The Equator Prize – A good Source for Examples ‘People Centred’ Development Projects

The United Nations Development Programme has run the ‘Equator prize‘ initiative every year since 2009.

The idea is to recognise indigenous communities from around the globe who are adopting innovative, nature-based solutions to achieve sustainable development and combat poverty and climate change.

The 2020 award ceremony showcased 10 such diverse initiatives from around the globe, as shown on the map below.

To my mind this initiative seems to be an excellent example of ‘People Centred Development‘, as each of these development projects are small scale, led by the indigenous people themselves and sustainable. All the United Nations seems to be doing is connecting them and giving them more visibility and recognition on a global stage, but besides this, each one of these projects seems to be a genuine example of people centred development from the ground up.

Each of the initiatives seems to be linked to a famous advocate, some of whom you will be very familiar with. For example, one of the winners of 202o was a community run Maasai conservation project in Kenya, supported by Margaret Atwood (who wrote the Handmaid’s Tale).

It’s very difficult to generalise about what each of these projects are doing specifically, because they are diverse, and that’s sort of the point of People Centred Development – because it’s ‘people centred’ each of the paths to development looks different, so I will blog more about each of these projects in forthcoming posts.

However, for now I just wanted to highlight the United Nation’s Equator Prize as a good source for links to small projects that seem to be excellent examples of ‘People Centred Development’.

NB – don’t forget that PCD isn’t postmodern – it’s not ‘anything goes’ development, there is a kind of moral imperative that binds these projects together under the auspices of the United Nations – they are all sustainable, for example, and they are all ‘community run’ and presumably have a degree of democratic governance, all of which are aspects of PCD.

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