and their families.
  • The International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People of the Tropical Forests: It is the umbrella to national or regional organizations from Asia/Pacific, America and Africa.

Institute of Research and Debate on Governance