it appeared to be very difficult to create a fully inclusive program. That’s the message Michele and Gareth gave to the participants. That’s why they designed the TAAP toolkit. TAAP is a tool on Transforming Agency, Access and Power. The toolkit is already online, click here to download.
The participants started with an exercise to experience how it feels to be included or excluded. This exercise clearly showed how exclusion works in real life: the powerful people are able to find each other and easily lose contact with the less powerful. It’s a challenge for us to discover our bias and function as a key between the powerful- and the powerless.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion is about improving the ability, opportunity and dignity of those who are disadvantaged on the basis of their identity. We need to make sure that everybody has a voice and the power to determine their own destiny. Everybody has his or her own vulnerabilities at different times and different places. So engaging everybody as a multidimensional process is time- and place dependent. Therefore, it’s very difficult to define whether people are excluded or not.
The TAAP toolkit
To overcome your own biases and to really include the disadvantaged groups, Michele and Gareth gave a presentation about the brand new inclusion toolkit TAAP. Click here to see the full presentation. The TAAP initiative is designed to make it easier to amplify those people we really would like to include. It creates opportunities for us in learning. It’s an evidence-based approach on participatory programs that aim inclusion. The toolkit is unique since it’s applicable to every context and it has incorporated the idea of intersectionality (The idea that we have multiple identities that can interact with each other: it can intensify inclusion or exclusion, power up or power down). The toolkit aims a transformation we need to work differently than we are used to in our daily routines.
The document consists of five principles and a couple of practical steps. Also, 34 exercises are included to make the document more feasible. The principles are:
Incorporate participatory approaches: involve people who are excluded and involve them in decision processes.
Integrate sensitivity to context: local contextualization is very important. You have to understand local norms and get local sensitivity.
Emphasize dignity and agency: ensure that there’s a space in which people feel safe to say what they want and get them involved.
Address power imbalances: promote policies and initiatives that emphasize an equal treatment for all stakeholders.
Think big, think the impossible: look beyond your daily routine. Particularly, remove barriers. How can we build a bridge between the powerful and the powerless?
The toolkit is a project management cycle that includes five phases:
- Phase I: Inclusive identity and reflection: pay attention to your own biases and those of your organization. It’s important to reflect on your own behaviour.
- Phase II: Social inclusion analysis: we have to understand the current situation to be able to change the future. This is about understanding the local context.
- Phase III: Inclusive design: take what you learned in the previous phases. Exercises in the toolkit can help you with that.
- Phase IV: Inclusive implementation: the project team puts everything into practice. The indicators you use are inclusive and are able to show actual transformative change.
- Phase V: Inclusion analysis: you already know who your target group is. Gather the data that demonstrates the people you tried to include.
Do you want to know more?
- Download the toolkit.
- Sign up for the Tuesday Newsletter and share good stories you have about inclusion. Click here to register.
- Join the TAAP community of practice. This community just got launched and you can apply on the website of World Learning Europe.
- Do you want to share something about this subject on social media? Use the #taapinclusion.
Notes, presentations, actions to take and other information shared on the Platform can be found on the LNOB dropbox. You are welcome to join the LNOB Platform and share your ideas, tools, and documents. The next session will take place on the 13th of September. Do you want to join? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The LNOB platform develops, shares and promotes knowledge, innovative solutions and policies that contribute to ending poverty and exclusion.