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Photo by Jacob Balzani Lööv

COMING UP: Data comes to life in pilot projects

Photo by Jacob Balzani Lööv

The Navigator Initiative is moving forward and now it is time to see the data in action. The first round of pilot projects is being assessed and innovative solutions will start rolling out in 2019 with a solid foundation on community-generated data.

Based on more than 100 participatory workshops and discussions at the community level, the 20 partners in the Indigenous Navigator Initiative have designed local projects to tackle insufficient and/or culturally inadequate access to social services and to promote the participation of indigenous peoples in decision-making processes in their communities. Data-driven projects will therefore serve as a tool to influence and implement sustainable agendas in a way that works for indigenous peoples.


Why use community-generated data to implement the SDGs?
The Indigenous Navigator offers a set of tools and framework for indigenous communities to monitor their rights. Having the communities themselves collect and analyse their own disaggregated data, is a strong drive to improving their direct participation as right holders.

Community-generated data clearly pinpoint drivers of vulnerability and exclusion, and therefore is a means to create change by promoting models for best practices from within indigenous communities. The Indigenous Navigator is a tool that lives up to the promise of “leaving no-one behind”, as the indigenous communities themselves identify the priorities for their human development and the solutions to better close the existing gaps.

Which kind of projects will start running?

The projects have been designed based on the data collected using the Indigenous Navigator questionnaire by organisations and actors that know the area and communities needs like the back of their hands. All the projects that will start next year will be piloting culturally adequate service deliveries and will document and communicate the lessons learned to scale the replicability and multiplying effects of good practices.

As an example, there is a proposal to create an indigenous leadership school in Peru. The purpose of this pilot project is to strengthen the Wampis peoples’ traditional governance structure, institutions and leadership, and thereby strengthen their capacity to enter into dialogue with the municipality authorities and advocate for intercultural municipal administration with a focus on the implementation and respect of the SDGs and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Also in Peru, partners have drafted a project that focuses on how to systematize traditional knowledge on health. The objective of this pilot project is to contribute to the physical and spiritual well-being of the Quechua families. In addition, by promoting and reinforcing the ancestral knowledge on health and traditional medicine - which is inextricably linked to the protection and preservation of forests and the cultivation of medicinal plants - this project will also contribute to bringing the degradation of biodiversity to halt, both in the forests and in the surrounding areas.

Yet another project in Peru, deals with agricultural biodiversity. The purpose is to empower women to recover, revalue and re-establish their traditional knowledge on nutritional diet and agriculture as well as to strengthen the promotion and recovery of agricultural biodiversity.

In Colombia two projects are in the pipeline, one is focused on developing an information system on use and management of land, housing, water and sanitation conditions, cultural and economic situation of the Emberá Chamí community, which can become an advocacy instrument in negotiation with the governmental entities of the Colombian state as well as to promote and strengthen the participation of more community members in decision making processes regarding their development as indigenous people.

The second one deals with developing a governance system, policy documents and in obtaining legal recognition of the indigenous authorities and institutions as well as to advocate for participatory decision-making processes, administration of resources and territories with the local government. Now is a crucial moment to act, as the guerrilla forces are no longer controlling the area, but instead new actors have appeared with the purpose of exploiting mining and forest resources. The communities have discussed and agreed that there is a dire need to create strong indigenous leadership and legal recognition to build increased control and protection of their territories and natural resources.

Supported by the European Union

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The Indigenous Navigator provides a set of tools for indigenous peoples to systematically monitor the level of recognition and implementation of their rights.

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