When CVT’s New Tactics in Human Rights program launched the Middle East North Africa (MENA) initiative to strengthen the capacity of human rights defenders in the MENA region, we began training local human rights activists in the New Tactics 5-Step Strategic Effectiveness method. Fotouh Younes with the Arab Network for Civic Education (ANHRE) was one of those who learned the Strategic Effectiveness method and became a local trainer in early 2010.
Using the New Tactics method, Fotouh worked with the Change Academy for Democratic Studies and Development in Jordan in the Early Childhood Care and Education campaign. The campaign focused on the kindergarten stage of education. Kindergarten is not mandatory in Jordan and can be hard to access – particularly in lower income areas. To make enrollment available to parents, the campaign wanted to pressure the government to expand this service in the most economically challenged areas.
Fotouh worked with a group of three community-based organizations from Maan in southern Jordan and trained them on the New Tactics methodology. The Tactical Mapping and Spectrum of Allies activities were part of the training, which helped to analyze the area they were targeting. Through this process, the group realized that no one opposed expanding education opportunities, but that limited education funding restricted expansion.
The group also learned that other areas of government, particularly the Ministries of Planning and of Health, were motivated to expand education opportunities to support their work. In Jordan, the Ministry of Planning works to develop the areas identified as poverty pockets and the economies in these areas. The lack of childcare was seen as a barrier that prevented many women from being part of the workforce, so the investment in education was important to addressing these poverty pockets. The Health Ministry supported expanding early childhood education to help identify children with developmental delays more quickly, so the children could therefore receive appropriate care earlier.
By mobilizing allies from nongovernmental organizations, the Ministries of Planning, Health and Education and the private sector to expand access to kindergarten, the campaign was successful. The Ministry of Education is now taking positive steps towards making the second phase of kindergarten mandatory through all of Jordan, giving priority to the south and poverty pockets.
This article was originally posted at http://www.cvt.org/blog/healing-and-human-rights/new-tactics-human-rights-funding-early-childhood-education-jordan