In the Forge

IMAXI Tool ForgeThe IMAXI Cooperative develops tools to help marginalized people to empower themselves, and their communities. We’ve been working hard down in the IMAXI Tool Forge where ideas are developed and new tools are produced. There’s a half-dozen different projects coming along in the forge at different speeds, including the following:

In response to the ongoing violation of the human right of people and communities to participate in decisions that affect them, we have decided to focus much of our energies on developing a system for meaningful participation and accountable representation. A new way of securing ‘seats at many tables’ AND a democratic system of electing representatives who can be guided and held to account by their communities, is needed urgently for sustainable development.

Over the next year, we will work to bring together activists, experts and progressive people from diverse communities around the world, to brainstorm innovative ideas, conduct research, build partnerships, and to design  a system accessible for all.  The challenge is colossal, the task is tremendous, but having a collaborative tool so that folks themselves can have an influence on policies is essential if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be more than just empty mantras and meaningless words however noble. It’s time for a new mechanism, designed by and for the community, to assure that no one will be left behind, because today, billions are being left out.

So, we’re getting to work down in the IMAXI Tool Forge on a new participatory tool:  The Global Alliance for Meaningful Participation and Accountable Representation is now switched on. GAMPAR is coming. Stay tuned for further information, or better still, get involved.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) and its annual World Health Assembly (WHA) determine the policies that affect the health and well being of billions of people in communities around the world. However, only the delegates from Member States (governments) have a say in these decisions. As the mantra of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “Leave no one behind”, we think that the WHO must be reminded of “Nothing about us without us” – that the participation of the community in the design and implementation of all health policies is essential for achieving the global goals of the 2030 Agenda. It’s also our human right.

In response to the exclusion of marginalised people and communities in the decision-making process of the UN’s World Health Organization, WHO4ALL is a participatory tool towards making the WHO more inclusive, democratic and open, while building bridges across many sectors of civil society engaged in advancing the different elements of the Right to Health. Specifically, WHO4ALL is a series of online events that connect WHO policy-making meetings with the public to provide both a bottom-up amplifier of community voices and a small step towards a future of accountability up at the top. It’s not the ’meaningful participation’ that we demand, but it’s a loud knock on the doors of the Ivory Tower. We are now preparing the next series of events for the Autumn 2016 — #WHO4ALL — open to all.
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Human Rights Readers

To bridge the gap between human rights academics and social activists in marginalized communities, the Human Rights Readers are designed to stimulate both thinking and actions on the ground. Posting key articles on, in collaboration with the writers, we add references for activists and information connecting the paper with upcoming meetings, events and campaigns. Each post is then promoted extensively across the multiple imaxi twitter accounts.
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To learn more about how social media can serve social movements, we are slowly but surely, developing a ‘family’ of separate twitter accounts. Each has its own unique identity and purpose, and great attention is paid to building a network of ‘serious’ interested people connected to each individual account. With this knowledge, we plan to develop a strategic system of interacting with folks via Twitter that will offer practical assistance to human rights / community activists.
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Write Your Rights
Towards broadening the participation and ‘stakeholding’ in the Right to Health, we’re presently adapting our Write Your Rights system to the task. An open call, multi-draft edition and synthesis process allows many people to contribute their suggestions for making the Right to Health both understandable, and a document that they feel they own part of. Aside from making the language more accessible, we will compile a long list of the services and products that people believe should be included. The final draft document will then be submitted to the WHO, negotiated and recognized. The system is based on our earlier tool, the Patients’ Charter, which was successfully developed from 2004 and was adopted and launched by the WHO in 2006.
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OMBUZZ is a new online tool that is being developed to provide assistance to anyone who believes that their Right to Health is not being respected. OMBUZZ combines the traditional role of an Ombudsman, or mediator, that seeks to resolve disputes between individuals and authorities, with the global force, or ‘buzz’, of social media and participation of the community.
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These tools are separate and distinct, with half planned to be spun-off into dedicated NGOs once they are further developed. However, they are designed to be complimentary and interact with each other. Over the coming months we intend to continue the development of these collaborative tools to advance human rights.

The door to the IMAXI Tool Forge is open. Fresh and friendly brains are needed. Come join this mash-up against marginalization.

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Image: IMAXI Tool Forge / In The Forge