New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 108

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AGRIBUSINESS[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd

Intermediate Technology Development Group Ltd
9 King St
London WC2 8HN
Tel: 01-836 9434/39


AIMS
To inform, assist and advise people in developing countries in the choice of technologies appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the mass of ordinary people, most of whom live in rural areas.

To identify, research, develop and promote small-scale technologies which are capital saving, use local resources and provide employment.

To assist local institutions, aid organisation and governments devise the ways and means by which people have access to and use appropriate technologies.

METHODS
The Group provides a free technical enquiry service, undertakes research and development and works in close association with local organisations. Its main areas of concentration are in the fields of: Energy, Agriculture, Water, Transport, Small Industries, Construction and building materials, Institutional and policy analysis.

The Group publishes a wide range of manuals, buyers guides and designs, and produces the journal ‘Appropriate Technology’.’

SUCCESSES
The Group has been a major force in bringing the issues of technology choice, rural employment and decentralised production to the attention of nearly every government and aid agency. A high proportion of developing countries now mention the need for appropriate, small-scale technologies in their development plans. Hundreds of organisations are now involved in the field and an informal network is now emerging.

FAILURES
Although the Group has succeeded in establishing the issues of technology choice and initiating action in ‘development’ circles, it has failed to create a similar awareness in Britain.

FUTURE PLANS
We plan to establish a Schumacher Centre to bring together our overseas and UK programmes.

HELP NEEDED
We need people with specific experience, skills and knowledge to help us undertake research on a voluntary basis.

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World Workshop Resource Centre

World Workshop Resource Centre
1st Floor, 155 Pirie St
Adelaide S.A. 5000
Australia
Tel: 08 - 2235795

AIMS
To raise awareness of the many problems Third World inhabitants face and of Australia’s involvement in those problems.

To create awareness on issues relevant to Australia; social justice, Aboriginal rights, Uranium mining, to name a few.

To assist people to find out about these issues, the various possible solutions and appropriate action.

METHODS
Through workshops and consultation, through using the W.W. as a meeting house and taking individual/group action, we reach schools, tertiary institution and interested members of the public.

SUCCESSES
We have survived six years and our future is promising. We provide a unique service to the community and as we are non-party political, we are able to give our support when and wherever we deem appropriate. We play a valuable role as a linkage between diverse groups.

FAILURES
We have had problems in designing an effective cataloguing system. The W.W. is not being used to its full potential because of our lack of effective publicity towards the general public.

FUTURE PLANS
We plan to increase and develop our workshops and seminars. We try continually to upgrade and expand our resources and this will be a main focus in the near future. To publicise and encourage the use of the W.W.

HELP NEEDED
More voluntary workers. Donation of books, journals and photographs of articles relevant to the W.W. More people wanting to study/ discuss/act on various issues relating to justice in Australia and the Third World.

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Child Poverty Action Group

Child Poverty Action Group
1 Macklin Street
London WC2B 5NH
Tel: 01- 242 3225

 

AIMS
To draw attention to the problems of those in poverty and to advise them on their rights.

METHODS
Our Citizens’ Rights Office (CRO) provides a free information, advisory and advocacy service for problems concerning social security and welfare benefits. We specialise in test cases which challenge the way the laws are interpreted.

We try to stimulate public opinion on the plight of poor families, through work with the media and by briefing politicians.

We run courses and seminars for people giving advice. We publish ’rights guides' as well as fact sheets, longer research-based pamphlets on various aspects of poverty and our house journal, Poverty.

Over 40 branches operate locally.

SUCCESSES
Our work was vital in getting Child Benefit introduced. Without CPAG as a watchdog, families would have seen this and many other benefits further eroded in recent years.

Work through our Trade Union Forum produced the Benefits Charter for the Unemployed, now taken up officially by the TUC.

Over 5000 people are helped each year by the CR0.

FAILURES
Fourteen million people in Britain still live in poverty or on its margins. Over 3 1/2 million of these are children.

More than in any other EEC country, British public opinion still attributes poverty to peoples’ personal failings rather than to an unjust system.

FUTURE PLANS
To continue the campaign for non-means-tested social security benefits and for a progressive system of taxation and benefits.

We’ll be stepping up our work with the labour movement, as well as trying to make more of an impact in other circles whose concerns overlap with ours, such as the churches and women’s organisations.

HELP NEEDED
Membership! (Affiliates, individuals or local groups.) Also customers for our regular week-long courses on welfare rights — write to us for details.

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