Summary of BTG Project

This is a brief introduction into the BTG Project to be implemented by MBOSCUDA, NOWEFOR alongside United Purpose for the next 3 years in the North West Region of Cameroon. 

 

Contracting Authority: European Commission

 

 EIDHR Call for Proposals - 2016-2017 - Cameroon

 

 

ANNEX A.2 – Full application form

 

 

Budget lines: BGUE-B2016-21.040100-C1-DEVCO and BGUE-B2017-21.040100-C1-DEVCO

 

 

 

Reference:

EuropeAid/154990/DD/ACT/CM

 

 

 

Dossier No

52

(for official use only)

 

 

1. General information

 

Reference of the call for proposals

EuropeAid/154990/DD/ACT/CM

 

[Lot number you are applying to:]

[Lot 1]

Number of the proposal3

52

Name of the lead applicant

United Purpose

Legal Entity file number

6000055957

Title of the action

Bridging the gap: safeguarding peace and human rights by promoting intercultural dialogue in North West Cameroon

Location of the action

Cameroon

Duration of the action

36 M

 

 

 

 

·        Background to the action

 

The proposed project focuses on the promotion of intercultural dialogue as a means to reducing inter-ethnic conflicts in the North West Region (NWR) of Cameroon and promoting cultural rights across the region. The ‘Bridging the Gap: safeguarding peace and human rights by promoting intercultural dialogue in North West Cameroon project (hereafter: ‘Bridging the Gap’) also seeks to influence public decisions and policies to be more responsive to the cultural identities and rights of minorities, with a specific focus on the Mbororo-Fulani ethnic group. The action is in line with the interests of United Purpose’s (UP[1]) and its partners in NWR, the Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA) and the North West Farmers Organisation (NOWEFOR).

The action responds to Priority 2 of Sector I of the call for proposals. This action directly builds on UP and MBOSCUDA’s on-going 5-year BLF[2]-funded project ‘In Search of Common Ground’ (ISCG), which is addressing farmer-grazer conflicts in the NWR through the use of: Alternative Conflict Management (ACM) tools, including Dialogue Platforms (DPs) used to amicably resolve farmer-grazer conflicts through dialogue and mediation; alliance farming techniques designed to encourage collaboration between farmers and grazers by sharing natural resources; improved management of natural resources such as water through Water Management Committees (WMCs) including Mbororos and non-Mbororos.  NOWEFOR is also a member of the ISCG project steering committee.

 

Cameroon is classified as a middle-income country.The primary sector makes up 21.4 % of the GDP and agriculture contributes to about 75% to the primary sector.[3] 37.5% of the population live below the poverty level and 56.8% of those living below this poverty line are in the rural areas: 90.4% of the rural population live below this poverty line.[4] 60% of the population are less than 25 years of age and over 60% of those live in the rural areas of the country, making youth a key priority. The social political situation of Cameroon as a whole is complex. While the country has been regarded as a stable country, with peaceful cohabitation among its numerous ethnic groups, serious tensions and fear of instability characterize its recent history. This is due to various factors, including terrorist threats from Boko Haram in northern Cameroon, refugee crises as well as socio-political tensions in the Anglophone regions of the country, including the NWR – where this action is focused. The political scene has been characterized by rivalry between the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) and a large number of disunited opposition parties, the main one being the Social Democratic Front (SDF). The population of the English speaking regions and the largest ethnic group of the West Region, the Bamileke, have mostly belonged to the SDF party. This political divide along linguistic and ethnic lines has exacerbated the interethnic tensions that already existed between the Anglophone population and the Francophone population, and among the main ethnic groups of the country. The action addresses these two inter-related issues by improving the inclusion and pluralism of civil society through cross cultural dialogue and resisting restrictions on civil society and civil liberties in an Anglophone region subjected decreased rights, human rights violations and restriction on the space for civil society to operate effectively. 

 

·        Inter-cultural issues in the NWR

 

About 80% of the population of the North West Region of Cameroon live in the rural areas and depend mainly on agriculture (crop and livestock production) as their principal source of livelihood. The region is the third highest producer of cattle with pastoralism accounting for over 90% of the cattle system. It is estimated that over 80% of the region’s cattle producers are of the minority indigenous Mbororo-Fulani ethnic group.

The relationship between these culturally distinct pastoralists and crop farming communities has long been characterized by severe conflicts, resulting mainly from competition over land and water resources.

 

Mostly concentrated in the North-West, East and Adamaoua regions of the country, Mbororo Fulani pastoralists can be found in all regions of Cameroon. They represent almost 10% (1.5– 2 million) of the population of Cameroon, a country made up of more than 250 ethnic groups.[5]The Mbororo remain marginalised and stigmatised and lack political representation:this has resulted in their continued isolation, including lack of services such as education. Mbororo have especially low literacy rates: while data is scarce, it is believed that only a few Mbororo families were literate by the 1980s and a study carried out in 2011 revealed that 98% of Mbororo girls were illiterate.[6]Mbororos’ distrust of ‘Western’ education and incompatibility with pastoralist lifestyle coupled with a more general sense of reserve and ‘otherness’ have had a marginalising effect and contributes to their continued isolation.  Their lifestyle, social-political structure and religion (Islam) have distinguished them from the local population. Mbororos have sought indigenous people status, with no avail. The 2015-2019 plan for the promotion and protection of human rights includes a study to identify indigenous people in Cameroon, but the Ministry of Social Affairs already presented a study on the identification of indigenous people in 2015, which holds that Mbororo people are not indigenous people, restricting their fundamental and cultural rights.

 

Mbororo people were initially welcomed because of high taxes paid and therefore economic input. However, due to quest for grazing land in an environment of increasing population of farmers, they became seen as ‘undesirable aliens’. During colonial times and up to the 1990s, Mbororos remained formally distinct from other Cameroonians and were not allowed to participate in decision-making arenas: it is only with Cameroon’s democratisation that in the 1990s that they obtained the right to express their grievances directly to the state. Today, tensions and conflict remain in communities mainly due to the farmer-grazer disputes and cross-cultural mistrust and misunderstanding. The Mbororo practice of extensive grazing and their seasonal transhumance (movement during the dry season to search for greener pastures for cattle) coincides with the farmers’ system of shifting cultivation, which has led to mistrust and conflict. Ethnic prejudices are rooted in past experiences of the two ethnic groups vis-à-vis the other, poor understanding of pastoralism and the distinct lifestyle as well as livelihood strategies of the Mbororo cattle herders, and the fact that citizenship in the region is linked to primordial ethnic identity and integration into the socio-political set up. Finally, the large majority of the Mbororo cattle herders are Muslims while the majority of crop farmers are Christians (interethnic antagonism being complicated by sectarian radicalization of both Muslim and Christian youth). With increased pressure on land (thus increased difficulty to find new space for settlement), Mbororos have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle with movements now occurring only during periods of pastoral resource shortages and for a short duration (3-4 months). The Mbororo cattle herders and their non-Mbororo crop farmers differ in their settlement pattern. While the non-Mbororo crop farmers settle in geographically distinct clusters (called quarters), the Mbororo cattle herders mostly occupy the fringes of the villages as a strategy to access vast expanses of land for their grazing activities. This transient settlement pattern limits their associative life (the non-Mbororo crop farmers are organized into various types of associations) and limits their integration into the socio-political set up of the villages. They are consequently excluded from most decision-making spheres, and are politically disenfranchised and disadvantaged.

·         Problem analysis

 As explained, the relationship between the Mbororo and ‘non-Mbororo’ cultural groups is characterized by a history of severe conflicts, triggered by competition over land and related resources between the crop farming community who consider themselves as indigenous to the villages, and Mbororo cattle herders who are considered as more recent settlers and outsiders. 

With a rapidly growing population, there is increasing and fiercer competition over land, water and pasture, leading to continuous conflicts. Farmer-grazer conflicts in the NWR are often triggered by cattle overstepping into farmers’ land, farmers planting on grazing land or farmers and grazers misusing water resources. This has led to damage to crops and cattle poisoning, among other issues. The effects of these conflicts are a tense social atmosphere, poor performance of the livestock and crop production systems, and continuous degradation of the environment. In many recent cases, pastoralists have been dispossessed of their land and forced to migrate to new sites both within and outside the region.

 

In the recent history of these conflicts, the main actors have been women and the youth. Within the crop farming communities, women constitute more than 80% of food crop producers of the region, and are consequently more directly implicated in, and affected by the conflicts than men. When the conflicts escalate into ethnic violence, the youth often join the women in protests and retaliation, as they are more easily radicalized than the elderly men. In addition, youth disenfranchisement (especially as concerns participation in the political leadership of the country) as well as unemployment and underemployment are serious causes for concern. This renders the youth vulnerable to radicalization in case of instability (as is the case with the current socio-political unrest in the two English-speaking regions). Hate speech and other forms of instigation have been used to radicalize the youth (in the case of the Anglophone problem, sectarian and interethnic antagonism), with social media being used to reach and mobilize them. This action responds to the need to address not only the structural causes of conflict but also relational drivers including ethnic prejudices and intercultural intolerance leading to abuse of the cultural rights of vulnerable groups (women, youths and indigenous people).

 

Though triggered by competition over natural resources, these conflicts are driven and inflamed by ethnic prejudices and cultural intolerance. Studies carried out as part of the ISCG project have shown that these conflicts are driven and sustained by a mutual misunderstanding of the culture of the ‘other’, intolerance and prejudice, poor social cohesion, and the continuous exclusion of the minority indigenous Mbororo-Fulani pastoralists from local mainstream decision-making spheres.[7]These studies include: a baseline statistical survey on farmer-grazer conflicts, qualitative research on farmer-grazer conflicts through expert interviews (Senior Divisional Officers, Divisional Officers, Fons and Ardos), a mid-term statistical evaluation study on famer-grazer conflicts and two research papers on (1) the effectiveness of dialogue platforms as tools to resolve conflicts and (2) the cultural/ethnic prejudices between Mbororos and non-Mbororos. These studies have informed the design of this action. However, the issue ofmisunderstanding of the culture of ‘the other’ (which lead to stereotypes and prejudices), and cultural intolerance are yet to be fully understood and addressed. UP and MBOSCUDA are currently implementing the ISCG project, which aims to reduce natural resource based conflicts between these two ethnic groups - but aspects of cultural misunderstanding and intolerance are not yet adequately addressed. Conflicts are likely to continue if the cultural perspectives are not appropriately taken into account and addressed by interventions in the region. The proposed ‘Bridging the Gap’ project would address precisely the prejudice and cultural misunderstanding issues highlighted, as well as seeking to defend the rights of Mbororo people and thus building on ongoing actions in the priority sectors of the EIDHR.

 

·         Intervention logic

 

This proposed action builds on UP’s experience in the region managing a five-year Big Lottery Fund funded project “In Search of Common Ground”. Working with MBOSCUDA, UP has successfully introduced an alternative conflict management (ACM) approach that promotes community level dialogue and negotiation as a means to reduce inter-ethnic conflicts resulting from competition over land, water and other resources. With our support, 47 communities have established ACM committees (“Dialogue Platforms”) and Water Management Committees, which manage water catchment project facilities. These comprise representatives of both competing cultural groups.

 

Our intervention logic can be summarised in the diagram below, which shows how the issues highlighted above are tackled by the ISCG project and will be further addressed in the proposed action:

 

The NWR has increased cultural diversity caused by historic migration across Africa with a wealth of different tribes/clans/races living together.  In Cameroon there are people with different cultural and religious backgrounds co-existing and the aim of this project is to help them understand the differences between and respect the rights of the groups that they live alongside. This action will adapt best practice tools for inter-cultural dialogue to the context of the NWR. The project will build on existing “multi-flow/interactive communication processes in which all are equal participants”:[8] already existing Dialogue Platforms will be used as venues for such exchanges – DPs have had demonstrated results in the reduction of conflicts and changes of attitudes of stakeholders. These DPs have a strong dimension of sustainability; they have shown a degree of success in sustainable change in practices potentially showing openness to these changes. The ISCG mid-term evaluation showed that 64% of households had been involved in conflicts during the first three years of the project, compared with 74% at baseline, a drop of 10 percentage points. Overall, people say that conflict has reduced, 73% at midterm compared with 32% at baseline, and that conflict is less severe than it was before. Another important change recorded in the ISCG project thanks to the work of dialogue platforms relates to perceptions: at baseline, the farmers accused grazers of trespassing on farmlands and grazers accused farmers of encroaching on grazing land. At midterm there was a greater consensus with large numbers (76%) agreeing that trespass by grazers on farmland was the major cause.In addition, large number of respondents (70%) felt the government was not doing enough to resolve conflict and that benefits paid to officials helped cause the problems.

 

The proposed action also builds on and complements tools already put in place by the Government of Cameroon. The main legal instrument for the settlement of farmer-grazer conflicts in Cameroon is Decree No 78/263 of July 3, 1978, which provides for an Agro-pastoral Commission. The work of this commission often emphasizes compensation for damage resulting from the farmer-grazer conflicts, but has failed to address the underlying structural and relational causes in a sustainable manner: this is being addressed by the Dialogue Platforms, whose mandate will be reinforced and expanded. The current socio-political tensions in Anglophone Cameroon have also led the Government to create a National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism, which will be seen as an entry point for advocacy. This action aims to complement the work of the Agro-Pastoral Commission and the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism through the promotion of intercultural dialogue and the cultural rights of the indigenous Mbororo-Fulani pastoralists. It will further seek to raise public awareness on cultural identity and rights issues and advocate for the protection of the cultural rights of disadvantaged ethnic minorities. This project will create synergies with other on-going national programmes, such asSocial Action Services, International Day of the World’s Indigenous People celebrations and Women’s Empowerment Centres.

 

Despite the cultural diversity of the population of the NWR and the issues this poses, there is still little awareness and understanding of the cultural rights issues and legal instruments for the protection of the cultural rights of the various cultural groups. This explains why institutional mechanisms for the promotion of cultural rights are weak, leading to intentional as well as unintentional abuse of the cultural rights of vulnerable groups such as women, youth and ethnic minorities. Currently, there are very few media outlets that produce and broadcast or publish specific material on cultural diversity issues. This is because media practitioners in Cameroon in general and the NWR in particular are not fully aware of cultural rights issues and existing legal frameworks and international conventions on cultural and indigenous peoples rights. Many of the practitioners are not trained media professionals and therefore lack the capacity to produce and effectively deliver programmes and articles on complex issues. Improved awareness of cultural rights issues will be achieved through sensitization using various IEC materials and radio as well as TV programmes.

 

It’s important to note that Cameroon has voted in favour of the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) in 2007 but has not ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169. Cameroon’s revised constitution (adopted in 1996) recognizes the cultural diversity of the country and the rights of minorities in its preamble. However, the country’s policy environment does not clearly state who indigenous people are, and does not clearly provide for the protection of their rights. In 2015, the government of Cameroon launched a five-year plan (2015-2019) for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. The plan specifically aims to halt the marginalization of minorities such as indigenous people and guarantee them better social integration – only two ethnic minorities in Cameroon, the ‘Pygmies’ and the Mbororo, identify themselves as indigenous peoples, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has recognised them as such.[9] This proposed action would influence and accompany the relevant government ministries to ensure that cultural rights and indigenous people’s rights are effectively promoted through the implementation of the above-mentioned five-year plan. Informed advocacy actions will be implemented to influence policy and public decisions to be more responsive to the needs of to the specific needs of cultural minorities – in this case, the Mbororos.

 

·        Relevance to results and expected outcomes

 

The action is aligned to the EIDHR call for proposals in that it will:

 

a)increase intercultural understanding and mutual respect between Mbororo-Fulani and non-Mbororos in the North West Region of Cameroon through inter-cultural dialogue, using 20 youth associations and 20 women’s groups. These activities will encourage youth engagement in various spheres and will encourage exchanges between otherwise separated communities, and will make use of innovative and culturally-appropriate tools for mobilisation of communities;

 

b) improve awareness on cultural rights issues and international conventions on cultural diversitythrough media. This will improve awareness at a national level and will inform the population about the rights of minorities and different cultures across Cameroon – efforts will be made to sensitise and raise awareness of the population on various commitments taken by the Government of Cameroon in the sphere of cultural rights, including by publishing user-friendly versions of international conventions;

 

c)increase responsiveness of public policies and decisions to cultural identities and rights of minorities. The action will further build the capacity of Civil Society Organisations to represent the voices of communities on the ground and become representatives for dialogue with government bodies.

 

This project will improve the human rights situation in the NWR as a response to the recent tensions that have arisen from the region as well as being an intervention to tackle the on-going conflicts between Mbororo grazers and non-Mbororo farmers. The project is firmly based on past experiences in the region, including the ISCG project and working with women’s groups to increase their active participation in society, working through youth social drama clubs for Mbororo youth. The project also includes a capacity-building component, which takes the form of mentoring and support to MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR from UP’s management team as well as support from MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR to build the capacity of local actors, including various CBOs in the rural areas. This responds to EIDHR’s priorities in that it draws on UP’s experience in building the capacity of civil society, promoting their rights and enabling its independence across all its country programmes.

The proposed action is relevant to the call’s objective in that it provides support to civil society to defend human rights. In order to improve access to quality information on cultural minorities, UP and co-applicants will pilot a mapping exercise of existing information on Mbororo settlements in NWR, set up an observatory and organize a conference on cultural diversity and rights in the region enhancing information sharing and potential for scaling up.

The proposed action addresses Sector I, Social Cohesion and the promotion of rights to cultural identity and intercultural dialogue.

The action responds to the needs of MBOSCUDA’s support base in the North West Region (NWR), and of the membership base of the North West Farmers Organization (NOWEFOR), which represents the primarily non-Mbororo famer community.

 

The action therefore takes an integrated approach and brings together MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR as civil society representatives of the two sides of the cultural and ethnic divide, thereby providing a strong basis of intercultural dialogue and improved social cohesion.

 

The objectives of this action will be achieved through three components, corresponding to three result areas.

 

Component 1 is the promotion of intercultural dialogue through awareness raising, capacity building and cultural exchange programmes for leaders of women’s groups and youth associations. The dialogue platforms will be scaled-up and extended to other conflict hotspots. The action builds on the experience with the ISCG project,which has shown that grassroots committees comprising members of different cultural groups facilitate intercultural understanding and have a positive impact on conflicts among these groups.

 

Component 2 is an information and awareness campaign on cultural diversity/identities and rights through radio and TV programmes and the production and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials, including a documentary, on cultural identities and the rights of different peoples. UP and its partners will strengthen the awareness and capacity of 20 community radio broadcasters, and mentor them to produce radio programmes addressing cultural identity and rights issues in local languages (mainly Pidgin English, which is widely used in the region). 

 

Component 3 will consist of a regional and national level advocacy campaign to influence public policies and decisions to be more responsive to the cultural identities and rights of minorities. This will comprise capacity building and mentoring for CBO and CSO leaders, dialogue with public institutions and the stimulation and facilitation of a Civil Society Observatory on the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (to act as a repository of information on and support to victims of rights violations).

 

Overall objectiveof the action:  Strengthen social cohesion in the North West Region of Cameroon through promotion of intercultural dialogue and cultural right

 

Specific objective:  Promote intercultural dialogue and advocacy with the view to reducing conflicts and marginalization of minorities, youth and women in the North West Region and beyond

 

The expected outputs are:

·         10% reduction in the incidence of conflicts between Mbororo-Fulani pastoralists and crop farmers;

·         20% increase in the participation of Mbororo-Fulani youths and women in mainstream socio-cultural groups and activities;

·          improvement in the cultural diversity of at least 75% of target women’s and youth social groups;

·         production and dissemination of a user-friendly version of the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity to youths and women;

·         19 community radio stations broadcasting regular programmes on cultural rights;

·         production of a documentary on cultural identity and rights of cultural minorities;

·         establishment of a Civil Society Observatory on cultural identity and rights of ethnic minorities;

·         a regional conference on cultural identity bringing together parliamentarians and senators, the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedom (CNDHL), relevant ministries, local authorities etc. with the aim of adopting a set of resolutions in relation to cultural identities and rights issues.

 

·        Results and activities

 

Result 1: Increased intercultural understanding and mutual respect between Mbororo-Fulani and non-Mbororo crop farmers in the North West Region of Cameroon through inter-cultural dialogue, using 20 youth associations and 20 women’s groups as entry points, as well as 47 Cultural Dialogue Platforms and other innovative tools.

 

Activities:

 

1.1   Capacity building and sensitization workshops for leaders of youth and women’s groups of various cultures (on cultural diversity, UNESCO declaration on cultural diversity):
three sensitisation and training workshops will be organized separately for leaders of youth associations, women’s groups and dialogue platforms from conflict hotspots. Each workshop will bring together 25-30 participants. Specific themes will include cultural rights and diversity, and national as well as international legal instruments on cultural rights and diversity. During the workshops, participants will be guided to elaborate action plans to pass on their new knowledge to members of their groups as well as to actively seek to improve on the cultural diversity of their groups and to include activities that promote intercultural tolerance within their groups.

1.2   Support to youth and women’s groups towards the improvement of cultural diversification: the action plans will seek to achieve greater cultural diversity within the groups. Also, the plans will aim to integrate activities towards the promotion of cultural tolerance within the groups. This activity consists of the provision of advisory services to the groups towards the diversification of their cultural diversity and the implementation of activities that promote cultural tolerance. Project staff will visit the groups to provide advice and support them during the operationalization of their actionplans.

1.3   Organization of youth cultural exchange programmes, including the use of social media and sports (competitions, practice, etc.)

1.3.1      A politically neutral social media platform will be established to enable youths of the various cultures to exchange on various cultural issues such as music, arts etc. Two youth animators with demonstrated knowledge and skills in social (one from the Mbororo-Fulani community and the other from the non-Mbororo community) will be recruited and trained to co-moderate and animate the platform.

1.3.2      Sporting competitions (football and handball) will be organized in selected conflict-prone communities as well as at divisional and regional level. The finals of the competitions will be organized one day of the regional conference on cultural diversity (see below), and the prize awarded will constitute an item on the agenda of the conference. The sporting competition will be highly mediatized to strengthen the visibility of the project and create further awareness on cultural issues among the youth.



1.4   Extension of the dialogue platform initiative of the In Search of Common Ground (ISCG) project to cultural dialogue platforms in conflict hotspots: in the ISCG project, inclusive (Mbororo and non-Mbororo members) DPs have been put in place to facilitate the collaborative management of natural resource conflicts in conflict hotspots.The mandate of these dialogue platforms will be extended to include dialogue on cultural rights and identity issues. In addition to dialogue on cultural rights, the leaders of the platforms will also serve as mediators in case of conflicts among the various ethnic groups. They will organize sensitization campaigns on cultural rights and the need for mutual understanding and tolerance among the various cultural groups. The dialogue platforms will meet on a quarterly basis to discuss their activities and the evolution of intercultural dialogue and integration in their respective communities.

1.5   Social drama on human rights and social justice (particularly among youth from different cultures): social drama on human rights and human justice (with particular attention to cultural rights) will be organized in the conflict hotspots of the region. A Mbororo-Fulani youth drama group (known as SIDO Forum) that emerged 10 years ago from a project implemented by MBOSCUDA and Village Aid UK (now part of UP) will be trained and assisted to organize these social drama sessions. Other drama groups of the Mbororo-Fulani as well as non-Mbororo communities will be identified and trained to organize social drama in the conflict hotspots. An experienced expert in social drama will be hired to provide capacity building and guidance to the drama groups.

 

Result 2: Improved awareness of cultural rights issues and international conventions on cultural diversity through a regional and national campaign using radio, TV, documentaries and other media (booklets for distribution etc.).

 

2.1    Production and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) material (on cultural rights in Cameroon, indigenous peoples rights and international human rights conventions):IEC material such as posters, brochures and a booklet carrying a user-friendly version of national and international instruments on cultural rights and diversity issues will be produced and disseminated in rural and urban areas of the NWR. A consultant will support the production of various materials. A total of 5000 posters, 50,000 brochures and 5000 booklets will be produced and disseminated. These materials will be written in simple language.

2.2   Production and broadcast of a documentary on cultural identities and rights: a documentary of about 20-25 minutes on the cultural identities of the NWR will be produced. A team of hired experts will lead the production of the documentary. 2000 CDs of the documentary will be produced and distributed to well-targeted media, relevant government officials, mayors, parliamentarians, CSOs and other stakeholders to be identified. Most importantly, concrete arrangements will be made with local and national TV stations (both state-owned and private) for the broadcast of the documentary during the project period and beyond. The documentary will be posted on the websites of UP, MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR and other online platforms.

2.3   Appearance on various cultural TV programmes on national television as well as private stations: the project team will mobilise produces or TV programmes on cultural diversity and will accompany them to produce programmes that provide more concrete information on the cultural rights of Mbororo-Fulani people and other ethnic groups. Project staff and other relevant stakeholders will appear on such programmes to provide information and sensitize the public on the project and on issues related to the cultural rights and identities of the various ethnic or cultural groups. There will be a total of 10 appearances at the rate of one per quarter. Prior to each appearance, the public will be sensitized to ensure proper outreach.

2.4   Training and sensitisation of community radio stations and media on cultural rights issues (including international conventions of which Cameroon is a signatory):this will be a series of training and sensitization workshops for media practitioners working for local community radios, TV stations and newspapers. This activity aims to strengthen the media’s awareness and understanding of cultural diversity and to stimulate their interest in view of enhancing their participation in the promotion of cultural rights through reporting. Three initial workshops of 3 days each will be organized for 3 separate categories: radio and TV practitioners, bloggers and print media practitioners. Each workshop will target 15-20 participants. Trained practitioners will be accompanied to produce and broadcast programmes, and one-day six-monthly follow up workshops will be organized for each category to assess their progress and identify issues for reporting in a participatory manner. During these follow up workshops, sustainability strategies will be elaborated in order to ensure that reporting on cultural rights and diversity issues continues beyond the lifespan of the project. A media specialist and an anthropologist or rural sociologist with demonstrated experience on diversity issues will be hired to facilitate the workshops and provide support to the media practitioners throughout the project period.

2.5   Production and broadcast of radio programmes on cultural identity issues:the project team will work with media practitioners who have been trained (activity 2.4 above) to produce and broadcast monthly programmes on cultural rights and identity issues. An association of community radio promoters exists in the NWR. The leaders of this association have been consulted and have pledged their collaboration in this proposed action. This association will therefore serve as the entry point for this activity and others involving community radio practitioners. A total of 10 local radios and the national state-owned radio (CRTV) will be involved. Each station will produce, broadcast and rebroadcast cultural identity programmes every month during the project period. While these programmes are being broadcast, the project team will work with the promoters of the radio stations to put in place a strategy to sustain the cultural identity radio programmes beyond the lifespan of the project.


Result 3: Increased responsiveness of public policies and decisions to cultural identities and rights of cultural minorities through civil society capacity building, advocacy, improved access to reliable information and dialogue with public institutions.

 

3.1   Mapping and collation of existing information to produce informed estimates of current Mbororo-Fulani settlement patterns in the North West Region of Cameroon:this will consist of pilot of efforts to produce a mapping of the settlement patterns of indigenous people in Cameroon. Concrete information on the population and settlements of these people will serve as a tool for informed decision-making in their favour or on other issues that affect them. Field data (including GPS data) as well as existing information from various sources will be collected and analysed to produce informed estimates of current Mbororo-settlement patterns. The information collected will be presented to relevant government officials and stakeholders such as interested NGOs and multilateral development actors, including how it can be used to inform decision-making. The results of this activity will be presented at the proposed regional conference on cultural diversity and during other relevant meetings. It is expected that stakeholders, especially government ministries, will adopt mapping and collation of existing information as an approach towards the acquisition of information on minority groups.

3.2   Capacity-building for Mbororo community leaders and CBOs on effective representation in councils and other decision-making arenas (this may include councillors, traditional authorities, women’s groups, youth organisations, etc.):this will be a series of capacity building workshops (about twenty 2-day workshops) for Mbororo councillors and candidates for council elections, Mbororo traditional leaders, and leaders of women’s and youth groups from both Mbororo and non-Mbororo communities. Capacity-building themes will concern effective representation in decision-making arenas such as councils, association of traditional authorities, and federations of women’s and youth groups. The specific points of emphasis during the training will be adapted to the needs of each category. Each training will bring together an average of 30 people.

3.3   Creation of a Civil Society Observatory on the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (to act as a repository of information and support to victims of rights violations): the project will stimulate the creation of a regional observatory of civil society organizations in the NWR, which will collect and disseminate information on the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and provide support to victims of human rights abuses. To achieve this, a one-day inception workshop will be organized bringing together representatives of about 30 organizations. During the workshop, participants will agree on the activities of the observatory and the role of members in the collection and dissemination of information on cultural rights issues and how victims of cultural rights abuses would be supported. This observatory will be made up of MBOSCUDA, NOWEFOR, CSOs working on cultural issues in the region, media practitioners with particular interest in cultural rights and identity issues, and representatives of relevant government technical ministries in the Region. The observatory will meet in six-monthly meetings to discuss the situation of cultural rights and agree on actions in support of victims of cultural rights abuse in the region. Members could meet in extra-ordinary sessions in case of a serious violation of cultural rights requiring prompt support.

3.4   Capacity building for members of the observatory:a three-day training session will be organized for members of the observatory on how to recognize and collect information on cultural rights issues, and on advocacy strategies to influence local, regional and national level public decisions to be more responsive to the needs of cultural groups. Capacity building in a wider sense will be on-going.

3.5   Collection and dissemination of information on cultural rights abuses:the observatory will adopt data collection tools, which members will use to collect information on cultural rights abuses. The data collected will be organized, analysed and entered into an online database (saved on Dropbox) that can be accessed by members andother interested actors.

3.6   Organization of a regional conference on the multi-cultural identity of Cameroon:this will be a one-day conference on cultural rights and identity issues to be chaired either by the Governor of the region or the Regional Delegate in charge of culture. Participants will include representatives of selected leaders of the indigenous Mbororo-Fulani and other local communities, CSOs (mainly members of the cultural rights observatory), relevant regional government officials (the Ministries in charge of culture, youth affairs, women’s affairs, social affairs, agriculture and livestock), representatives of local councils, local administrative authorities, parliamentarians etc. A total of about 80 participants have been envisaged. During the conference, issues of cultural rights and identity will be presented and debated. The workshop will end with resolutions on the promotion of cultural rights and dialogue, including the role of each category of actors.

 

 

 

 

·        Main stakeholders and their attitudes towards the action

 

The target groups for this action include:

·         47 existing dialogue platforms serving about 65,000 people;

·          20 municipal councils of the region;

·          MBOSCUDA leaders of North West and West Regions;

·          women’s organizations (Women’s Forums) in 20 councils;

·          youth councils and youth associations in 20 councils;

·          approximately 65,000 Mbororo-Fulani pastoralists of the North West Region;

·          a union of 18 farmers’ groups (NOWEFOR) with a total membership of approximately 3,000;

·          19 community radio stations which will benefit from capacity-building and will broadcast awareness-raising programmes on cultural rights;

·          10+ CBOs whose capacity will be built;

·          Ministry of Women Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF);

·          Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS)

·          Ministry of Youth and Civic Education (MINJEC)

·          Ministry of Arts and Culture (MINAC)

·          Traditional institutions in the target zones.

 

The final direct and indirect beneficiaries of this action are the populations of the NWR in general (approximately 2,000,000) and 20 municipal councils in 7 divisions of the Region in particular (a population of over 250,000 inhabitants) benefitting from increased social cohesion and improved livelihoods. Approximately 38% of the villages in the selected councils will be reached by the action (69 out of the 182 in the 20 councils). The target council areas will be selected based on the significant population of the two cultural groups and the fact that they are conflict hotspots. UP and MBOSCUDA are currently managing a conflict database, which will allow the action to determine which areas to consider as conflict hotspots.

 

In designing the Bridging the Gap project, UP and MBOSCUDA have carried out consultations and sensitization of target groups and beneficiaries, and other key stakeholders.

UP and MBOSCUDA have met with the Ministry of Social Affairs as well as the Ministry for Women’s Affairs and the Family in their regional offices in Bamenda during the concept note stage, and both ministries welcomed the idea brought forward and have agreed to support the project in its implementation.

The project builds on the Resolutions adopted at the end of Regional Conference on Farmer-grazer Conflicts that took place in September 2016 and attracted regional representatives of technical ministries, administrative and municipal authorities, parliamentarians and traditional authorities.

During the preparation of the full proposal, further consultations were carried out by MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR.

Public institutions consulted included the regional level officials of the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Youth Affairs and Culture.

Though no formal agreement was reached with these officials, they all had a positive attitude toward the project ideas and pledged their collaboration during the implementation of the action.

Community representatives were also consulted and have expressed their interest in the project. They have equally pledged their support to ensure that their respective communities participate in and take ownership of the project activities.

 

The selection of the final beneficiaries and women’s and youth groups will be done through a participatory process, involving all levels of society, from regional administrative authorities to traditional leaders all the way to the community level, using MBOSCUDA’s and NOWEFOR existing networks of community relays (Community Resource Volunteers).

MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR have vast experience in the mobilization of project stakeholders, with an existing network of staff across all sub-divisions of the NWR.

ISCG’s mid-term evaluation highlighted the trust that communities have in MBOUSCUDA and their services: 91% of respondents knew about their services, an increase from 59% three years earlier. MBOSCUDA’s most recognized service is conflict resolution (34% of respondents), followed by training and awareness campaigns on minority rights.

In addition, the action aims to promote community-level dialogue and intergroup engagement thereby ensuring effective participation of the target groups and beneficiaries.

 

·        Impacts

 

Technical impact: the main community level target of this proposed action are women and youth groups as well as 47 dialogue platforms operating in communities identified as cultural conflict hotspots.

The capacity of the leaders of these youth and women’s groups will be strengthened to enable them incorporate activities that will lead to increased cultural tolerance within their groups. Their improved capacity to facilitate cultural dialogue will reduce conflicts within their respective groups and communities at large. At the level of the implementing organizations, the action will provide an opportunity for UP experts to strengthen the technical capacity of MBOSCUDA and NOWEFOR to accompany their contact groups to assert their cultural rights.

 

Economic impact: though this action does not directly seek to achieve economic outcomes, it is expected that the livelihoods of Mbororo-Fulani pastoralists and non-Mbororo crop farmers, which are closely linked to their cultures, will be promoted through a more peaceful and harmonious access to agro-pastoral resources.

Increased mutual understanding between these two cultural groups is expected to reduce ethnic stereotyping and prejudices that have been identified as drivers of farmer-grazer conflicts in the NWR. This is expected to lead to increased productivity of cattle herding and crop production livelihoods of the beneficiaries of the project.

 

Social impact: the main social impact of this project will be increased social cohesion and reduced conflicts in the beneficiary communities.

This will be achieved through sensitisation and intercultural dialogue, leading to increased intercultural tolerance and mutual respect among the various cultural groups. The proposed action is expected to strengthen the voice of youth and women and enable them to effectively and efficiently assert their cultural rights.

 

Policy level impact: the proposed action seeks to influence and accompany relevant local and regional government officials to implement existing policies on cultural rights.

Through capacity building and coaching, the project will enable community leaders of cultural minority groups to engage and dialogue with public policy/decision makers in a more efficient manner so that the needs cultural minority groups are taken into account during policy formulation.