Our practice is informed by a clear, coherent and values-based approach which is transferred to partners and shaped with and by them. At the heart of this is the Inside-Out approach, inspired by Freire’s theory of oppression that liberation can be achieved through the awakening of critical awareness or ‘conscientisation’ in the individual. This is central to our theory of change, which can be described as an iterative process, beginning with personalisation to strengthen self-esteem and self-efficacy for the people we work in solidarity with, and for others with the power to facilitate or undermine the realisation of their rights.
Mutual learning is a key tenant of PV’s accompaniment approach, but also programme design and implementation. Above and beyond seeking out opportunities to bring partners together within and across programmes, PV also works to ensure this is lived within the organisation.
PV’s role is primarily facilitative and catalytic – we accompany others and participate with them in processes aimed at supporting change and development. Accompaniment is a way of describing the kind of relationships we form with partners based on the principles above and the belief that significant change takes time and is best facilitated in the context of long-term relationships of mutual trust, interest, accountability and responsibility.
PV’s approach and practice combines a level of psychological sophistication with grounded political analysis. We strongly believe that enabling greater self-efficacy and resilience (psychological strengths) is a critical foundation for effective political action. The individual human being is the fundamental unit of all social systems – so almost all our work includes a focus on the self. If you fail to address the individual in her or his context, you cannot effect sustainable change in larger human systems. Unlocking agency in individuals, groups and organisations is a key ingredient for facilitating social change.
PV aims to position itself in solidarity with partners. This requires a long-term approach of commitment, intimacy and depth of relationship. It is not the easiest way of working; and means entering into the complexity and challenge of real relationships and consciously balancing the demands of multiple agendas simultaneously. But we have found it to be critical for effectiveness, flexibility and risk mitigation.
CO-CREATION OF METHODS
Co-creation of methods is a key component of PV’s approach, and has seen programmes work together with their partner organisations to pilot new curricula. This co-creating approach to developing LILO methods helps faciliatate learning across programmes and partners, but also ensures new curricula is tested and interrogated by both programme staff (who integrate the methods into programme activity planning based on their utility) and the groups it is intended for.