Last week, we shared an example of an innovative participatory project design in Kenya. This week, our example of an innovative participatory project design comes from Kosovo.
In Kosovo, the gap between formal legal protection of women’s property rights and actual practice remains large. To address this gap and help support women’s claims to land and other property, USAID is using participatory approaches in the design of a strategic social and behavior change communication campaign. The campaign aims to shift attitudes and actions around women’s land rights and increase women’s ability to access and own property. Although formal laws and clear enforcement procedures protect women’s rights to land and other property, behavioral barriers—including strong cultural pressures for women to renounce family inheritances—prevent women from acquiring property in practice. To better understand the experiences of those affected and to create behavior change communication interventions that will resonate with the public, the design of USAID’s campaign includes target audiences, women’s organizations, and other key players in the property rights space—giving voice to marginalized groups and building local ownership and sustainability of the program.
During the initial phase of the project, USAID convened a participatory consultation workshop with key stakeholders to listen to local experience, segment and prioritize audiences, analyze needed changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and identify key messages that will help reduce pressures on women to renounce their family inheritance. The workshop was also an opportunity for participants to share communications lessons learned and research results, and identify broad gaps in knowledge. Feedback from participants informed the design of a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Survey targeting key campaign audiences, which, when launched, will be used to further understand audience experiences, barriers to change, and behavioral incentives—all critical information that will enable the program to bring audiences toward the “tipping point” for change.
USAID will be working across the country with a broad network of community-based civil society and non-governmental organizations to build their capacity to design, lead, and implement this important campaign to better ensure local ownership, sustainability, and the accuracy, relatability, and effectiveness of messaging.