Call for Applications: 2nd INTERNATIONAL LEARNING PROGRAM ON BUDGET ANALYSIS AND ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS 2 to 11 October 2006 Buenos Aires, Argentina BACKGROUND Economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) are legal obligations of governments, and are set forth in a variety of human rights documents and treaties. Public budgets are mechanisms for allocating public resources, and often the chief instruments through which governments either comply or fail to comply with their human rights obligations. Budget analysis tools hold out the promise of greatly strengthening human rights organizations' efforts to assess a government's compliance with its rights obligations. The 2nd International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESC Rights is aimed at activists involved in development work, social and economic justice movements, human rights organizations and applied budget groups. Program participants will acquire the basic skills needed to read and analyze budgets, assess situations within a rights framework, and relate budgets to economic, social and cultural rights obligations. They will also explore how these combined skills can be used in their ongoing advocacy efforts. The 1st International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESC Rights was held in Alcochete, Portugal in March 2005. The demand for and success of that first Program demonstrated a need to repeat the learning opportunity on a yearly basis. This 2nd Program is being organized by Fundar - Centro de Análisis e Investigación, the International Budget Project (IBP) and the International Human Rights Internship Program (IHRIP). The Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) in Argentina is providing local support for this program. (For more information on each of the project partners, please see later section.) PROGRAM AIMS The program's goal is to encourage groups in the human rights, development, social justice, and applied budget fields to use budget analysis as a tool for monitoring ESC rights observance. More specifically, the program aims to equip activists from these fields with the initial knowledge and skills in using an ESC rights framework and, within that framework, applying budget analysis techniques to their work. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES * To increase the numbers of activists who know how to relate human rights and budget analysis. * To increase the knowledge and practical skills of participants in using budget analysis in their advocacy work to advance ESC rights. * To provide a space for the exchange of experiences and ideas in the area of budget analysis and ESC rights. * To make available learning resources in the area of budget analysis and ESC rights that can be shared and used beyond the learning program. EXPECTED RESULTS The expected results from the program are: * 20 participants as "catalysts" (see later section on Participant Profile) will have attended the Learning Program. Following the program, these participants will have: - become familiar with ESC rights and related government obligations; learned about the basic structure of a government budget; identified budget-related elements in situations of human rights abuses; related specific human rights treaty obligations to sections or line items of government budgets; practiced a process for gathering and analyzing information relevant to cases involving human rights and budget issues; and practiced using budget analysis tools of particular relevance to the protection of ESC rights; - used the knowledge and skills gained to assess a situation of concern in their home countries; and - gained access to resource persons and other contacts from their region and internationally to assist them in future work. * A multiplication of the benefits of the learning program through participants' holding debriefing sessions for their organizations or the communities with whom they work upon their return home; * Quality learning materials that will be available through the program binder, report, internet and through other means for wider distribution. THE PROGRAM 1. Methodology This learning program will be intense and will use a variety of educational methodologies. All participants will be expected to devote time to pre-program work. The process during the workshop itself will be highly participatory; each participant will be actively involved in contributing to as well as learning from the program. 2. Educational Team The educational team is composed of facilitators with deep knowledge and skills in budget analysis, ESC rights and with creative skills in facilitating a learning process. The facilitators have contributed complementary experiences and skills to the design and implementation of this course. 3. Working Language The working language of the program will be English. Participants should be able to communicate and work in English. 4. Participant Profile The program will bring together 20 activists from NGOs or grassroots groups from different regions. These persons should be in a position within their organization or movement to undertake a project or initiate a program that applies the knowledge and skills they will have acquired from the learning process. Participants must also have a basic understanding of human rights, particularly ESC rights. Participants will be drawn from human rights organizations, groups fighting for social and economic justice, and applied budget groups. Selection will take gender balance into account, and priority will be given to those coming directly from local/national or grassroots organizations. Selected participants must commit to doing preparatory work prior to arriving at the workshop, including identifying and writing up a situation in their home country that involves human rights and government expenditures. In addition, participants must have the endorsement of their organization to participate in the program, and organizational support for integrating budget analysis into the organization's work after the participant returns from the learning program. In summary, participants should: * Be in a position to act as "catalysts" within their organization of service, as a project or program coordinator who can integrate the budget work into new or ongoing ESC rights work; * Have their application supported by their organization/community or group. Only one application per organization will be considered; * Have a basic understanding of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights; * Be committed to attend the full duration of the course; * Be comfortable with basic math skills, particularly multiplication and division. Higher order technical skills or an economic background are not required; * Be comfortable working with computers and have basic Excel skills; and * Be able to communicate and work in English. PRACTICAL INFORMATION 1. Participation Fee - The organizers will charge a subsidized participation fee of US$250. The participation fee will cover course materials, lunch and coffee breaks. 2. Travel Expenses - All selected participants are requested to cover their own travel, board, lodging, visa and other incidental expenses. A limited number of scholarships will be available for selected candidates with no alternative financial means to participate. 3. Scholarships - Please note that no one will be excluded for financial reasons and that limited scholarships will be available for those with no alternative means to participate. 4. Types of Scholarships - Category A: Fee waiver (waiving the participation fee of $250) Category B: Partial Scholarship - Fee waiver plus board and lodging Category C: Full Scholarship - Fee waiver plus board and lodging, and 80% of the cheapest available economy class airplane ticket APPLICATION PROCEDURE In order to apply, you must: * Complete an application form, which can be obtained at http://www.escr-net.org, and * Submit a letter of organizational endorsement, which is to be provided by the director or head of the organization (or, in the case that the director is applying, someone from the organization's board). The letter should explain how the applicant's participation in the learning program fits into the organizations priorities and activities. The letter should also address the organization's commitment to allocating the staff time and other resources to taking advantage and integrating as much as possible the budget analysis and ESC rights skills learned during the workshop into the organization's work. Please send your completed application form and the letter of organizational endorsement to ESCR-Net no later than June 1, 2006 (application must arrive by this date), by Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "Budget Application" in the subject title of the email) or Fax: +1 212 681 1241 or Ordinary post to: Liz Ligon, 211 East 43rd Street, Room #906 New York, NY 10017 USA PROJECT PARTNERS Fundar - Centro de Análisis y Investigación Fundar - Centro de Análisis y Investigación (Center for Analysis and Research) is an independent, interdisciplinary, non-partisan and horizontal organization at the forefront in advancing substantive democracy in Mexico. Fundar monitors public policies and institutions through applied research, critical reflection, experimentation and linkage with civil, social, governmental and intergovernmental agents. Fundar has worked consistently within Mexico and internationally to promote the idea of budget work as a tool to promote ESC Rights. A meeting held in Cuernavaca, Mexico, organized by Fundar, brought together international human rights and budget activists for an initial set of discussions and produced the report, "Promises to Keep". Fundar is one of the partner organizations that produced "Dignity Counts," a manual on budget analysis and human rights, and developed and organized the 1st International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESCR. International Budget Project (IBP) The International Budget Project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities assists NGOs and researchers in their efforts to open the budget process to civil society and analyze budget policies and priorities. The Project is especially interested in assisting with analysis that is of use in ongoing policy debates and with research on the effects of budget policies on the poor. IBP's overarching goal is to make budget systems more responsive to the needs of society and, accordingly, to make these systems more transparent and accountable to the public. The Project works primarily with researchers and NGOs in developing countries or emerging democracies. IBP is one of the partners in producing "Dignity Counts" and developing and organizing the 1st International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESCR. International Human Rights Internship Program (IHRIP) The International Human Rights Internship Program (IHRIP) seeks to strengthen the work of human rights organizations, with priority given to NGOs in countries of the global South, as well as Central and Eastern Europe and the republics of the former Soviet Union. IHRIP sponsors the exchange of knowledge and experience among human rights organizations, primarily through supporting professional development projects for their staff, as well as gathering and sharing information on ESC rights work of activists worldwide. In 2000, IHRIP, in collaboration with Forum-Asia, produced "Circle of Rights", a training resource for ESC rights activism. IHRIP is one of the partner organizations that produced "Dignity Counts" and helped organize the 1st International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESC rights. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) CELS, the Center for Legal and Social Studies, who is providing local support for the Program is a non-governmental organization founded in 1979 to foster and protect human rights and to strengthen the democratic system and the state of law in Argentina. CELS comprises a multidisciplinary and pluralist staff that consider human rights as recognized in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations and in international law. CELS regards the State as responsible for the respect or violation of human rights. Without mechanisms to enable civil society to know, oversee and check the policies and actions of the different State institutions, human rights remain an illusion. Based upon these principles, and essentially through the litigation of judicial cases, CELS aims to denounce violations of human rights, affect the formulation of public policies based on the respect of fundamental rights and to promote the broadest practice of these rights for the most vulnerable classes of society. The 1st International Learning Program on Budget Analysis and ESC Rights was organized by Dignity International, the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), Fundar, the International Budget Project (IBP), and the International Human Rights Internship Program (IHRIP). ======== Global Human Rights Education listserv ======= Send mail intended for the list to < >. Archives of the list can be found at: http://www.hrea.org/lists/hr-education/ **You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please retain the original and listserv source.
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