DDAG is dedicated to supporting early recovery and development in Darfur by focusing on the following activities: (i) training/capacity building/project development with national and community based organizations, (ii) research on water, agriculture/livestock, public health, energy and education, (iii) umbrella grant management to oversee the distribution, monitoring and evaluation of micro-grants to local community based organizations, and (iv) advocacy to incentivize peace and incorporate the development dimension into political talks.
NGO Capacity Building
DDAG seeks share to empower and train national and community based organizations operating in Darfur through the facilitation of a series of intensive multi-day workshops. Utilizing training materials developed in collaboration with area experts from Columbia University, DDAG offers workshops in Darfur’s three states and Khartoum, addressing such essential non-profit management skills as project management, organizational development, financial management, human resources, monitoring and evaluation, and communications. Future workshops will also include training on gender based violence prevention and peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Since October 2010, DDAG has trained approximately 287 Darfurians, representing about 200 community based organizations working in various issues on early recovery and development in Darfur (e.g., energy, agriculture, education, health and peacebuilding).
Darfur Community Development Fund
The Darfur Community Development Fund (DCDF) is a funding mechanism to provide micro-grants to community based organizations to execute early recovery and development activities in Darfur.
Through the DCDF, DDAG aims to provide transparent and accountable grant management services and technical assistance to both donors and local implementing organizations.
The DCDF involves a competitive application process for eligible CBOs and NGOs and a trustworthy model to monitor and evaluate the performance, execution and social impact of funded projects. Applicants must be local organizations operating in Darfur that have completed DDAG’s non-profit training in project management and organizational development. Through the DCDF, DDAG aims to not only provide robust oversight of funds, but also ongoing accompaniment and area expertise to local organizations on project design and execution, reporting, monitoring and evaluation.
DDAG concentrates its efforts on three strategic pillars key to promoting peace encouraging sustainable development in Darfur: health, education and agriculture.
Various vulnerable groups in Darfur lack the opportunity or platform to express their views and opinions on issues affecting their lives. Women, children, minorities and other groups politically or ethnically discriminated-against require direct or indirect support in order to escape current difficult conditions. DDAG works to support and advocate on behalf of these groups to refocus local, national and international attention on these people’s rights.
Together Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Campaign
Introduction: Even before the conflict, the concept of gender-based violence was widely practiced in Darfur; yet, it has substantially worsened with the eruption of the conflict. The majority of war-affected people in Darfur are now living in several internally displaced camps IDPs where women, the most vulnerable group, are suffering greatly from GBV and violence against women (VAW). To address this problem, DDAG is launching a campaign against GBV and VAW in Darfur. The campaign is being launched to engage – through workshops, seminars and focus group discussions with women – concerned governmental women welfare ministries and institutions to address this problem. The core concepts to be addressed through practical measures are based on the following universally accepted definitions. :
Violence: The World Health Organization (WHO) defines violence as “The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, under development or deprivation” (World Health Organization, Geneva 2002).
Violence against Women (VAW): The Beijing Platform for Action (PFA) defines violence against women as “any gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
Gender-based violence (GBV): Gender-based violence refers to all forms of violence that happen to women, girls, men and boys because of the unequal power relations between them and the perpetrators of such violence. Gender, which is inherently about relations between men and women, is a determinant of social relations that legitimizes and sustains men’s power over women.
Vulnerable group: In any emergency, there are groups of individuals more vulnerable to sexual violence than other members of the population. These are generally females who are less able to protect themselves from harm, more dependent on others for survival, less powerful, and less visible. Groups of individuals that are often more vulnerable to sexual violence include, but are not limited to, single females, female-headed households, separated/unaccompanied children, orphans, disabled and/or elderly female.
DDAG pledges to address the issue of VAW/GBV in Darfur in response to the serious vulnerability of women in conflict in Darfur . The past two decades witnessed VAW becoming a focus of international mobilization with increased attention being paid to the issue of VAW. Substantial work has been done by Governments, United Nations entities and other international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and researchers. These efforts are trickling down to local communities where gender oppression is being practiced against women as part of the general social, economic and political structure. In Darfur, as it is elsewhere in Sudan, GBV & VAW is practiced widely due to the patriarchal hierarchy and biases that frame women’s cultural identity, their relationship with the state and the construction of laws. In the process of this socialization, women’s dependency on the men in their lives became the norm, while the social environment reduced them to their biological functions. Even today, women’s accessibility to areas such as legal assistance is extremely limited, and a woman’s decision to go to court is largely influenced by the local community norms and traditions. This represents a huge violation in terms of human rights and is one of the most widespread violations, leaving behind a wide range of long-term social, psychological and physical consequences. This necessitates a formulation of programs that advocate for the importance of combating and eliminating VAW & GBV among stakeholders and decision makers, raising awareness among communities and individuals, sensitizing and training criminal justice machinery, and building capacity on how to provide social and medical services that support women victims of violence. In addition, inform community traditional and religious leaders that customs, religion and traditions should not be used to justify acts of violence against women.
DDAG will capitalize on the changes taking place with positive results made possible by the activism of civil society, academic and research institutions and the foresight of many women’s NGOs. They have conducted research, suggested legal reform and put into place constructive programmes that assist women victims of violence. They have lobbied politicians, taken cases to court, and demonstrated for women’s rights; they have counseled and cared for many victims of violence breaking their silence and allowing them to gain their dignity.