GALS processes may be simple (focusing on one issue like gender based violence or land rights) or complex (eg aiming at broad based gender transformation or local economic development). This will affect the ways in which the basic diagrams are adapted, the facilitation process and how long things take. Normally something like the following stages are followed:
Stage 1: Diamond Dreams: Process Visioning and Planning Inception Workshop/s (5-10 days). The process is started through a series of 1-3 day workshops with communities which will lead the process. The first workshop is ideally residential with 10-20 women and men who really need the methodology, not only existing leaders. This is followed by 1 day workshops where these participants initiate the peer training process. The workshops develop the initial gender change vision with women and men and identifies priorities and some immediate steps and enables the GALS process catalysts to get a good feel for the context and possibilities - particularly leverage points with men. This uses some variant of the GALS Stage 1 Manuals eg Tree of Diamond Dreams or Preliminary Mapping for value chain or markets or FALS market research.
Stage 2: Steering Life's Rocky Road: Community-led design process (CDP) and action learning with key champions (3-6 months). This stage continues with all those trained in Stage 1, upscaling to maximum coverage within these communities. These 'champions' adapt the tools to make them manageable to bring about changes in their own lives and also for voluntary peer training and develop a community pictorial manual replicated by everyone in their diaries. It uses some adapted variant of GALS Stage 2 Manuals eg 'Steering Life's Rocky Road' or 'Growing the Diamond Forest' or FALS Financial literacy.
Stage 3: Upscaling and negotiation of multi-stakeholder win-win strategies Once there is a solid 'demonstration' community/ies with adapted tools and very visible change, the methodology can be upscaled through capacity building by these champions and the coordination team for staff and other stakeholders. And the peer training process is reviewed and upscaled. It uses some adapted variant of GALS Stage 3 as described in eg 'Steering Life's Rocky Road' or 'Growing the Diamond Forest' or FALS.
Stage 4: Ongoing sustainable action learning process for sustainable change. The change processes, methodology innovation and upscaling continues, including replication to other organisations. The information generated in the diaries, group meetings and and planning workshops are aggregated by the organisation for participatory planning, impact assessment and advocacy.
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who is involved?
GALS is distinctive, not so much because of its diagram tools, but its insistence on a Community Design Process (CDP) with women and men who really need the methodology as the basis for upscaling through peer training.
The role of 'experts' and organisational staff is to catalyse this process and respond to the needs which emerge and maintain the focus on changing power relations.
Stage 1 is set up initially by a team of process catalysts comprised of :
- 10-20 women and men 'champions' from vulnerable groups in 2-3 communities where the process is initiated.
- a GALS expert consultant who has detailed knowledge of both gender issues and the methodology in different contexts.
- 3-5 key implementing staff/local leaders from both the field and management who will be catalysing and monitoring the methodology for Stages 1 and 2.
- 3-5 other key stakeholders whose support may be needed/desirable for Stage 3 so that they are involved from the start. These might be local government, community elders, larger traders in value chains etc.
Stage 2 then focuses particularly on strengthening the change process and skills of the initial champions, but aims to bring in as many people in their social networks as possible through the peer training process - as long as this continues to focus on people who really need the methodology and does not take ownership away from these people.
Stages 3 and 4 then upscale to the whole organisation, other stakeholders who can support whatever process GALS is being used for and other organisations. Once the participatory monitoring systems are well established (after about 2-3 years) local or national research institutes may also be extremely useful in aggregated the information for policy advocacy and macro-level change.
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