The Huairou Commission promotes tools and methodologies that allow grassroots women to recognize, value and exchange their knowledge and practices, using them as a basis for advocacy. We believe in the power of horizontal peer learning, which empowers, educates and encourages our members to trust their own thinking.
A Peer Exchange happens when a group of women visits another group in a different community or country to learn about each other’s local practices and share their knowledge and skills. The Exchange is a powerful tool for consolidating knowledge and building networks. Peer Exchanges are empowering as well as educational, allowing women to recognize the significance of their own experiences and innovations among their peers. In the Exchanges, teachers and learners are both valued as experts with significant ability and capacity. Exchanges are spaces for the direct transfer of practical solutions, where learners critically reflect on how they can adapt new lessons to their own community. This exercise allows women to think through their situations with new eyes, while sharing their own work and knowledge with others.
Local to Local (L2L) Dialogues are locally designed strategies that allow grassroots women’s groups to initiate and engage in dialogues with local authorities. Dialogues have advanced the ability of grassroots women to negotiate with leaders on policies, plans and programs that effectively address their priorities, and have successfully increased women’s access to land, housing, and basic and social services, such as health care and education. By stimulating exchanges with local authorities and other government departments, municipalities, NGOs, development partners and the media, the Local to Local Dialogue is an effective tool to enhance grassroots women’s participation in local decision-making.