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Human Rights and Community-led Development

Lessons from Tostan

Ben Cislaghi

Paperback (Forthcoming)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

A compelling response to the call for effective community-led models of human development

How can we best empower people living in the most economically disadvantaged areas of the world to improve their lives in ways that matter to them? This book investigates work of the NGO Tostan as a working model of human development. The study is grounded in the ethnographic study of the actual change that happened in one West African village. The result is a powerful mix of theory and practice that questions existing approaches to development and that speaks to both development scholars and practitioners.

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Index of Figures and Tables

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction

Origin of this book and research methods
Three useful things that are in this book
Part one. Some useful concepts to rethink development practices
Part two. The programme in action
Part three. Helpful development

Part I: Some Useful Tools to Rethink Development Practices

2. Rethinking development interventions: Potential and challenges of human rights education

Bringing international human rights into local contexts
A nonformal problem-posing approach to human rights education
A human development framework for human rights education
Cognitive and social constructions of the status quo
Gender roles and social change
Power dynamics in social reproduction

3. Modernisation at work: Senegal, Tostan and the Fulɓe

Senegal: Gender, Decision Making and Human Rights Challenges
The NGO Tostan: approach, curriculum and limitations
The Fulɓe identity: values and characteristics


Part II: The Programme in Action

4. Galle Toubaaco before the programme

Galle Toubaaco
Gender roles and relations: invisible power
Political structure and decision-making: visible and hidden power
Other human-rights-inconsistent social practices

5. Human rights education in action: the programme unfolds

The Learning Context
The Experiential Learning
The Curriculum
Resistance to and limitations of the Tostan classes in Galle Toubaaco

6. The 'now-women' and other changes: a wider horizon of possibilities?

Galle Toubaaco
Gender roles and relations: invisible power
Political Structure and decision-making: visible and hidden power
Other Human-rights-inconsistent social practices
Possible pitfalls of the Tostan programme in Galle Toubaaco


Part III: Helpful Development

7. Dynamics of social change: a model for indirect development practitioners

The pedagogical approach of the HRE programme
The substantive content of the HRE programme
The process of coinvestigation breaking norms of gender segregation
Experiencing new clues to make sense of the world
Developing capacity to aspire
Expanding freedoms and gaining new capabilities
The interactive process between two communities of practice
A people-centred indirect approach to human development

8. Conclusion

What changed in Galle Toubaaco: gender relations, power balance, and harmful practices
A theory of change for the CEP: three steps for social change
Comparing the Tostan model: three case studies
Four Contributions to Theory and Practice of International Development
Future research trajectories


About the Author

Ben Cislaghi is Lecturer in Social Norms at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He previously worked as a development professional.

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