I met with Malak Poppovic (UNF Senior Advisor, Sao Paolo) and Lena Sinha (BRSP) to discuss the above project and identify potential for collaboration.
Conectas (http://www.conectas.org) is a non-gov, non-profit network working on human rights on a global scale. One of their priorities is to use of ICT to enhance collaboration and information exchange (I thought UNF did not fund any ICT related projects…).
To date, over 100 people/organisations are part of the project most of them (75%) from the south. A multi-lingual portal site has been launched and is hosted in Sao Paolo. They are also planing on launching an academic journal on HR (most of their members are either academic or NGO) in three languages as well as a database of educational curricula for HR with the idea of creating “model” curricula for global distribution.
Other goals include a database of HR experts from the south, a biannual publication on HR and NGO capacity building at the country level.
The network support local CSOs working on various HR issues (from land to women’s rights) and is aiming at having the local partners establish a web presence. My suggestion as to use our ongoing activities in Angola (SDNP) and Mozambique (through the ICTD programme) to start a pilot and help the local Conecta partners get training, etc. I will get the contacts from UNF and proceed from there. UNF also asked for technical support for the project�s ongoing ICT operations.
Conectas also provides pro bono legal support to local NGOs. In Brazil itself, they have a network of over 40 firms supporting this type of work. I mentioned that for the other countries we could make use of our existent agreement with ABA to provide the same type of support.
The project already has the support from the governance practice. It is quite probable that a ne staff for the project will be recruited and posted in Geneva.