January 2008

We are not alone in our successes or failures and we now extend beyond the parameters of our projects because we are tied together into a network of people who care.
- Australian Delegation to a previous Global Conference on Human Development

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 In this Exchange

Regional Collaboration Expands in 2007
* African ICA Directors Meet in Togo,
  29 October – 2 November

* European ICAs Interchange in Belgium, 9 -11 November
* First Asia-Pacific Regional ICA Conference in
  Bangladesh, 2-3 December

In Other News
* Update on the 7th Global Conference on
   Human Development

* Telling our Stories
* The World of Human Development released on DVD
* A New Vision for ICA Cameroon
* 2008 Secretariat Work Plan Highlights

African ICA Directors Meet in Togo,
October 29 – November 02 2007

ICA is like an elephant”: Creating a trail in Africa
Jonathan Dudding

  Jonathan Dudding of ICA UK holds the symbolic elephant presented by the villagers in Hové, Togo.  

After greeting the chief of Hové and being shown the various projects that the community are implementing with ICA Togo’s support, we were presented with a small wooden elephant by the villagers. For them the elephant is an important symbol: its strength and size means that it leaves a trail that remains visible for a long time, enabling other animals to follow in its path. The people of Hové believe that ICA has made a trail to their village, and they are now eager to follow the example ICA has set, and the opportunities it has created for them.

This visit was part of the recent Regional Meeting of African ICAs, held in Togo at the end of October 2007. The meeting brought together representatives from ICAs in Benin, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Zimbabwe, as well as from supporting ICAs in the UK and Canada, and from the ICAI Secretariat. The format of the meeting was largely as in previous years, beginning with a review of the progress made by ICAs in Africa over the past year, discussing various issues (particularly around HIV and AIDS, which continues to be a major theme), and then planning the network activities for the next twelve months.

Residents of Hové meet with the African ICA Directors.

The meeting also included a day’s training on Marketing and Selling, as many of the ICAs in Africa are increasingly concerned with developing their ability to generate funds for themselves, rather than continuing to rely on international donors.

We felt the symbolism of the elephant was appropriate not just in Togo, but across the continent, and so it has been adopted by the meeting. Our wooden elephant will remain in Togo until September 2008, when the next Regional Meeting will be held in Zimbabwe.

Read the full report (et rapport succinct au francais) from the online archive, read the article from the local newspaper Togo-Presse, and browse photos from the global gallery.

African ICA Directors meeting participants, l-r: Kossi Mano Agbo (ICA Togo), Celestine Agbonon (ICA Togo), Kassimou Issotina (ICA Benin), Jonathan Dudding (ICA UK), Jan Sanders (ICAI and ICA Canada), Adufu Gator (ICA Togo), Gerald Gomani (ICA Zimbabwe), Joseph Kekesi (ICA Ghana), Doris Mutashobya (ICA Tanzania), Michael Watson (ICAI), Muzi Mbonani (ICA South Africa).

European ICAs Interchange in Belgium   9-11 November 2007

ICA European Interchange 2007
Derek McAuley

  ICA European Interchange participants. Top row, l-r: Martin Gilbraith (ICA UK), Rombout den Ouden (ICA Netherlands), Jim Campbell (ICA Belgium). Bottom row, l-r: Derek McAuley (ICA UK), Anne Wilshin (ICAI).  

Representatives of three ICAs in Europe along with Anne Wilshin, ICA International Board Member, attended the annual European Interchange held in the ICA Belgium training centre in Brussels, 9-11 November 2007. Anne, Jim Campbell from ICA Belgium, Rombout den Ouden from ICA Netherlands and Martin Gilbraith and Derek McAuley from ICA UK met to share news and seek opportunities for support and collaboration between organisations and individuals.

Catalina Quiroz from ICA Spain and the ICAI Secretariat (Sarah Farina and Sarah Miller) joined the group for a conference call on the Saturday afternoon.

The one and a half day meeting began with the usual activity reports from ICAs present. ICA Spain presented a written report and some information was available on the activities of other ICAs, such as Bosnia & Herzovina. Anne gave her impressions of her new role as an ICA International Board member, based as she is in Tanzania.

The conference call discussed ICAI’s role in capacity building. It was highlighted that ICA UK had capacity building as part of its international programme and that it included training as an aspect. They regarded it in the same way as they worked with clients in the UK using participatory and facilitative approaches. ICA Spain worked in partnership with other organisations and their approach was to share the methods and facilitate organisational change.

The establishment of new ICAs is an objective of ICAI and the conference call distinguished between “dormant” and “extinct” ICAs in Europe. There was a general agreement that a “top-down” approach would not work. It was again emphasised that ICA Europe had defined itself not just as a network of ICA organisations but as a network of all organisations and individuals across Europe and beyond who share an interest in ICA’s role in Europe.

In response to a request from Rombout, the group took the opportunity to brainstorm the topic “In what ways can ICA NL expand its market?”. Rombout expressed his thanks to colleagues for their helpful ideas and suggestions, which would be very useful to ICA Netherlands.

Discussion also took place on work that ICA UK and ICA Belgium were doing in both parts of Ireland; often straddling the border. Jim Campbell of ICA Belgium has continued his successful facilitation courses at All Hallows College, Dublin, which has led to contract work for a range of clients. These include the Archdiocese of Armagh, Diocese of Clogher, Community information services (Dublin), Vincentian region Ireland / UK and the Holy Rosary sisters. ICA UK have run a number of public courses and worked with Sustainable Northern Ireland Partnership and the Community Foundation for NI / Youthbank Ireland.

Read the full report from the online archive.

First Asia-Pacific Regional ICA Conference in Bangladesh
2-3 December 2007

Strengthening Collaboration in the Asia-Pacific Region
Sarah Farina

The first Asia-Pacific Regional ICA Meeting was held in Dhaka, from December 2nd to 3rd. ICA Bangladesh hosted the meeting, which was attended by ICA Nepal, ICA India, ICA Taiwan, ICA Japan, ICA Australia, and ICA International. The meeting was aimed at sharing activities in each location and strengthening regional coordination. The 7th Global Conference on Human Development next year was a big focus, with great participation from all of the national ICAs in regional preparation before the conference.

  Shankar Jadhav of ICA India. Tatwa Timsina of ICA Nepal.  

A number of ICAs will be conducting workshops in their countries to bring communities together to talk about the issues affecting them as a way to prepare for the conference. The women of ICA Bangladesh have challenged the conference organizers to ensure the equal participation of women at the conference, and to bring gender into the conversations in all topic areas.

  Mohammad Azizur Rahman of ICA Bangladesh.

ICA Bangladesh also invited meeting participants to Chandpur, where they are working with the local community in the Ghoramara Asrayan shelter project. The community is located on the banks of a river without road access, and still lacking in basic sanitation facilities, electricity, garbage disposal and drainage. ICA Bangladesh currently supports a community school, and has recently conducted community workshops with the help of Richard and Maria Maguire of Australia. Most of the residents are landless people from other areas, so ICA Bangladesh will be put to the test to work with the community to develop a shared vision for the future.

View a slide show about the meeting from the online archive and browse photos from the global gallery.

Participants in the Asia-Pacific Regional ICA Conference.

7th Global Conference on Human Development

Update on the 7th Global Conference on Human Development
Planning Team in Tokyo and Montreal


As we cross over into 2008, there are a number of exciting developments to report since the last Exchange:

  • Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mr. Masahiko Koumura, has been invited to address the conference.
  • CIVICUS will serve as a formal conference partner organization.
  • National ICAs are beta-testing the Local Workshops Guide designed by ICA Taiwan’s Larry Philbrook, in order to facilitate pre-conference input.
  • The Asia-Pacific Regional ICA Meeting held in Dhaka 2-3 December 2007 strengthened plans for regional recruitment and preparation.
  • Letters of support for the conference have been received from Canadian Foreign Affairs and Japanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Environment; Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
  • Major funding proposals have been submitted for the conference scholarship fund, which we hope will facilitate the participation of as many as 200 participants from developing countries and countries in transition.
  • Full registration will be open shortly, as the arrangements are finalized with the conference venue. In the interim, pre-registration is available now!
  • A revised logo (shown here) is based on the logo from ICA’s first global conference – the International Exposition of Rural Development in New Delhi.
  • The new conference brochure is available as a pdf.
  • Handy conference business cards are available too; to order a set for your office, email Katie Burke.

Telling Our Stories

Telling Our Stories: The ICA Stories Project
Sarah Miller

“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”
                                  – Hannah Arendt

Our "wedge blade" logo expresses the importance of integrating the wisdom of the past as we move into the future. Indeed, this is a core component of ICA’s human development work. Telling the stories of our work – past, present, and future – also represents an important imperative for us as a global network. ICA International is therefore launching a unique global initiative – the ICA Stories Project.

What concrete examples can you supply of the effectiveness of the ICA approach, philosophy, methods, and programs?

How do you describe the development outcomes that resulted from ICA projects, past and present, as well as the unique impacts of ICA approaches on the ground?

The ICA Stories Project will aim to capture the best stories of successful projects implemented based on ICA approaches, philosophy, methods, and programs. Its specific goals are to :

  • Document and share concrete examples of the effectiveness of ICA approach, philosophy, methods, and programs;
  • Capture development outcomes that resulted from ICA projects, past and present, as well as the unique impacts of ICA approaches;
  • Articulate how the unique approach of the ICA made these changes possible;
  • Inspire new and old friends of ICA with tangible examples of ICA’s work in action; and
  • Provide an appreciative basis for refinement and development of ICA approaches, values, and leadership formation.

An expert advisory committee has been assembled to provide input and guidance on the process. The committee is composed of: Garnet Banks (Australia), Terry Bergdall (USA), Mary D’Souza (India), Joy Jinks (USA), Sarah Miller (Canada), Teresa Sosa Vegas (Venezuela), and Jim Wiegel (USA, Chair).

The committee’s first conference call was held on 19/20 December 2007, and the project will aim to launch within the first half of 2008. Everyone who has ever participated in implementing an ICA project in any capacity will be invited to share a story. Next steps for participating will be posted in a future Network Exchange!

World of Human Development DVD

The World of Human Development released on DVD
Sarah Miller

The wait is over! You can now join Oprah Winfrey, Ben Kingsley, and Richard Attenborough on a global tour across four decades of ICA’s work to unlock the potential in every person.

Produced by Wayne Marshall Jones for ICA International, The World of Human Development: Origins of The Institute of Cultural Affairs is finally available in stunning, digitally-remastered DVD. It features the films:

Fifth City: A Decisional City
(1983), 16 minutes

The story of Fifth City, narrated by Oprah Winfrey

The World of Human Development (1977), 35 minutes

A tour of ICA human development projects in 10 countries, with an introduction and extro by Ben Kingsley, and narration by Mary D’Souza

Courage to Care (1984), 16 minutes

Richard Attenborough explores the origin of ICA global conferences on human development at the International Exposition of Rural Development in New Delhi

The DVD is region 0 universal and double-sided NTSC/PAL, which means it will play anywhere in the world.

A complimentary copy is included in your individual or family membership, with additional copies available as gifts for your family and friends at a reduced members price. The DVD is also available for purchase by non-members. Order your copies of this treasure while they last!

A New Vision for ICA Cameroon

A New Vision for ICA Cameroon
Benoit Ndameu

Benoit Ndameu, Executive Director of the newly revitalized ICA Cameroon.  

My name is Benoit Anthony Ndameu. I am a Cameroonian and a social scientist with legal training from the University of Yaoundé II. Since 1997, I have focused on participatory approaches to forest and natural resources management, and have worked with the Centre for Environment and Development (also known as Friends of the Earth Cameroon). I left CED in 2002 and started consultation services with many national and international NGOs and other institutions. This work has included research on social and environmental issues, and carrying out monitoring and evaluation of programs that address the relationships between forests and people.

In September 2007, I started discussions with the ICA International Secretariat regarding the objective of reactivating ICA in Cameroon, which was originally established in 2000. As the new Executive Director, my vision is very simple: putting human development at the forefront of our daily action, whether in the management of natural resources or in helping local people from remote areas to achieve other development goals. Also, my personal challenge as the leader of ICA in Cameroon will consist of making the organisation strong and active in the coming years. I intend to work in close collaboration with the ICA International Secretariat and other ICAs to make ICA Cameroon an effective, recognized organisation.

The history of ICA Cameroon is unique and the organisation has faced diverse fortunes. Yet as the Secretary General of ICAI told us in one message, “when there is a will there is a way.” In the past, ICA Cameroon was led by Viviane Ambare. Viviane and I recently met to exchange the registration papers of the organization, with Viviane remaining as an advisor. Tracy Longacre, a VSO volunteer in Bamenda, Cameroon, who has been associated with the ICA network for many years, has also come forward to offer assistance.

Things are now becoming more and more realistic, and we all have the dream to see progress moving ahead in the coming months and years. The main activities of ICA Cameroon are to develop a strategic plan for 2009-2011, initiate projects in key intervention areas, and develop the Board of Directors. Moving forward, ICA Cameroon will focus on working with resource-dependent communities to use the ICA approach to include culture as an essential component of planning for sustainable communities.

In introducing myself and the new vision for ICA Cameroon to you, I express my sincere happiness for having joined the ICA family and wish a very happy new year to all my new colleagues worldwide.

The launch of ICA Cameroon in 2000.

2008 ICAI Work Plan

Secretariat 2008 Work Plan Highlights
Lambert Okrah

The Secretariat’s 2008 Work Plan, recently approved by the Board of Directors, details goals, assumptions, target populations, inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and outcome measures for all major arenas of action planned for the coming year.
Click here
for highlights.

Designed by Peter Ellins; edited by Sarah Miller.
Published by The Institute of Cultural Affairs International,
401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8, Canada.
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