Working Together to Find Good Solutions
In support of community engagement that focuses on the community grievance mechanism, a series of inviting and interactive information, education and communication products has been developed. The IEC products – including a pocket book and an illustrated animation video – are used to reach different levels in communities, ensuring that those who may want to use the mechanism have a good understanding of how it works and are confident in using it.
The Community & Social Affairs team convenes their awareness sessions during community gatherings and focus group sessions with community facilitators, community leaders and community resettlement committees. Once these individuals and community structures are trained in the use of the mechanism and have a firm command of its application, aided by the use of the IEC materials, they in turn can explain and respond to questions about the mechanism in their own communities.
The IEC products tell the fictional story of Yumna, an industrious young female from a community in the Project area. One day, while working in her garden (machamba), Yumna runs into difficulty and decides to use the project’s community grievance mechanism to help resolving her complaint. The animation video is narrated from the perspective of Muanassa, a vivacious female CLO from the project, who guides Yumna through each of the steps in the grievance process until her complaint is resolved and she is satisfied with the resolution.
The Community & Social Affairs team has found the IEC materials useful as teaching tools. Because all the characters depicted in the materials – Yumna, her grandmother, the community leader, community facilitator and other community members – display recognisable characteristics and behaviours, community members can envision themselves using the mechanism, and see how it can be used to effectively resolve their own complaints.
A message that regularly emerges during sessions that focus on the grievance mechanism< is that the process is rooted in dialogue. Open discussion and communication are key ingredients for collaborative and constructive resolution of complaints, or, in the words of Muanassa, the female CLO in the animation video: “Talking to each other, community and Project, makes life better.”