This project is experimenting with new ideas and approaches in using the existing pro-poor laws to achieve gender justice and poverty reduction for dalit and tribal women in remote rural areas. The project has emphasised on the legal empowerment of SC/ST women, and specifically enabling them to take legal remedies for accessing justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services, and, through this approach, establish fundamental change for themselves and for their communities. It is being implemented on the principles of inclusion and non-discrimination. The project has created ample opportunities and scope for direct involvement and ownership of primary and other stakeholders on issues and project actions. The duration of the project is 3 years from July 2015 to June 2018 and has been supported by Big Lottery Funds and Integrated Village Development (IVD) Trust - UK
The aim of the project is the legal empowerment of SC/ST women, enabling them to protect their rights, and access justice, poverty reduction programmes and basic services, increasing their control over their lives.
Expected Project Outcomes:
- Improved access to free, fair and faster legal and justice services for SC/ST women, enabling them to protect their human rights and claim their entitlements without corruption.
- Increased ability of SC/ST women to participate in the justice and decision-making processes of their communities, leading to more women-friendly and pro-poor decisions.
- Improvement of service delivery by using the law and legal means to hold duty-bearers to account, leading to better access to poverty reduction programmes and improved services, increased income and reduction in distress migration.
100 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe dominated villages and hamlets in Boden, Khariar and Sinapali Block of Nuapada District in Odisha, India
The project is working with 9250 scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women covering around 31000 family members in 100 villages & hamlets. 100 Dalit and Adivasi Women’s Forums (DAWFs) have been established to provide a safe framework within which these disadvantaged women are building their skills and confidence to take action in the public arena. Working with 180 Community Justice Mentors (120f, 60m), 180 Barefoot Lawyers (120f, 60m) drawn from the beneficiaries, the project team has been involving the women in participatory mapping of injustice and rights denial, development of legal literacy and action, and improvements to the justice delivery system, especially the use of the Right to Information, Odisha Right to Public Service Act, Gram Nyayalayas Act and other pro-poor, pro-women and pro-SC/ST Policies, Acts, Schemes and Programs. The project team is also providing guidance and support to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe women to claim and access their rights and entitlements. The project team is working closely with other CSOs, justice providers, program Implementers, service providers, and elected representatives and engage and capacitate them for facilitating the SC/ST women empowerment process for promotion of their human rights and inclusive development.
Major Activities under Barefoot Lawyers Project :
Capacity Building of Project Team
- Mapping gaps of dalit & adivasi women legal empowerment
- Exposure visits for Staffs, Dalit and Adivasi Women Forums Leaders, Barefoot Lawyers & Community Justice Mentors
- Evolving Joint Monitoring System
- Project Management and Monitoring Team members training
- Training for Community Justice Mentors (CJMs) on basic justice system, poverty reduction programs and services for poor SC/ST women and engage them for transferring the knowledge
- Training for Barefoot Lawyers (BLs) as justice advocates & support to dalit and adivasi women to access justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services
- Training for Dalit and Adivasi women leaders and engage them as peer educators on justice system, poverty reduction programs & basic services with experts & CJMs
- Training for Dalit and Adivasi women leaders on organization, campaigning and action in using legal/administrative remedies with experts & BLs for accessing justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services
- Training for Dalit & Adivasi Women, CSOs & Activists on use of RTI and other laws for claiming and accessing rights and entitlements
- Orientation for Dalit & Adivasi women, community leaders, CSOs, Youths & Students on community budget analysis, advocacy & tracking with support of Experts from CYSD – BBSR
- IEC Materials on Legal Provisions, Free Legal Aid & Gram Nyayalaya Act, Food Security Act etc
- Community Radio Episodes and Cultural events for awareness on relevant laws and their use
- Website, Project Learning Sharing Workshop, Dissemination of project learning
- Beneficiaries Baselines / Profiles preparation and update
- Formation and Strengthening of Dalit and Adivasi Women Forums
- CSOs & other stakeholders capacity building for supporting the SC/ST women for use of relevant laws to access justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services
- Organizing Legal Aid Camps and Poverty reduction & basic service support camps
- Organizing Dalit & Adivasi Women's Justice Mela
- Community budget tracking in 5 villages
- District and State Level Workshop on Grama Nyayalayas Act-2008
- Workshop on ORPSA
- Media interaction with Dalit and Adivasi Women Leaders to supports their issues
Annual Activities Progress Report for the Period from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016
- Capacity Building Training organized for 22 staffs and volunteers of Chale Chalo including project team on issues of dalit and tribal women, various components in project plan and project cycle management, accountability, transparency, value for money, participatory management, monitoring, impact assessment and knowledge transfer since the team play a pivotal role in project delivery
- Mapping problems, obstacles and gaps in legal empowerment of dalit and adivasi women and their access to justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services in sample 20% project villages (18 villages) done for improving the understanding and knowledge base of stakeholders about the ground situation. This has enabled the development of strategic plans and initiate appropriate actions for addressing the issues.
- 12 staffs, 6 DAWF Leaders, 7 BLs & 7 CJMs' exposure visits to judicial bodies, RTI, Women and Human Rights Commissions, Advisor to Supreme Court on Food Security, RTI & Gender Experts, 8 NGOs & 2 Networks in Nuapada, Kalahandi, Raygada, Cuttack and Khurda Districts for improving the knowledge, skills and confidence of the staffs, dalit and adivasi women forums leaders, barefoot lawyers and community justice mentors for addressing their issues and improving their access to justice system, poverty reduction programs and basic services by dalit and tribal women.
- Workshop for evolving Joint Monitoring System was organized by involving 50 stakeholders representatives for improved transparency, accountability and effectiveness within project and better involvement and ownership among stakeholders have been organized and follow up actions taken as per project plan.
- 9 Project Management & Monitoring Team (PMMT) members have been trained regularly on monitoring tools, various aspects of process monitoring, project performance monitoring, activities - output - outcome monitoring, capturing the gaps, off tracks and changes
- 65 Community Justice Mentors trained on basic justice system, poverty reduction programs, services for poor SC/ST women and engaged in transferring the knowledge. Community Justice Mentors (CJMs) are acting as grassroots legal provision educators on justice system, poverty reduction and basic services. They have been trained, educated, informed and updated about basic justice system and provisions, poverty reduction programs and services for poor SC/ST women, and continuously engaged in transferring this knowledge and information to SC/ST women.
- 66 Barefoot Lawyers have been trained as justice advocates & providing practical support to marginalized dalit and adivasi women to access justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services for improving their social and economical status and standard of living in project area
- 188 Dalit and Adivasi women leaders trained and engaged as peer educators on justice system, poverty reduction programs & basic services with the supports of experts & CJMs
- 193 Dalit and Adivasi women leaders trained on organisation, campaigning and action in using legal/administrative remedies with handholding supports of experts & BLs
- 50 Dalit & Adivasi women, CSOs & activists trained in RTI and other existing laws for claiming legal justice, poverty reduction programs and basic services. This has been contributing to empower the dalit and adivasi women to use existing legal frameworks/provisions for claiming and accessing their rights/entitlements
- 75 Dalit & Adivasi women, community leaders, CSOs, youths & students oriented on community budget analysis, advocacy & tracking by 3 experts from CYSD – BBSR. This has been enabling dalit and adivasi women, community leaders and CSOs to experiment this in 5 villages each year in order to make the system transparent and accountable and effective, and improve access to government programs and services by the poor without much hindrances.
- IEC materials on legal provisions, free legal aid & Gram Nyayalaya Act, Food Security Act, Pensions Schemes, MGNREGS, RTI, RTE, ICDS Services, Health and Sanitation services etc have been prepared and distributed among beneficiaries and other stakeholders
- 24 Community Radio episodes have been produced, broadcasted and narrowcast and used as another effective community medium for highlighting justice, inclusion, poverty reduction and basic services issues.
- 30 cultural events organized for mass awareness on justice, inclusion, poverty reduction and basic services issues of dalit and adivasi women with the aim of mobilisation of cross sections of people for supporting the inclusive development and project actions for wider benefits of the region and specific benefits of the poor SC and ST communities.
- The major learning and findings of the project have been shared with different stakeholders and outsiders in an annual workshop held on 26th June 2016 at CYSD – Bhubaneswar. Besides, regular dissemination of information about project and its learning among the beneficiaries and other stakeholders and holding of series of sharing meetings at village and cluster levels during the year have been done by project team. The lessons learned are being incorporated in next year's project planning. Participants have been encouraged to replicate good lessons of the project.
- 9358 beneficiary profiles in a simple one page format have been prepared for monitoring and tracking project performance at individual and family level - inputs provided, benefits, access to justice; programs and services ensured, progress made and changes achieved among targeted dalit and tribal women
- 100 Dalit and Adivasi Women Forums (DAWFs) have been formed and they are leading and sustaining the project actions. Formation and strengthening DAWFs included orientation meetings, forum management, planning, action on issues, review and monitoring, record keeping and federation building etc
- Capacity building training provided for 53 CSOs’ representatives and other stakeholders on issues of dalit and tribal women and different components of project. Their roles are important in facilitating participatory implementation and management of project works
- 9 Legal Aid Camps organized for mainstreaming the process for providing direct justice services to the needy among the dalit and tribal women at GP level with involvement of legal service providers
- 9 Poverty reduction and basic service support camps have been organised with involvement of concerned government officials and PRIs for guiding, counselling and supporting dalit and tribal women at doorstep in accessing poverty reduction programs and basic services
- 202 Dalit/Adivasi Women and other stakeholders had participated in Justice Mela organized at Khariar on 1st May 2016 with observation of May Day. This has created mass awareness and mobilised support from all sections of people on justice, inclusion, poverty reduction and the basic services issues of dalit and tribal women, and enabling targeted women to come forward to take lead role for accessing justice, poverty reduction programs and services.
- Community budget track in 5 villages for improved transparency and accountability in delivery of poverty reduction programs and basic services to poor dalit and tribal women
- 60 persons participated in District and 81 persons participated in State Level Workshop on Gram Nayalayas Act 2008 which guarantees free, fair and faster justice to the poor at their doorstep in rural areas. Advocacy for its implementation has been vital for the interest of dalit and tribal women and for sustaining project impacts.
- 90 persons participated in the Workshop on Odisha Right to Public Service Act and follow-up actions have been essential for making duty bearers more accountable, transparent and responsive for ensuring improved access of the poor dalit and tribal women to poverty reduction programs and basic services in remote rural areas
- 30 Dalit/Adivasi Women Leaders interacted with media and raised their issues related to access to justice system, poverty reduction programs and basic services
- Monthly/Quarterly Project Review, Planning, process documentation etc have been done regularly
- Annual Outputs to Outcomes Reviews done by 270 stakeholders at village 28 at cluster 50 stakeholders at project level
- 1 Project Leader, 3 Cluster Coordinators, 9 Project Facilitators, 1 Project Assistant, 1 Senior Manager (Part Time), 1 Legal Advisor (Part Time), 1 Social Researcher (One Time for 3 to 4 months) and 2 Data Gatherers (One Time for 3 to 4 months) have been engaged for successful implementation and management of the project actions at different levels and for performing different time bound project tasks.