The uniqueness of LIFE Nepal is engaging the communities i.e. support groups in the project cycle management i.e., need assessment, issue prioritization, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. It believes that the interventions can only succeed when the key stakeholders are engaged in the program from the very beginning. The involvement of the community support groups likewise SMC (School Management Committee), PTA (Parent Teacher Association), child clubs at different levels and more importantly local leaders meant that the project has become a community project. The involvement of the community has increased their vigilance in child protection.
To reach the most marginalized community likewise Dalit, Janjati, Madhesi, Muslim, and children, including children with disability and girls, there will be no other choice rather than gender equity and social inclusion-GESI as experience by LIFE. Because people in the society due to social class, structures and culture always neglect these targeted groups. Therefore, LIFE first targets to ensure their participation in each aspect of the program likewise staff selection process, staffing, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. To mainstream them in the program policy and criteria of their participation and representation developed by the program and strictly implemented like at least 50% participation and representation of woman from a gender perspective and 35% participation, representation of marginalized community, i.e. Dalit (18%), Janjati (10%) and Muslim (4%) and people with disability (3%) from the social inclusion perspective. It’s based on their population and representation in the community.
LIFE has taken networking and partnership as the key approach for the success of the program. LIFE believed that the partnership with different like-minded actors having diverse skills and competencies complements the program. More importantly, program interventions require a whole range of skills and competencies. Therefore, LIFE increased the partnership with other significant players, mainly the district line agencies likewise education, health, child protection, administration, women and child development offices, district development committees, NGOs, police and law enforcement officers, the probation and social welfare officers, the parent’s/community members and a wide range of institutional partners at local and district levels.
It is observed that there is a very less participation of targeted group people likewise women, Dalit, Janjati, Madheshi and Muslim both at RM./Municipality and district level planning and decision making processes. While the participation of children and people with disability seem negligible. They are sometimes participating for the formality only. Once they participated, their voices are not heard and plans are not prioritized and reflected in Rural Municipality and DCC (District Coordination Committee) level program plan and budget. 35% of the targeted group RM/Municipality budget in reference to local bodies’ resource management and mobilization procedure is not even planned for them and utilized properly. Therefore, LIFE focuses on this area and ensures their active and meaningful participation in planning and decision-making process so that their voices and choices are reflected in RM and DCC level planning and targeted group’s budget should be properly mobilized and utilized.
LIFE will apply this approach in terms of empowering people to know and claim their rights and increasing the ability and accountability of individuals and institutions who are responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling rights. This approach will help LIFE to analyse inequalities which lie at the heart of development problems and redress discriminatory practices and unjust distributions of power that impede development progress and often result in groups of people being left behind. Furthermore, it will help to empower the most vulnerable people to participate in decision-making processes. Similarly, it will strengthen the capacity of duty-bearers who have the obligation to respect, protect, promote, and fulfil human rights. Rights-holders are individuals or social groups.
LIFE has been practicing safeguarding policies for the protection and safeguarding of the project beneficiaries, staff and stakeholders. In addition to that, LIFE has an effective complaint response mechanism that enables beneficiaries and stakeholders to raise their voice, and that voice is heard at all levels. Through these tools, LIFE will inform all the components of the project interventions and related information to the beneficiaries. Similarly, LIFE will apply this approach in the targeted communities so that project causes no any complications, or harms to the beneficiaries and they should pay for anything from conflict sensitivity and confidentiality perspective.
One of the key approaches for mass awareness and sensitization applied by LIFE Nepal is social media mobilization where it mobilizes both print and online media. In doning so, LIFE coordinates with print and online medias, orients them on the programmes, collborates for the publication and dissemination of news, interactions, and reports related with social issues and people’s rights. It helps LIFE to inform, aware, and sensitize people at larger scale. It applied this approaches basically during and after COVID pandemic context as well as for the ending child marriage.