This year, Grassroots Academy was held by Huairou Commission together with Luna Creciente Women's Movement Ecuador in Oct 12-14 2016. The Grassroots Academy is a tool and methodology developed by Huairou Commission to encourage grassroots women to exchange their practices, and also define strategy for effective advocacy in order to influence the global framework.
For 3 days full, the grassroots women from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, Carribean, and Europe region met and discussed in working groups to strengthen their position and leadership in the implementation and follow up of the New Urban Agenda--the bicentennial global framework on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development organized by UN Habitat.
In this opportunity, Catur Hermurwati, grassroots leaders from one of village where YEU works, together with two other grassroots leaders from Uganda and Trinidad & Tobago shared Grassroots Academy messages to dr. Joan Clos as Secretary General of UN Habitat, UN Women, and other stakeholders.
These messages are a result of three days of exchanges and discussions during the International Grassroots Academy “Community Innovations for Resilient and Sustainable Development.” These messages represent women working in solidarity in all our diversity: grassroots women, indigenous communities, Afro-descendants, social movements, and more.
GRASSROOTS ACADEMY MESSAGES
- Grassroots women are not clients or beneficiaries but rather key actors and agents of change.
- We are implementers of and contributors to the urban agenda; as such we must be recognized for our contributions and expertise. We have been working at the local, national, and regional levels to identify and resolve issues related to the NUA and SDGs. The NUA does not recognize grassroots women, nor does it recognize all of our priorities; the NUA is complementary to our own agenda which is priority.
- The NUA requires financial commitments and formal partnerships to validate and support grassroots women’s innovations and contributions to implementing the NUA on the ground, including to realize the acquisition of land and housing for grassroots women and communities.
- The means of implementation should take into account the success of the Sendai Framework for DRR, whose implementation and monitoring were supported by grassroots women. Need a similar enabling framework that allows for grassroots women’s feedback on policy, from the local level all the way up to UN agencies.
Voluntary commitments,to which the Grassroots organizations, movements, and coalitions gathered at the Habitat III Academy have pledged:
- Take leadership in localizing the NUA starting from the grassroots level. Including: organizing communities and promoting peer exchanges in order to share and scale upour good development practices; educating and building grassroots women’s capacities so they understand the policies and processes and can participate.
- Continue to use our successful practical solutions—based on our lived experiences-- to use the NUA to respond to grassroots women’s priorities. We continue to generate innovative practices. Accelerate NUA implementation in this way.
- Use all forms of engagement, including social media,which show the work and successes of grassroots women’s practices.
- Promote the synergies between the NUA and the 2030 Agenda, in particular rural-urban linkages and territorial integrity (including the indigenous vision of territory). We will reinsert and model territory and food security priorities relevance in realizing the rural-urban links in the NUA.
- Collect data that informs NUA indicators. Data that is community-generated as well as in line with official data.
- Hold authorities, government, UN agencies, and development partners accountable for their commitments.Share knowledge our local governments on the principles of the NUA.Continue to promote the effective decision-making and engagement of grassroots women in future global discussions.
Institutional and governmental accountability principles
- Grassroots women must be involved in the decision-making.
- Grassroots and community experts that implement practices on the ground must formally be part of policymaking and part of the permanent monitoring and implementation of the NUA and the SDGs.
- Grassroots practices and innovative solutions must be scaled up into policies that support NUA implementation.
- We require resources for our work and the formalization of partnerships. Only way for sustainable implementation. Partnerships that enable equal distribution of resources that reach grassroots women. Long-term, sustainable partnerships.
- We call for the establishment of institutionalized forums of grassroots women and of all stakeholders to monitor, evaluate, and follow up on the implementation of the NUA.
- We support and will organize for decentralized government that engages in strong partnership with grassroots women. Grassroots women are included in decision-making and consulted in policymaking.
- Grassroots women must be formed into a UN Major Group.