Civic Participation en Some healthy scepticism about ‘Citizen Engagement’ (and why I’m excited about MOOCs) <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <a href="" title="MOOC logo" rel="nofollow"><img alt="MOOC logo" height="207" src="" style="float:right" title="" width="368" /></a>Duncan Green recently spoke at the launch of a MOOC about Citizen Engagement, put together by the World Bank, LSE, IDS, ODI, Harvard and Civicus, and offers a review of the discussion and the sceptisim that citizen engagement can solve everything.</h4> <p> MOOCs are taking over. If you aren’t yet excited about Massive Open Online Courses, you should be. When I was first getting interested in development the only way to bridge the gap between reading the news and coughing up squllions for a Masters was to cycle through the rain every Tuesday evening to London’s <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">City Literary Institute</a> to sit at the feet of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Jenny Pearce</a> and her course on Latin America (I ended up taking over from her, and writing<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> a book based on the course</a>). These days I could stay warm and dry, and listen online to development gurus from around the world. The numbers signing up are colossal – Jeff Sachs reportedly has 14 million students for his <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">MOOC on sustainable development</a>.</p> <p> As often happens, the initial surge came in the US, but it’s crossing the Atlantic. Last week I spoke at the LSE at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the launch</a> of a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">MOOC on ‘citizen engagement’</a>, put together by the World Bank, LSE, IDS, ODI, Harvard and Civicus (a sort of crowd-sourced MOOC – even more funky). We spoke a few days after the MOOC went live, by which time 14,000 people had signed up from all over the world.</p> <p> The discussion was pretty good and although no-one was <em>against</em> citizen engagement (CE), they were strikingly sceptical about the hype around it – no-one is drinking the participation-will-solve-everything koolaid any more. Some snapshots:</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:00:00 +0000 Duncan Green 7010 at From ‘baby-making machines’ to Active Citizens: How Women are Getting Organized in Nepal (case study for comments) <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="187" src="" style="float:left" width="280" /><em>Next up in this series of case studies in Active Citizenship is some inspiring work on women’s empowerment in Nepal. I would welcome comments on the full study: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Raising Her Voice Nepal</a> final draft 4 July</em></p> <blockquote> <p> <em>‘I was just a baby making machine’; ‘Before the project, I only ever spoke to animals and children’<br /><br /> ‘This is the first time I have been called by my own name.’ </em>[Quotes from women interviewed by study tour, March 2011]</p> </blockquote> <p> While gender inequality remains extreme in Nepal, Oxfam’s <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCAQFjAA&amp;;ei=kLe6U6n4HpGA7QbrtoDICQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHEG0UHCaNl7vbVesnTQdTk741E1Q&amp;si" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Raising Her Voice</a> (RHV) programme on women’s empowerment is contributing to and reinforcing an ongoing long-term shift in gender norms, driven by a combination of urbanization, migration, rising literacy and access to media, all of which have combined to erode women’s traditional isolation.</p> <p> During the past 20 years, Nepal has also undergone major political changes. It has moved from being an absolute monarchy to a republic, from having an authoritarian regime to a more participatory governance system, from a religious state to a secular one, and from a centralized system to a more decentralized one.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Duncan Green 6758 at