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All change must be sustainable. And for this to happen, structures must be essentially changed. IM works to identify the root causes of problems and to support vulnerable individuals so that they themselves can create opportunities to change their situation. We know that this creates change – and we should know, we have 80 years of experience.
Our mission is to fight poverty and exclusion and our starting point is that everyone is covered by human rights. In order to create sustainable change, we need to combat discriminating structures that infringe and restrict these rights. We do this on three levels:
– we strengthen individuals and create opportunities for them to assert their rights. This could, for example, involve making people with disabilities aware of their rights and supporting them in calling on politicians to demand these rights, or giving a woman means to start up a business to provide a livelihood.
– we encourage and make it easier for people to unite and set up organisations in order to act as a collective voice and find common solutions. We build strong civil societies where groups gain strength to call responsible parties to account.
– we work to change formal and informal rules that shape people’s behaviour and attitudes. This is not just a matter of influencing legislation, but also challenging norms, values and public perceptions of how things should be.
Collaboration based on partnership
Our change model involves building up partnerships with organisations where we work. Together with them, we are on the ground where things are happening and can formulate our initiatives together with the individuals concerned.
We encourage and support exchange between our partners in order to strengthen their joint action. In this way we ensure that change is lasting and can continue even after we have left the project.
A rights-based approach
IM employs a rights-based approach (RBA). This is an approach with four perspectives:
– human rights are universal and apply to everyone!
– demanding that those in power take responsibility
– those affected should be involved in shaping the solution
– we are open about how we work and our efforts stand up to scrutiny
Our rights-based approach focuses on creating change by strengthening empowerment of individuals rather than making people subjects of action. We view the participants in our initiatives as actors, not passive recipients.