Calabash Products

Calabash is about building capacity in PP and civil society engagement in the SADC region rather than doing public participation programmes per se. But, we discovered a huge need in the region for the outputs that Calabash was to develop. Core to the success of the project were 4 preliminary activities. These were:

The other key element of Calabash's success was based on the development of partnerships with institutions, agencies and persons who were also working on public participation issues, but perhaps not from the EIA window, but through, for example, democratic reform, the democratic peer review process, United Nations Multilateral Agreements on the Environment and natural resource management. These partnerships were not "formalized" but were purposely kept informal, light and reactive so that Calabash and the other respective parties could work together in mutually beneficial manner to get most development and public participation "reach".

Calabash was managed by one person, but had 2 other key SAIEA persons for administrative support and advice. For the project to have any effect in 2 years, it had to meet PP needs of the region in a practical and accessible way. For the project funds to be secured from the World Bank, an Inception Report was drafted. But the actual outputs for Calabash could not be determined until there was direct consultation with the Contact Group and the Project Advisory team. Therefore, a key project advisory meeting was held in Windhoek in 2003 to discuss with the Project Advisory Group the outputs that should be developed. Calabash has been developed from the ground up. We researched what was working in the region and developed tools and resources around projects and programmes where public participation was done well. All Calabash products have had input from a range of stakeholders who are actively involved in community engagement to ensure the tools are practical and relevant to the social, cultural, environmental and economic realities of the SADC region. Below is a brief summary of these agreed programme outputs