Impact of Field Hearings


The Field Hearings are not just research. We take input on local problems and priorities from the perspective of community members, then organize to develop solutions and take action.


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(Dietsloop Field Hearing community in South Africa)

“I just want to say that we should have more meetings like this one and stand up as a community. So we hope that this group discussion won’t just end here; that there will be concrete things coming out of it.” (community member in Diepsloot migrant shantytown, South Africa).


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(Field Hearings community in Bangladesh)

“We are thinking about marginalized community, like as Munda Community, Fisher Folk, Marginal Farmers, etc., to change their social and economic condition. But it is a big concept to build this change. We can some change their small needs by motivation, campaign, awareness, training, and make income generating way.” (IfE partner in Bangladesh).


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(Field Hearings community in Nigeria)

“It’s important the results of the Field Hearings are transmitted to local authorities, national governments, regional and global, to influence policies, etc., but it’s only when actions and policies are transferred to empower them economically and socially that the communities would feel the impact of the Field Hearings.” (IfE partner in Nigeria).


(IfE argues for a stand-alone goal on inequality at the UN’s Open Working Group, November 2013)


IfE’s Field Hearings are bringing voices of poor, socially excluded and politically marginalized communities into the global discussion.  This unprecedented movement is the first time so many marginalized communities have been able to speak out collectively to influence policy. Read more…

  • The Field Hearings preliminary results were presented at three events during the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, June, 2012.  Our report and the discussions at these events influenced the Rio+20 Summit: the outcome document ended up including the concept “equity” over 20 times! 
  • After presenting our Field Hearings results (in November of 2013 – read more here) to the Open Working Group (OWG) which drafted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and calling for a goal addressing inequalities, IfE submitted draft text based on a network-wide consultation, then coordinated a large coalition to fight for its inclusion during the negotiations. After much argument and negotiation, the UN General Assembly adopted the SDGs – including Goal 10 on reducing inequalities – in September of 2015.  
  • Building on our Field Hearings, IfE is creating a citizen’s Participatory Monitoring & Accountability network to monitor progress toward the new SDGs from the perspective of poor communities, and to hold governments accountable for making progress towards the goals. The UN conducted a consultation on participatory monitoring and accountability, inviting IfE to submit a paper on our Field Hearings network. Now IfE and other civil society groups must step up to ensure that monitoring & accountability happens.  Read more…


Local communities and national committees of IfE’s Field Hearings partners take on projects of their own choosing:

  • IfE partners in Nepal are using Field Hearings to monitor the 2015 earthquake relief effort, especially in poor communities who have not been prioritized by the government. Read more…
  • Partners in Sierra Leone are conducting Field Hearings among Ebola survivors, to learn how the response was experienced by community members and what could be done better in the future. Read more…
  • Honduran partners are taking input from Afro-Latin communities on the discrimination and exclusion they experience and how to reverse it. Read more…
  • South African partners are working to bring voices of marginalized communities into the Open Government Partnership process.
  • DR Congo partners are conducting Field Hearings across the country to amplify community members’ voices and priorities in the public arena, and plan set up a national network of civil society groups and journalists to hold the government accountable on peace-building, human rights and equitable development. Read more…
  • US partners are getting ready to facilitate planning meetings for community-initiated democratic economic enterprises in poor communities across the country. Read more…


Read more in the articles listed on the Sidebar Menu to the left, then get involved! Contact us at