Modifying societal beliefs and norms are most successful when the change comes from within the community. Such a transformation is now happening after the birth of every girl in the village of Piplantri in Rajasthan, India. Villagers plant one hundred eleven (111) trees to honor the birth of the girl. The new custom aims to counteract the prevalence of female feticide by encouraging parents and villagers to plant trees in honor of a female child. It requires that parents promise to not marry their female child before adulthood, creates a community-funded trust fund for the child, and provides the community with the necessary resources to develop. Villagers have planted over 286,000 trees which are now providing not only a new tradition but environmental sustainability. In addition, villagers have planted over 2.5 million aloe vera plants which protect the trees and provide a source of livelihood. As a result, the ratio of girls to boys in Piplantri village has increased and girls are being given an equivalent position to boys in the village. The Piplantri 111 Trees has now spread to surrounding villages, broadening the respect and protection for girls.
Street artists from URA.RU in Yekaterinburg, Russia decorated potholes with the faces of local politicians in order to get them to address severe road quality problems.
The streets in Yekaterinburg had long been plagued with many unfixed pits and potholes. Despite the efforts of URA.RU, a local news website, the problem persisted. Local politicians were more concerned with their public image than with improving the streets, so none took a genuine interest in finding a solution.
Project M.O.M. Sunshine in Cameroon aims to convince companies to provide medical, psychological and nutritional support to employees living with HIV/AIDS. Their main tactic is to present the company with a plan for a practical HIV policy that reduces the cost of the treatment and that benefits the company’s public image. In particular, the project negotiates with insurance companies dependent on company contracts to improve insurance policies with regard to workers with HIV, and making them more affordable to companies.
In 1999, the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) worked with a group of beneficiaries of a nutritional social program, the Garden Program, to successfully prevent its elimination. In order to pressure the Argentine government to reinstate the needed money to ensure the survival of the program CELS made a presentation to the World Bank Inspection Panel requesting that the undisbursed tranches of a Structural Adjustment loan be withheld until the problem was solved.
The tactic - the Objector Identity Card - is a form of "virtual accompaniment" being practised by War Resisters' International (WRI) in cooperation with ANOOC, the National Assembly of Conscientious Objectors in Colombia.
In Sweden, the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) is a political institutional body that was created to allow citizens to assert their right to be protected against discrimination and to provide both advice and litigation power. The DO is one of four Ombudsman offices that are used to strengthen political and social protections for those victimized by discrimination.
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) has developed the Human Rights Compliance Assessment (HRCA), a tool that comprises a concrete and tangible list of factors which businesses should consider when assessing the impact of their operations on the people affected by it, whether as employees or as inhabitants of the local area. The aim of the HRCA is to provide companies with a tool to audit their practices, to identify areas where violations are likely so that these areas can be monitored, and to facilitate action to mitigate existing breaches and prevent future ones.
For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.
African Public Radio (APR) used its power as a media entity to influence individuals and groups who could help fix the situation in Burundi’s hospitals, where poor people were being held against their will because they could not pay their bills. Eventually, in partnership with local NGOs, APR successfully pressured the government to order the people’s release.
The city government in Seoul, South Korea, has created an online database to increase government transparency. Online Procedures Enhancement for Civil Applications (OPEN) allows city residents to monitor details of civil applications related to 70 municipal government tasks that have been identified as the most prone to corruption, including housing and construction projects, environmental regulation and urban planning.
The Bolsa Escola program in Brazil provides families with a monthly stipend so that children can attend school rather than working in the streets. The program, which began in the city of Brasilia, was created with the realization that the working children of today are the poor adults of tomorrow. Bolsa Escola was expanded to a federal program in 2001.