The Community Protection Network (CPN) consists of key institutions and individuals from district level Community based organizations working towards the promotion and protection of legal and human rights, providing opportunities for legal advocacy initiatives, human rights and peace building. This network was formed in 2003 by CHA following training workshop on focusing on the Human rights. CHA convenes a monthly forum in 12 districts consisting of CBOs and NGOs at the grassroots level, and enables a village level forum for discussion and resolution of problems related to the particular district/ division. It is very successful mechanism for redress at the local level. CHA has been worked with community protection networks consisting of 20-40 CBOs and NGOs and lobby for the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities. The network is governed by a committee but have different structures suitable for individual district needs and suitable for the composition of the membership. It’s the voice of those who left unheard.

CHA district officers coordinate these meetings with the assistance of other CBOS and NGOs. The formation of such a network also aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations at the district level through sharing of information, effective monitoring and follow-up initiatives. This network increases community links, enhances awareness of humanitarian issues at the district level, provides a forum for information sharing, avoids duplication of work and enables the systematic review of action and follow-up. 2007 we have facilitated to convene 144 CPN forums in 12 districts where 4320 community based organizations/local NGOs have mobilized. Through the collective efforts of the CHA & CPN members via these forums health, educational, environmental and rights based related 65 advocacy initiatives, 44 individual/groups grievances support programmes, 32 networking initiatives and 60 capacity building programmes were completed. CHA has been successfully utilized this networks to strengthen the legal and Para legal activities in ensuring the access to legal rights of the poor and vulnerable communities over the past 03 years.

2008 CPN Forums Progress Analysis – Jan to Dec 2008

District Forums& issues Nature of intervention made/issues addressed  No of issues per forum
No of forums No. of
Issues
Grie
vances
Common issues Advo
cacy
Net
working
Capacity building
Kalutara 11 23 3 12 6 1 1

2.1

Badulla 9 24 6 7 3 4 4

2.7

Galle 9 53 4 7 7 8 27

5.9

Matara 11 43 3 9 12 12 7

3.9

Ham 11 54 4 7 12 17 14

4.9

Trinco 11 32 6 9 6 7 4

2.9

Vavuniya 10 33 4 5 7 11 6

3.3

Ampara 9 33 6 7 8 7 5

3.7

Mannar 6 35 4 10 9 7 5

5.8

Puttlam 9 43 9 7 5 13 9

4.8

Batti 5 22 3 5 3 6 5

4.4

Jaffna 7 30 6 5 10 6 3

4.3

2009 CPN forum progress analysis Jan to Aug 2009

District

No of Forums

No of Issues

Grie
vances

Common issues

Ad
vocacy

Net
working

Capacity building

No of issues per forum

Kalutara

3

5

1

1

1

0

0

1.7

Badulla

2

6

0

2

0

1

2

3.0

Galle

4

9

0

2

1

1

5

2.3

Matara

2

4

0

1

2

1

0

2.0

Ham
banthota

4

24

1

3

9

3

8

6.0

Trinco
malee

3

10

2

2

4

0

2

3.3

Vavuniya

2

6

2

1

2

1

0

3.0

Ampara

2

8

4

4

0

0

0

4.0

Mannar

5

43

13

24

5

0

1

8.6

Puttlam

3

6

1

3

1

0

1

2.0

Batticaloa

5

14

0

3

2

2

7

2.8

Jaffna

3

13

2

4

3

2

0

4.3

 

Brief progress on CPN Details

Vision for CPN

The Community Protection Network (CPN) consists of key institutions and individuals from district level Community based organizations working towards the promotion and protection of human rights, providing opportunities for advocacy initiatives and peace building. This network was formed in 2003 by CHA following training workshops focusing on Human rights. CHA convenes a monthly forum in 12 districts consisting of CBOs and NGOs at the grass level, and enables a village level forum for discussion and resolution of problems related to the particular district/ division. This monthly forum has been operative for the past 6 years and is very successful mechanism for redress at the local level. We work with community protection network consisting of 20-40 CBOs and NGOs and lobby for the rights of marginalized communities. The group works on a volunteer basis and are only funded a transportation cost to attend the meetings.

The network is governed by a committee but have different structures suitable for individual district needs and suitable for the composition of the membership. This network has grown over the years to be an intrinsic part of grass root level collaborations and have enabled many a success. It’s the voice of those who are left unheard. Organizations working to redress human rights violations are provided the opportunity to meet once a month and discuss issues relevant during that month and take necessary follow up action. CHA district officers coordinate these meetings with the assistance of other CBOS and NGOs. The formation of such a network also aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations at the district level through sharing of information, effective monitoring and follow-up initiatives. This network increases community links, enhances awareness of humanitarian issues at the district level, provides a forum for information sharing, avoids duplication of work and enables the systematic review of action and follow-up. We have been successfully maintained this networks with being introduction of the legal and Para legal activities in ensuring the access to legal rights of the poor and vulnerable communities over the past 03 years.

Text Box: CPN OPERATIONAL PROCESS IN THREE STAGES

Radial Diagram

DRM- District level responsive mechanisms
PRM – Provincial level responsive mechanisms
NRM- National level responsive mechanisms

The CPNs will deal with three levels of mechanisms in finding solutions for the issues are being discussed at the forums can be introduced i.e. First CPN needs to work with existing authorities in the district level. Same time it should have better understanding of the provincial level mechanisms and when and where need to advocate/consultations/interventions involve in respective to the solutions requires. Finally, if the local level attempts which are not successful are forwarded to national mechanisms.

Collective deliberation on issues heard at the forums

The issue(s) from the communities are being forwarded by a CPN member to the forum; are not a particular CPN member’s issue(s). We have given a vision to the CPN forums that those issues to be considered as CPN members issues and ensure collective response. Because CPN wants to commit and strengthening the vision of collective response, collective identity for the issues and intervention, collective acceptance for its operations and finally collective recognition for its succession and also failure. We continuously facilitate to protect CPN’s image as an alternative community protection mechanism in representing various grass root issues to find solutions which are available in the hand of different existing state and non- state institutions/agencies. These issues are range from health, education, transport, environment, human rights, women rights, legal rights, IDPs rights, capacity building and peace building activities related areas etc.

Process and procedure for the facilitation, monitoring, reporting and follow up of the CPN operations 
CPN Structure & Functions:

  • CHA will function as the main focal point, facilitate and convene monthly meetings at the district level.
  • CPN meetings are held in every month in each district office.
  • A chairperson who will preside at these meetings.  CHA would Co- Chair the meetings.
  • In collaboration with partner organizations/individuals CHA district office will develop the agenda seven days prior to the meetings.
  • Minutes/ follow-up action will be done in collaboration with the Chair/Co Chair, focal points and disseminated within five working days of the meeting.
  • All information pertaining to meetings and discussions held will be send to the relevant Programme Officer at Head office.
  • All the forums minute should available on or before 20th of every month once the meeting conducted
  • The members of the CPN structure i.e. Chairman, Secretary and other committee members should be appointed for the duration of one year and the next members for the following year to be appointed by the CPN members.

Procedures/Operations/ Follow ups 

  • Once CPN members are gathered at the monthly meeting they would be able to have sub group on the various issues prevail in the district i.e. Rights violation, legal issues, advocacy issues, women issues, children issues etc. which emanated from the context of poverty, man made disasters or natural disasters.
  • These sub committees can have pocket meetings, need assessments to identify the issues in the areas and put into the monthly forum to discuss fellow up action plans.
  • When possible interventions identified from the CPN members gathering can forward to the concerned & possible stakeholders for the follow up action to solve the issues.
  • CPN members should try to establish CPN own common ideology which leading to enlighten the theme of Rights, Justice and Development” agenda.

Individual Responsibilities: Members of the Community Protection Network would be required to:

  • Maintain 80% participation at the monthly meetings
  • Provide a regular update on situation/issues in their respective areas
  • Contribute to the identification of agenda items
  • Assist in follow-up action if/when necessary
  • Identify lacunae in the protection framework( information collection/dissemination and advocacy)
  • Assess your needs and personal or institutional recourses

This is in terms of capacity, No of employees, area of focus, location, funding,  time commitment, interest to be apart of the network, ability to be a part of the network, restriction from organization etc.

  • Designing of an individual plan in order to be part of the network- this plan would incorporate methodologies to disseminate information/ knowledge gained at the workshop and through the training manual and ways in which to use ones organizational strengths and overcome weaknesses. It would also need to focus on ways to be apart of this community protection framework

Further guidelines to this collaborative effort:

  • Identify a human rights area/issue significant to your district
  • Identify the stakeholders
  • Identify skills and weaknesses within your organization and be prepared to share information with an organization that has the required expertise and capacity. Be ware of the group’s limitations in handling a particular issue.
  • Explore the existing frameworks/networks/organizations that are presently working in this field and make every effort to collaborate with them and not duplicate work.
  •  Divide task through complementarily. Organization/individuals that do not have the necessary capacity can link with those who have.
  • Accurate/proper documentation of information. List out basic guidelines to be followed within the group in order to prevent the misuse of information. Clarify accuracy of information; identify who could clarify this information; Keep in mind  the safety of those reporting incidents; Build up confidence in people to make them come out with information
  • Coordinating of information through the proper channels.
  • Identify relevant mechanisms that can be approached at the district level. Be familiar with their mandates and the work that they do at the district level; be familiar with their contact details.
  • Identify skills and weaknesses within these organizations/institutions
  • Exhaust all available remedies at the district level & approach national mechanism
  • At the district level and national level always ensure necessary follow-up and maintain links on information and case in question. When following up on individual cases, the informant should be kept informed of the steps that have been taken

CPN FOLLOW UP RECORDING & REPORTING  

All the CPN forums in districts keep documentations with all evidence of its operations to have responsive communication among all the concerned parties. After conduct of monthly meetings 01st feedback and follow up report is provided within two weeks and 02nd report within three weeks.

CPN STRUCTURE

CPN SPECIFIC MINIMUM STANDARDS

  1. CPN agenda to be drafted 2 weeks prior to the meeting and inform NPO the same.
  2. Circulate Agenda 1 week in advance among the CPN members copying to NPO.
  3. Circulate meeting minutes within 5 working days.
  4. Send first CPN follow up report within 2 weeks
  5. Send second follow up report within 3 weeks
  6. We need to have all the districts CPN meetings every first or second week of the month in each district.

CPN Newsletters Publication:

The CPN Newsletters with contributions from the members of the Community Protection Network (CPN) is designed and printed in collaboration with the head office and district staff .The Newsletter was an opportunity for local organizations, individuals to air their work; an avenue to gain publicity and awareness for local ground level legal and human rights issues, and grievances; a forum to advertise oncoming training; and important legal issues and rights based articles etc.

  • Disseminated 3750 district news letters among CPN members by 2006
  • Disseminated 5250 district CPN news letters among the CPN members by 2007
  • Disseminated 2700 CPN news letters among the CPN members by 2008