Our Areas of Focus

Strengthening Civil Society

A strong and functional civil society is essential for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Such a society is characterised by gender equality, good governance and active community participation in all areas of public life… Read more.

Women disproportionately bear the brunt of poverty. 43% of the world's farmers are women, yet they receive only a fraction of the land, credit, resources and training that men do.1 According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, if women had the same access to resources as men, agricultural productivity would increase by up to 4% in developing countries, which would in turn reduce the number of undernourished people in the world by 100-150 million or 12-17%.2 Women living in poverty are often denied a voice in decisions that directly affect their own well-being and that of their families and communities.3 When women have greater control of household resources, they are more likely to make decisions that benefit their children, and thus enhance the future development prospects of a community.4

Good governance is essentially about “right relationships”. It exists when those in authority can be trusted to use their power for the good of all, especially the poorest and most vulnerable in their midst; and, when processes are fair and transparent and decisions are implemented in an equitable manner. TEAR is engaged in advocacy in the pursuit of good governance at a macro level; however, the work of our partners is primarily concerned with promoting good governance at a local level.

A healthy civil society is well governed, but also encourages the active participation and engagement of all its members at every level of public life. TEAR partners work with poor communities to encourage gender equality, good governance and active participation in the following ways:

  • Promoting gender equality and facilitating community discussion on gender roles and equity
  • Community-based human and civil rights education
  • Training local government authorities and representative Village Development Committees in democratic processes and transparent and accountable governance
  • Strengthening and encouraging participation in community organisations (e.g. farmers' associations, women's saving and credit groups, cooperatives)
  • Training key community members in conflict transformation and peace-building skills
  • Organising and equipping local communities to advocate for basic services and rights
  • Anti-human trafficking activities
  1. Food and Agriculture Organization. http://www.fao.org/gender/infographic/en/ Accessed August 14, 2012.
  2. Ibid.
  3. The World Bank (2012). World Development Report 2012. http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/EXTWDRS/EXTWDR2012/0,,menuPK:7778074~pagePK:7778278~piPK:7778320~theSitePK:7778063~contentMDK:22851055,00.html Accessed August 14, 2012.
  4. Ibid.

Related Projects:

Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health, Nepal

Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health

While most advocacy undertaken through TEAR’s partners is on a local community level, some of our partners are involved in influencing national government policies and funding.

In Nepal, TEAR’s partner CMC (the Centre for Mental Health and Counselling) works in remote regions to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness, particularly through community awareness-raising and non-clinical psycho-social support, such as Self-Help Groups. To complement this, CMC engages with Nepal’s Department of Health to influence and shape national…

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Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health, Nepal

Arnhem Human Enterprise Development Project

A project in responsive development in Yolngu communities in Galiwin'ku, North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

The AHED Project provides a service that walks alongside Yolngu people in the Galiwin'ku community to support them to initiate, develop and control their own enterprises. The  AHED Facilitators take an incarnational approach, living in the community, learning the local language and respecting local Yolngu cultural frameworks. The Facilitators act as bridges between Aboriginal and mainstream Australian culture to help Yolngu people navigate the complex demands of starting…

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Arnhem Human Enterprise Development Project

Training community youth development workers in the Pacific Islands

Meshach Eretea comes from Ruruhe village in the southern region of Malaita, a province in Solomon Islands. Despite facing many hardships in his own life, including his father passing away when he was young, he had been doing voluntary youth work with his church for some time before he became part of TEAR partner Praxis' youth development program (Ola Fou). His involvement empowered him to begin to look at ways he could respond to the needs of his community.

As part of Ola Fou's “Through Their Eyes” approach, he taught young people in his community to use a camera and encouraged them to take…

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Training community youth development workers in the Pacific Islands

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About TEAR

TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice. More >

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