As a complement to our casework, IDI develops tools to inform and empower communities and increase the effectiveness of social movements and local advocates on the front lines of the fight for just and inclusive development.
Communities threatened with forced displacement or environmental harms in the name of development face formidable barriers to accessing critical information about their rights and avenues for defending those rights. Affected people are often unaware of the identities of the companies, investors, multilateral institutions or government actors behind the projects that threaten them, much less the legal and policy obligations that bind those actors. Communities also often lack information about the struggles of other communities, and the range of judicial and non-judicial avenues available to challenge development or business-related harms and seek redress. In response to this need, IDI develops global, regional and country-specific practitioner and popular education materials that aim to empower communities and local CSOs to advocate for just and inclusive development. We deconstruct and demystify the complex layers of international financial flows and accountability frameworks, and break down the information and skills barriers people face in defending their rights.
IDI’s educational tools are designed to be accessible and simple to use. Complex subject matters are unpacked into bite size illustrated components, making them understandable for everyone. Our training resources contain interactive lesson plans so that lecturing is used as little as possible. The activities are aimed at stimulating imagination and critical thought. The teaching methods recognize that participants come to training workshops with knowledge and experience from their own lives and that they have much to contribute to the learning experience. We develop materials in partnership with local groups who best know the context in which they are operating.
You can read more about and download IDI’s tools below:
Safeguarding People and the Environment in Chinese Investments: A Guide for Community AdvocatesDownloadABOUT
China has become one of the most important sources of foreign investment in the world. Chinese companies play various roles in overseas projects, from research and design, to construction, development and operation. Chinese financial institutions make many overseas projects possible by providing loans, foreign currency, insurance and equity investments.
This investment brings with it potential benefits, but also human rights, social and environmental risks. Communities impacted by Chinese investments, and the civil society groups that seek to support them, often encounter difficulties obtaining project information, communicating with developers and financiers, and raising concerns or complaints. In response to this situation, State institutions and an increasing number of Chinese companies and financiers have begun to adopt environmental and social standards for their overseas investments.
This guide explains the key actors involved in Chinese overseas investment and describes the environmental and social standards and guidelines that apply. The guide also provides practical advice on how to use these standards in advocacy with relevant Chinese actors and institutions. It is hoped that the information and ideas contained here will help community advocates to ensure that the rights of project-affected people are respected and protected, and in cases where harm does occur, that effective remedies are provided.
Follow the Money to Justice: An accountability hub for defending land, housing and resource rightsABOUT
This tool is designed for advocates working to support communities whose rights and resources are threatened by irresponsible investment projects. Building on our 2015 publication, co-produced with IIED, Following the Money: An advocates guide to securing accountability in agricultural investments, this online resource explains how to mine publicly available information to identify and analyze the companies, investors and other actors behind destructive projects, It also provides guidance on how to collect evidence, get organized and develop tailored, multi-pronged advocacy strategies to hold these actors accountable. It draws upon the experiences and lessons learned from community advocates around the world who have successfully challenged harmful investments and shaped development in their regions.
Following the Money: An Advocate's Guide to Securing Accountability in Agricultural InvestmentsDownloadABOUT
IDI partnered with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to develop an educational tool for campaigners and legal practitioners on how to hold actors involved in agricultural investments accountable for human rights violations and other adverse impacts. The guide helps practitioners to ‘follow the money’ by mapping investment chains, identifying pressure points along the chains, and using multi-pronged advocacy strategies to influence the design of agricultural projects or to obtain redress for land and human rights violations that have already occurred. It is informed by experiences and lessons learned from activists and practitioners throughout the world and draws on real life examples of investment projects that have affected local communities and the different strategies used to challenge or change those investments.
In February 2015, IDI and IIED held a workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to test a draft of the guide with community organizers, researchers and advocates working to support communities adversely impacted by agricultural investments in Southeast Asia. The workshop brought together diverse participants from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and China to share their rich experience using a range of advocacy strategies to secure accountability and help shape this resource.
Avoiding Forced Evictions: A Community Guide to Negotiation and Advocacy (Cambodian Edition)Cambodian Facilitator Edition (English)Cambodian Facilitator Edition (Khmer)Cambodian Participant Edition (English)Cambodian Participant Edition (Khmer)ABOUT
IDI and Equitable Cambodia published Avoiding Forced Evictions: A Community Guide to Negotiation and Advocacy in 2015. This resource aims to help communities prepare for negotiations with private companies or government authorities seeking to take their land and/or evict them from their homes. The guide seeks to address the radically asymmetrical power relations in these sorts of negotiations by situating negotiation within a broader advocacy strategy. Through case studies and interactive exercises, the four-day course guides facilitators to teach important principles and skills to strengthen the negotiation capability of leaders and representatives of communities facing forced displacement.
- Understanding the importance of information gathering about the interests of the community and the other party.
- Using standards in negotiation (laws, rights, best practices, market price, etc.).
- Thinking about options for negotiated settlement.
- Understanding the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) and strategies for first offers.
- Knowing when and how to use advocacy in negotiation.
- Understanding the importance of preparation and developing a negotiation strategy.
The first edition of the guide has been developed for the Cambodian context and is available in Khmer and English. A second edition of the guide for a broader Southeast Asian context is currently under development and will be published in early 2017.
A Cambodian Guide to Defending Land and Housing RightsBook 1 - Your Rights Under International Law (English)Book 2 - Your Rights under Cambodian Law (English)Book 3 - Defending Your Rights (English)ABOUT
IDI associates co-developed A Cambodian Guide to Defending Land and Housing Rights, which was published in 2009 by Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia (BABSEA), International Accountability Project (IAP) and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE). The Guide contains the first resource of its kind for communities threatened with development-induced displacement. It contains three books important information about the risks of displacement, international and national legal rights and strategies that can be used to defend those rights. The guide was designed and written so that it is accessible to communities, including those who have had limited literacy and access to formal education. The Facilitator’s Edition includes interactive activities and instructions for facilitators to run training sessions on each topic. It was written in a spirit of solidarity and with the aim of contributing to the global movement against the injustices of forced displacement.
A Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement SafeguardsFacilitator’s Edition (English)Facilitator’s Edition (Khmer)Participant's Edition (English)Participant’s Edition (Khmer)ABOUT
As a follow up to this successful initiative, IDI associates developed A Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Safeguards, which was published by Bridges Across Borders Cambodia in 2011. This interactive resource aims to equip communities affected by projects financed by the Asian Development Bank with a basic knowledge of the core principles and pertinent provisions of the ADB Safeguard Policy. The guide explains who is covered by the safeguards, what people are entitled to in terms of both compensation and resettlement, and the obligations on the borrower government both to make information accessible to those affected and to conduct meaningful consultations about the project, its impacts and mitigation measures. The guide further explains what people can do to hold the ADB and government accountable if they are harmed by the project and ADB safeguards are violated. The guide was developed for a Cambodian audience but its lessons are applicable to communities affected by ADB projects across Asia.