MOST COMPARATIVE RESEARCH NETWORKS
Growing up in Cities (GUIC),
The relevance of GUIC in South Africa
The Story so Far...
The resuscitation of the 1970s UNESCO project -- Growing up in Cities
-- in 1994, was based on the premise that since children had been acknowledged
in various international agreements (1) as having a
right to be heard in matters concerning their welfare, countries would
be willing and eager to hear what they had to say regarding the urban settings
in which they lived.
The purpose of GUIC is to engender children's participation, not only
in the evaluation of urban environments, but also in the articulation and
recommendation of improvements in these environments. It seemed especially
relevant for South Africa since the new constitution enshrined individual
rights for all. Children had forced their voices to be heard concerning
schooling and other issues prior to the change of government in 1994; it
seemed sensible to develop mechanisms for them to participate in urban
policy and planning processes subsequently.
The lack of adequate housing in South Africa had created major problems
of land invasion and mushrooming squatter settlements in and around major
cities. It was felt that insights obtained from children in Canaansland,
the largest of 61 squatter sites in inner-city Johannesburg, could provide
a baseline for further studies at other similar sites. So far as could
be ascertained, children in South African squatter camps had never been
asked for views on their urban environment.
The children's viewpoints were obtained at Saturday morning workshops
which combined fun activities with data collection. The children had little
confidence initially that adults would find anything of worth in their
drawings and opinions.
"Partners in Research and Planning"
Workshop, 17 May 1997
When initial data collection was complete, Clr Isaac Mogase, Mayor of
the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, offered to host a one-day
workshop at which the children could tell urban planners and policy makers
about problems in their urban environments and suggest ways in which these
could be improved.
Seeing their drawings discussed without ridicule and having their views
sympathetically received, improved the children's self-confidence remarkably.
Most have subsequently shown little shyness in putting forward their views
and enjoy discussing their personal circumstances.
On 15 November 1997, before any of the children's recommendations had
been implemented, the Canaansland community was forcibly relocated,
without the knowledge of Mayor Mogase or the GUIC team, to a venue 40 km
outside of the city.
Thula Mntwana ("Hush, my child")
Canaansland was relocated to Thula Mntwana amongst thousands
of other displaced persons, far from previous small employment opportunities,
state schools, medical and social facilities. The site has insufficient
chemical toilets, basic roads and irregular mobile water carrier deliveries.
Mayor and Mrs Mogase visited the residents on 22 December 1997 and were
warmly welcomed with ululations and praise songs. They brought family grocery
parcels in useful plastic buckets, toys for the children, and warm reassurance
that problems would be brought to the attention of local officials.
There is a concern, however, that Thula Mntwana could be a "transit
site" where people may be left without basic services until they have resided
there for many years.
Helping the children and their community
Soon after the relocation Mayor Mogase set up a Task Team comprising
GUIC representatives and local government officials to attend to the needs
of the children.
Local government was asked in November 1997 to guarantee security of
tenure and to allocate land for a community food garden and children's
play-cum-educational area. This has now been granted.
During 1997, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) financed a nutrition
scheme. Money has been received from the Barnetimefondet and the
Netherlands Embassy to develop a children's playground and creche and homework
facilities on the allocated land. Staff and students from the Architecture
Department at Wits University will design and build these facilities. One
shipping container, purchased with Barnetimefondet funds, serves
meanwhile to store NMCF food. It has become a central meeting place for
women and a favourite play area for girls and young children.
At a weekend workshop, the Canaansland committee received empowerment
training in community service from the Adult Basic Education and Training
department at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
In an enlightened South Africa, the partnerships built between local
government, researchers and the community will contribute to upholding
the rights of the Canaansland children and youth.
NA & GUIC SA Directors: Jill Swart-Kruger FRAI, Peter Rich ISAA
Home Page: http://home.global.co.za/~sjk/guic.htm
Canaansland children portray
the features which are important in their daily environment
Sibusiso's home is his "castle" and the most important road from it
leads to a larger-than-life toilet. Alongside is the Barnetimefondet
shipping container. The water carrier is arriving and a small maize garden
flourishes. The men's shebeen is in the foreground and a battery-run
TV. Dominating the drawing is the city park (now 40km away) with grass,
trees, swings and slide, visited daily by the Canaansland children
before their relocation.
Here Zukiswa and Thulelo have drawn larger-than-life shops where they
and other girls go on daily errands. A toilet and the Barnetimefondet
shipping container -- which even has its contents listed -- are also dominant.
The water truck is doing its rounds. The boys whom one avoids and the girls
who are one's friends, are out and about. Small patches of friendly green
grass grow, in contrast to the tall yellow scratchy grass in the veld where
people are mugged and snakes glide.
Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth
Second Training Seminar in cooperation with the Averroès
Institute for Early Child-hood Development (20-25 July 1998)
Soesterberg, Netherlands, was the site for this one week training in
conducting urban participatory research and planning with children and
Among those attending this MOST training were Mayors from Rwanda and the
Islamic Republic of Iran, representatives from the Goteborg City Council
(Sweden), a university team from Brazil, a UNICEF team from Bangladesh,
the Director of UNICEF Iran, a team from Rotterdam (Netherlands). This
training programme will also be given in Saïda (Lebanon), Iran and
South Africa (dates to be confirmed).
Review of basic premises of creating better cities with youth;
Reports by participants of project development since the first training
workshop held in November 1997. This consisted of analysing for each site
obstacles to development in implemention of a participatory research-action
project with young people;
Explanation of A Methods Tourkit for involving young people in urban design;
Site visits to Harlem and meeting with representatives from the Youth Council.
Second International Conference of the APMRN
Asia Pacific Migration Research Network
Over 30 researchers and NGO officials gathered in Hong Kong earlier
this year for the 2nd International Conference of the Asia Pacific Migration
Research Network (APMRN). The three day conference from the 23rd to
25th February, 1998 was held at Hong Kong University with the support of
the University's Center of Asian Studies.
The APMRN was formed in 1995 by the MOST Programme to study migration
and ethno-cultural diversity in the Asia Pacific region. Since its inception,
the APMRN has worked to develop an effective operating structure to coordinate
international research initiatives. The network produces a newsletter,
a working papers series, has held a number of national and international
conferences and workshops on migration issues, and established a world
wide website to facilitate communication amongst the eleven countries involved.
The Hong Kong conference reviewed the successes of APMRN's network-building
and how to advance research projects.
The main aims of the network are to produce research relevant to public
policy and to advance education in migration and ethnicity issues. There
are at least seven research initiatives APMRN members are collaborating
on. The Korean Migration Team, for example is undertaking a four-country
study investigating cross cultural labour relations and social adjustment
of labour migrants. It will involve case studies of migrant community formation
in Korea, and of Koreans in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and China.
The Aotearoa/New Zealand Migration Research Network, looking at
environmental dimensions of migration is focusing on Polynesian and Pacific
communities in New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Nuie, Tokelaus
and Tuvalu, researching the socio-environmental changes migrants bring
to host countries. It will examine how community and environment are transformed
in the migration process. This project will explore the core migrant experiences
of employment and consumption and residential patterns in comparing environments
The Asian regional economic crisis was also a key concern at the Hong
Kong conference. Participants discussed the implications of the crisis
for the huge number of migrants in the region, and how governments and
societies were reacting to the downturn in demand for migrant labour. It
is clear that while demand for migrant labour may have subsided, the desire
or pressure to migrate remains. There have already been numerous reports
of deportations and ethnic conflict arising from this contradiction.
Analysing the crisis will be a theme that APMRN will develop in coming
months. A proposal by the Association of Asian Social Science Research
Councils and supported by the APMRN will address the crisis in detail
at a conference in Manila later this year.
While labour migration is still a central issue of the Network, delegates
to the Hong Kong meeting outlined a number of other areas of concern. The
team of researchers from Thailand, for example, recently studied HIV/AIDS
and the problems of controlling the spread of such diseases in Thailand's
northern border regions where population mobility is high. Border regions
are especially difficult to monitor as people cross back and forth. Community
formation along borders is much more transient, and conducting research
and addressing migration issues is significantly harder. The Thai researchers
are now planning a project assessing the educational needs of children
of migrants in Thailand, focussing on the Myanmar community.
The third day of the Conference was devoted to papers on legal aspects
of migration. Each of the country delegates presented a paper discussing
issues of citizenship, visa regulations, illegal migrants, the protection
of migrants overseas, and the social and civil rights of migrants and nationals.
Comparing migration regulations and codes among the many countries of the
region highlighted the complexities of regional population mobility and
political processes which govern them. The papers will be published by
the APMRN, available from the MOST
Secretariat as of September 1998.
Overall, there were a range of positive research initiatives presented
at the Hong Kong conference. There was still a need to increase multi-country
collaborations and attract more substantial funding.However, it was clear
from the conference that the APMRN is developing into a solid platform
for cooperation with a coherent research agenda. There are other international
networks and organisations doing similar work.
What distinguishes the APMRN is its approach to migration and ethnic
relations issues with a longer term social scientific perspective. APMRN
members can benefit from the good work being done by other organisations
and extend this within a broader collaborative analytical framework for
N.A./P. Brownlee, APMRN Secretariat
APMRN Working Paper No. 3: Migration Research in the
Asia Pacific Theoretical and Empirical Issues (1998). Patrick Brownlee,
Colleen Mitchell (Eds.). Available from the APMRN and MOST Secretariat.
APMRN Wins UNESCO Participation Program Grants
UNESCO's Participation Program grants are awarded to proposals from UNESCO
Member States on a biennial basis. For the 1998-99 biennium, APMRN members
from seven countries submitted project proposals on a range of issues related
to migration and ethnicity in the Asia Pacific region. To date, five
proposals have been awarded funds.
This project will assess the ways in which international migration contributes
to environmental transformation in countries which are significant sources
and destinations for migrants. The concept of environment is a broad one
encompassing residential and workplace, as well as the more narrowly defined
'physical environment' or biosphere. Referring to the UN's de Cuellar report
(1996) the project will explore the impact of migration on how "societies
themselves create elaborate, culturally-rooted procedures to protect and
manage their resources."
International Migration and Environmental Transformations in Polynesian
Communities in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (US$26,000)
The Republic of Korea has experienced a migration transition from a labour
importing country to an exporter of labour and capital in recent years.
This timely social scientific study will focus on labour relations and
social adjustment problems of Korean migrant workers abroad and of foreign
workers at home. It will involve case studies and interviews of migrant
worker communities and a comparative analysis of social policy and cross-cultural
analysis of community attitudes to the presence of migrant workers.
Republic of Korea:
International Labour Migration in the Republic of Korea: Labour
Relations and Social Adjustment (US$25,000)
It is anticipated that the Construction and Economy Research Institute
of Korea, the Korea Research Foundation and the Korean Center for Future
Human Resource Studies will support the project.
China has won funds to set up a formal migration research network. Migration
research is a significant issue for China and is becoming more complex.
It is expected that the Chinese Network will set up structures to facilitate
research between institutions, including a migration research database
People's Republic of China:
APMRN China Network (US$20,000)
The Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM) at Chulalongkorn University
has submitted a proposal to publish an annotated bibliography of scholarly
literature on international migration concerning Thailand. Material in
Thai as well as other languages will be included. The project is expected
to take 1 year to complete. Within this proposal, the ARCM has also put
forward a project to address the educational needs of children of Myanmar
migrants. Peoples from Myanmar are the single largest group of foreign
migrants in Thailand, numbering at least 800,000. The majority occupy some
of the lowest paid and labour intensive jobs. Many migrants from Myanmar
have family members and children with them and although their children
are entitled to enrol in Thai schools, many are unable or unwilling to
do so. This project aims to increase understanding of how migrant children
from Myanmar interact with Thai society and ascertain what sorts of educational
programs might serve them and their families best.
A request was approved for the Philippines for the installation of a migration
data banking facility for APMRN (US$20,000).
International Migration Bibliography/Educational needs of Myanmar
Migrant Children (US$20,000)
New Regional Migration Research Networks
As international mobility is a key factor in current social transformations
throughout the world, UNESCO is launching three new migration research
networks in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America and the
The Regional Migration Research Networks constitutes " centres
of expertise " to provide research and advisory services for policy makers
on the role of migration and ethno-cultural diversity. They carry out comparative
national and sub-regional research projects on various aspects of migration;
develop research capacities in the regions and enhance theoretical, methodological
and empirical knowledge on migration through international seminars and
in-service training courses for researchers; provide high-level research
and advisory services for policy-makers; and assist in raising the quality
of international migration data collection.
The Network on Migration Research in Africa (NOMRA) launched at
a regional UNESCO meeting in Gaborone, Botswana (June 1998) focuses on
the complex causes of population movements, especially those related to
poverty, structural adjustment programmes and migration as a survival strategy
in Africa. Comparative national and sub-regional projects on emerging trends
are undertaken, including increasing autonomous migration of women, return
migration, and issues related to re-integration, refugee flows/asylum seekers
and internally displaced populations: dimensions and the search for enduring
The massive migration from Central and Eastern Europe which was feared
by some at the beginning of the 90s has not actually occured, but international
migration within the region increased considerably. As migration flows
become an integral part of the economic, political and cultural life in
Central and Eastern Europe, new characteristics and patterns have emerged,
and new problems generated which need more intensive research and exchange
of information as a basis for policy formulation. Considering the importance
of emerging migration flows and the need to provide urgent policy responses,
a UNESCO regional meeting of experts was convened (Moscow, 8-10 September
1998) to finalize the modalities for setting up a Network on Migration
Research in Central and Eastern Europe. The report is available from
the MOST Secretariat.
Central and Eastern Europe
The determinants and consequences of migration in Latin America and the
Caribbean have been on the agenda of policy makers and social scientists
as important components of development policies and strategies. Globalization
and international market-centered economic strategies have modified previous
migration patterns resulting in an urgent need for exchange of knowledge,
information and policy proposals on the subject. A UNESCO regional meeting
was held (Santiago, Chile, 27-29 October 1998) to review emerging trends
in migration at the threshold of the XXI century and to establish a Migration
Research Network in Latin America and the Caribbean. S.T.
Latin America and the Caribbean
"Mercosur: spaces of interaction
Second Seminar, October 1997
The network of researchers engaged in the MOST project "Mercosur: spaces
of interaction and integration" held its second meeting in Brazil in October
1997, in association with the the twenty-first congress of ANPOCS.
This MOST project is dedicated to the analysis of social transformations
associated with the Mercosur agreement. The meeting had as its goals to
communicate results of empirical studies undertaken since the first meeting
in Buenos Aires in November 1996, and to discuss future perspectives of
research in the area. Three main themes dominated the discussions.
(1) Integration and social participation. Of particular interest were
the role of the media in influencing attitudes, and the transformation
of cultural identities, especially along the borders between Mercosur countries.
The meeting outlined directions for continued research by the network in
1998. On the substantive level, it was agreed that the themes of social
movements and of borders should continue to take a central place. On the
level of access to data and means of communication, it was agreed that
the construction of a bibliographic database, begun in 1997, should be
continued, and that electronic contacts between researchers should be maintained
and extended. C.M.
(2) Modes of interaction. As would be expected, the impact of electronic
technology and in particular the internet formed an important subject of
debate. But also, the role of social movements in encouraging "bottom up"
integration was a central issue.
(3) Sociocultural dimensions. In this connection, gender issues, environmental
questions, and the relations between economy and culture were in the foreground.
Forthcoming Discussion Papers
"Interrelations between Economy and Culture in Mercosur Countries", by
Hugo Achugar, Universidad de la República (Montevideo), 1998, 12
"An uncertain navigation: Mercosur in Internet",
by Anibal Ford, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1998, 31 p.
"Cultural Aspects of Migration within Mercosur", by Fernando Calderón
and Alicia Szmukler, 1998, 33 p.
"Chile and Mercosur: to what extent do we really
want to integrate?", by Carolina Stefoni and Claudio Fuentes, Universidad
Católico de Chile/FLACSO, 1998, 22 p.
"Media production on nationality: a case-study of
Posadas (Argentina) and Encarnación (Paraguay)", by Alejandro
Grimson, UBA/IDES, 1998, 48 p.
"Gender and Nation in Mercosur", by Elizabeth
Jelin, Teresa Valdés and Line Bareiro, 1998, 16 p.
"Globalization, regions and frontiers", by Roberto
Abínzano, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, 1998, 37 p.
The MPMC undertakes research and comparative analyses, within selected
urban contexts, of the development and interplay of "bottom-up" (community
led) initiatives and "top-down" (municipality created) policies aimed at
better integrating immigrant and ethnic minorities in public decision-making
processes. The project, adopted by the MOST Programme in July 1996, held
a seminar in Amsterdam from 9 to11 October 1997 at the Institute for
Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) of the University of Amsterdam
to further develop its research framework and organisational structure.
and Modes of Citizenship in European Cities (MPMC)
The seminar sought to achieve some measure of conceptual clarity in
the analysis of citizenship by distinguishing between its juridical/political,
socio-economic, and cultural and religious aspects. It also reaffirmed
the necessity of examining the practice of citizenship and participation
by studying both institutional frameworks and community actions. In order
to ensure the integration of both elements into the research, and to allow
for real comparativity between the studies, the model for a "City Template"
was refined. The template enables researchers to pinpoint the historical,
cultural, political and economic specificities of the urban context studied.
It focuses on five areas: basic geographical and demographic data; relevant
political structures including those specifically related to immigrant
or ethnic minorities ("top-down" approach); features of the communities
concerned ("bottom-up" approach); relevant existing research; and any other
information supporting comparison - such as twinning arrangements between
cities, or membership in inter-city policy networks.
Three groups of research teams concentrating on comparative analyses
of specific themes ("clusters") were presented at the seminar. They focus
on immigrant and ethnic minority organisational networks and liaison with
city officials, the role of immigrant or ethnic minority politicians, and
city neighbourhoods as sites of interaction amongst immigrant or ethnic
minorities and autochtonous communities.
Publication of the City Templates is scheduled for the end of December
1998. Following this, preparation will begin for workshops involving municipal
policy makers and partner institutions such as WOHNBUND network for Urban
studies, the Council of Europe, ELAINE, Local Government Centre (UK), Fondazione
Censis (Italy) and Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik (Germany). NA
MPMC and the Participation Programme:
MPMC project leaders have submitted PP requests from Italy, Greece,
The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom
of Belgium. The Netherlands and Switzerland have been awarded US$25,000
respectively. Decisions are pending for the other requests.
Negotiated Management of Societal Transformations:
This MOST project, in which a network of Egyptian, French, Italian, Lebanese,
Spanish and Tunisian researchers participates, and that benefits from the
financial support of the Ford Foundation, the logistic support of the UNESCO
Office in Tunis and the Arab Sociological Association, is a comparative
and interdisciplinary research project on the social and transcultural
logic of national reconciliation pacts. National reconciliation pact is
understood as a series of strategic choices that conform with values anchored
in the concept of tolerance. The pact's goal is to replace, through negotiations,
the violence provoked by exacerbation of the constitutive tension within
all nation-states. This tension is a product of the universalistic principle
of citizenship in accordance with the values of human rights, and the particularist
principle of cultural identity and cultural homogeneity of nation-states.
National Reconciliation Pacts
These pacts can be formal or informal. They have in common a discourse
which refers, explicitly or implicitly, to the concept of tolerance. They
propose a solution of compromise that, as far as possible, takes into account
considerations based on liberal principles of citizenship and human rights
and those founded on antipluralist principles of nationality and national
The main scientific challenge of this project is to demonstrate the
transcultural character of the concepts of tolerance and human rights and
of the underlying social logic within the national reconciliation pacts
independently of the social-historic, social-political and social-cultural
context of each pact.
To test this hypothesis, six case studies were chosen to compare three
different periods during which the problem of the constitution of modern
citizenship has been raised:
For more information on this project please contact
Firstly: France, the secular pact of 1905;
Secondly: Italy, 1948 Constitution, after the defeat of facism; Spain,
the 1978 Constitution, after the end of the Franco dictatorship;
Thirdly: Tunisia, 1988 national pact after Bourguiba was deposed; Lebanon,
1989 El Taef pact, ending the civil war; Egypt: recent controversies (1995-1996)
of the Egyptian political class concerning the elaboration of a national
the UNESCO Office in Tunis (Social Science Adviser: Mr. Francisco Carrillo
Montesinos); address: 12, rue de Rhodes, P.O. Box 363, 1002 Tunis; tel:
(216-1) 79 09 47; fax: (216-1) 79 15 88.
Initiated in co-operation with the French CNRS (National Centre
for Scientific Research - Interdisciplinary research programme on the city),
this project has been a CNRS research group since January 1995. It benefits
from the support of a conglomerate of several French Ministries, the Maison
des sciences de l'homme (Paris) and the Maison méditerranéenne
des sciences de l'homme (Aix-en-Provence).
It is based on a network of networks involving institutions covering
12 linguistic areas: Africa, Arab States region, China, Czech Republic,
Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Latin America, North America, Russian Federation
and Spain. The 1996 call for proposals extended the project´s international
coverage. The project looks at themes such as: " Naming the new urban areas
", " Town and city, urbanism categorized ", " Socio-linguistic registers
and urban language production ", " Learned and technical languages " and
" City divisions ".
Volume no. 3 "Name the town and
its territories" (200 pp) will be published shortly. It contains the
main results of the December 1997 international seminar as well as a summary
of the presentations made in each workshop.
"City words" receives
The Philip Morris Scientific Prize 1997 was awarded to Jean-Charles Depaule,
scientific coordinator of the MOST-CNRS project "City words", and to Gérard
Chastagnaret and to Robert Ilbert, for the study undertaken on the everyday
contacts, circulation and exchanges of city words in the Mediterranean
based in the Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme
(Aix-en-Provence). Congratulations from the MOST Secretariat! G.S.
the Philip Morris Scientific Prize, 1997
Globalisation and Local Development
The ALFA network is currently designing a research
project on " Sustainability and Development: Economic and Social Actors
". This theme is entrenched in the dual nature of current globalisation
processes: on the one hand they produce homogenisation of consumer patterns
and population behaviour, and on the other, they open new spaces to local
level development strategies, that are culturally specific.
Globalisation reveals interesting experiments in local rural development,
in which endogenous resources are mobilised in order to diversify economic
activity and to offer new possibilities of employment and income generation
to local residents.
The idea of sustainability - the balance between economic development,
social welfare and preservation of natural resources - is present in any
development strategy that seeks social legitimacy in contemporary society.
Thus, development and sustainability constitute the inescapable elements
of local development strategies. The principle concerns of the ALFA network
are therefore to study the genesis of such development strategies, and
to analyse the roles of the different economic and social actors involved.
The first meeting of the network was held in Córdoba, Spain,
from 26 to 28 January 1998. The second meeting is to be held in La Sevena,
Chile, in December 1998. PdG
Ethno-Net Africa began its activities in 1997 by holding two workshops
on "Tribalism, Nationalism and Democracy". The first was a forum held in
Yaoundé, Cameroon, 1-4 September 1997, and the second a workshop
held during the Annual Conference of the Pan-African Association of Anthropologists
at the University of Ghana, Legon, 9-11 September 1997, in collaboration
with the International Centre for Applied Social Science Research and Training
The purpose of the Yaoundé forum was to establish national networks
for the study of ethnic conflicts in the Central African region. The workshop
reaffirmed the objectives of the network which are: the evaluation of all
forms of ethnic conflict, research capacity building, dissemination of
findings and establishment of a web-site for information sharing. Participants
were trained in the collection and analysis of information, including study
of the significance of environmental, demographic, social and cultural
factors, and the influence of education and the media. Indicators were
presented for preparing the historical background to conflict, notably
triggering factors and risk assessment of ethnic conflict.
The aim of the Ghana workshop was to promote the activities of Ethno-Net
Africa (ENA) amongst a specialised audience.
Some of the recommendations were:
that studies are needed on "ethnicity, democracy and development".
that a UNESCO Chair on Ethnicity, Nationalism and Democracy be created
in one of the universities of the Central African region.
that UNESCO assist Women and Youth NGOs in the region in organising more
meetings of a multi-ethnic nature and field days on ethnocentrism and democracy.
that UNESCO work closely with the region's governments for the creation
of radio and television air time through which messages on ethnic conviviality,
democracy and nationalism could be disseminated, and a culture of peace
that comparative studies be carried out in African Member states of UNESCO
on "Ethnicity, Power and Development" in order to underscore the role ethnicity
has played in the course of the continent’s development.
that, since the future of current efforts depends on the young, capacity
building should become a major activity of ENA in order to equip junior
scholars with skills and competence to carry out research and to harness
the positive aspects of ethnicity to build a culture of peace.
that each team of participants should report to their respective UNESCO
national Commissions about the results of these workshops and request their
support for the execution of the activities of national ENA.
that the network use in an optimal way new forms of technology for the
dissemination of the findings of the network. In this respect it was recommended
that ENA establish a web-site. NA
Globalisation and Transformation
The MOST/Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain project
on "Globalisation and Transformation in Rural Societies
in Arab Countries: Comparative Research with the Northern Mediterranean
in Rural Societies in Arab Countries
An international seminar on Rural Society in Southern Mediterranean
countries was held on 15 and 16 December 1997 as part of the Centenary
celebrations of the Tunisian National Agronomic Institute (INAT). Two research
themes were emphasized: "Globalization from the viewpoint of rural societies
and the role of organizations in managing the changes caused by globalization".
The seminar also launched a network for the support of doctoral students
and studies and will establish a Doctoral Program on the "Impact of Globalization
on Mediterranean Rural Societies". Countries participating in this activity
are Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Albany,
Spain, Greece, Italy, France and Portugal. CM
Don't forget to communicate with your local media on your activities
with the MOST Programme: give your scientific result a broad audience.
Circumpolar Coping Processes Project (CCPP)
The pilot phase of the MOST Circumpolar Coping Processes Project (CCPP)
finished in December 1997 : nine networks have been established in Russia,
Canada, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Faroes Islands, Greenland, Iceland
and Sweden. Since April 97, an electronic conference system ensures the
connection between the steering committee and the research team. Today
the system counts 75 participants from the different countries involved.
Four funding partners contribute to this project: the Norwegian Research
Council, the North-Atlantic Committee of the Nordic Ministerial Council
(NORA), the Nordic institution for promoting doctoral studies (NorFa) and
the Nordic Social Science Committee (NOS-S). At the workshop in April
97, the CCPP steering committee decided that its members will financially
contribute to the project. The Nordic Social Science Council supports the
CCPP in its Secretariat coordination activities.
A Users-Conference was organised in Isafjordur (Iceland) on 18-22 March
98 concentrating on "Local coping strategies - a process of learning" from
the perspective of local planners. In addition to the research team and
the steering committee, representatives from local communities (politicians,
business, public administration and voluntary organisations) joined academics
in designing the research study around practical policy questions. CM
MOST and CSI
(Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform) have joined focus to support
CCPP. In 1998, CCPP will choose three coastal areas and apply methodology
developed in previous pilot-activities (case-studies, for instance, on
fisheries in Northern Iceland, and on ecotourism in Arjeplog). CCPP members
will assess living conditions and local environmental management issues
with a view to guaranteeing the stakeholder´s participation in, and
evaluation of, development policies, thus contributing to the elaboration
of ‘wise practices’ for sustainable local development.
|Last March CCPP launched its first publication entitled "Coping
Strategies in the North, Local Practices in the Context of Global Restructuring",
in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers (Copenhagen, 1998,
227 p.). This study contributes to a deeper understanding of the ways that
people living and working in circumpolar localities act and react at a
time when the overall economic, environmental and political situation is
undergoing important turbulence. The problems people in Isafjordur (Iceland)
try to solve may be highly different from those of Batsfjord (Norway) or
Digby Neck (Canada), but they all face problems related to dwindling cod
resources in the Northern area. People in Vagur and Klaksvik (the Faroe
Islands), in Tiriberka in the Kola Peninsula (Russia) in Uummannaq (Greenland)
as well as those living in Salla, Finland or Arjeplog, Sweden, have more
in common than their shared belonging to the same region: they all have
vital links to the global economy; they all face a harsh climate; costs
related to travel and freight are high; natural resources constitute an
important economic sector; they live in small scale settlements; they have
been modernized through an industrial process and the advent of the Welfare
State; and finally, they are all today threatened by marginalization
due to globalization and macro-economic trends.
This book is available in main libraries in Europe and North America.
For more information, please contact the MOST
|A Conference on Social Science in Africa:
Assessment and Prospects
The French national commission for UNESCO and the MOST Programme are
organising this meeting in February 1999 in Libreville, Gabon, with the
participation of social scientists from French, English and Portuguese-speeking
African countries to assess the current issues and future prospects of
social science research, teaching and training in tthe continent.
Meeting output will be proposals for capacity building in terms of
research infrastructure and training. A.K.
In attempting to understand the way in which social relationships are formed
and especially gender relations with regard to city environmental problems,
the project presented by the Swiss Liaison Committee for MOST investigages
the practices adopted by political and technical authorities to encourage
the involvement of citizens in decision-making. Its purpose is to transform
these relations to "build" livable places in which men and women have equal
access to decision-making.
The three-prong approach suggested in the three themes of the projects´s
title brings a new perspective to the problematic analysis of urban social
movements. It concentrates on medium-sized towns located mainly in developing
A network for implementing the project consists of research institutions
in Eastern Europe, Latin America and West Africa. The project, launched
with research funds from the Swiss Co-operation Department and obtained
in July 1997, has an initial duration of two and a half years. The co-ordination
team consisting of researchers from the University of Neuchâtel and
the Institut universitaire d'études du développement,
Geneva, has devoted the first stage to setting up the network and to finalizing
a working method in such a way as to guarantee the coherence of the project
as a whole.
Santo Domingo: The "Alternative City" built by
the inhabitants of La Cienaga and Los Gandules
First international seminar at Santo Domingo
A seminar held in Santo Domingo in September 1997, united members of the
network and the co-ordination team.
The meeting included field trips and interviews with inhabitants and
representatives from NGOs that centered discussion around building a framework
for upgrading inhabitants’ quality of life.
Overview of recent progress:
This project studies the role of women’s organizations, looking at the
nature and role of these groups, ranging from charitable associations,
movements having a history of struggle under the period of dictatorship,
or to women’s organizations for the protection of the environment. Analysis
is made of the types of relationships that exist between these organizations
and the decision-making bodies responsible for environmental programmes.
Argentina: Project for the improvement of underprivileged districts
in the town of Campana
Surveys and meetings have been completed, district workshops organized
and municipal authorities fully involved. A contribution by decision-making
bodies to proposed recommendations is pending. This team benefits from
the co-ordination of a specialist on gender relations.
This project focuses on a community grass-roots movement working on issues
of waste, "mananciais" (water points), transportation and youth environmental
education. The new municipality, seeking partnerships within the
population, is proposing a municipal management structure in favor of the
most underpriviledged inhabitants and is seeking to develop experience
in environmental issues.
Brazil: Cities, environment and gender relations: the case of
the Brazilian municipality of Santo André
The project site of Santo André - a city with a strong industrial
base - suffers from serious social and environmental problems, and the
new municipality from relatively little experience in resolving them. The
key question in this site is: Given the favorable political climate of
participation, will the organised grass roots movements be able to intervene
in redressing some of the most important environmental issues?
The project is gaining momentum and focusing on establishing regular
contact with municipal authorities and other stake-holders. Survey work
is planned to begin the moment the team has sufficient human resource capacity.
Specific to this project site are problems related to the squalid living
conditions in certain areas characterised by insufficient services and
infrastructure; and, the employment of children by local medium and large
scale industries in "free zones". Similar to the above sites, the team
is analysing the role women’s organisations can or may have in the urban
socio-economic and environmental transformations of the area.
Dominican Republic: Environmental problems in the districts of
La Cienaga y Los Guandules, Santo Domingo, and relationships between men
and women. Study of the participation of women in the CODECIGUA organization
A strong team is present in this country. Surveys have been carried
out and the report of the first phase is available in Spanish from the
This project is studying an association working in the outskirts of Ouagadougou
that is run by women and collects household waste within the community.
This service was designed as a reponse to the municipality’s inability
to provide the service itself, and has subsequently knitted a growing partnership
between the association and the municipality. Interestingly, the association
has developed an environmental youth education programme, and a cost recovery
system for the waste collection.
Burkina Faso: Project on the management of urban waste products
The team for this fieldwork was strengthened, questionnaires were sent
to households, public services and NGOs concerned with the project’s focus.
Bibliographic research meetings were held and regular internet communication
is established within the team.
The issue of urban violence in Pikine, a satellite district of Dakar, is
the heart of this study that develops participative methods with women
and youth to identify its causes and propose solutions. The group of youth
and women are designing projects for the improvement of women’s wages,
training, environmental protection and improvement of services.
Senegal: Research-action-outlook: City, gender and environment
This project benefits from a strong institutional backing. Interviews
have been conducted and focus is on increasing the gender and environmental
dimension in the empirical work.
The city of Lambol is the site for this study which examines the impact
of the economic transition on the environment, on relations between men
and women, and on family structure. Particular attention is directed toward
the presence - or absence - of organizations and associations working on
environmental issues in the city, bearing in mind that organizations that
existed prior to the 1990s have disintegrated. Further, the role or impact
of the political and economic crises on changing gender relations is equally
central to this analysis.
Bulgaria: the challenges of a society in transition to a market
society: "disurbanisation and transformation of the identity of urban women
and family relationships"
Surveys have been carried out with families, civil servants, professional
people and NGOs and bibliographic research and data gathering is underway.
Recently joining the project:
Romania: environmental problems in a community in Bucharest.
Participation of women and gender relations (to be developed)
1. Convention on the Rights of the Child, Habitat II,