Mental health project kicks off in Guyana

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Over one billion people globally struggle with issues related to mental health, including depression, substance abuse and self-harm. Lack of research in implementation and policy change is further impeded by stigma, capacity shortages, and fragmented service delivery. In collaboration with Guyanese communities and stakeholders, and funded by the British Academy, the Cobra Collective is participating in ARCLIGHT (‘Action Research Community Led Initiative Guyana Health Team’), an ambitious new research project which will develop, implement and evaluate a capacity building and … Read More

Community Owned Internet: DIY networks

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DIY networks are local wifi zones independent of the internet. The key component of such networks is a computer unit that acts as a ‘server’ which can be accessed through a wifi signal that the unit broadcasts. Anyone with a phone, tablet or laptop can access the information available within the DIY network if they are in range of the wifi signal. Why are we championing DIY networks? First of all, we work a lot with communities in allowing them … Read More

Electricity Generation as a Community Owned Solution – Webinar

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For the last 20 years, Andrea Berardi has been working with marginalised communities in strengthening their governance of local resources so as to promote ecological sustainability and social justice. Having experienced the disastrous failures of imposed top-down and centrally designed development interventions,  Andrea has engaged communities in developing and implementing grassroots interventions: ‘community owned solutions’. In this webinar, Andrea presents a generic organisational model for community owned solutions, and uses the example of electricity generation to compare and contrast the … Read More

Dawn of the Eco-drones?

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Usually only appearing in the news after they have been used to launch missile attacks or for military surveillance, drones have, until recently, had a bad press. Thanks to reduced costs and increased operational capabilities, however, the last decade has seen a rapid expansion in their civilian application, with studies predicting that in 2021 their global market will approach US$4.8 billion (an eightfold increase from 2014 figures). In an interview with PSFK Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the US-based … Read More

Controlling the Zika virus with Community Owned Solutions

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The Zika virus is a recent addition to the maladies spread by the Aedes mosquito. Aedes is already responsible for infecting millions of people across the world with Yellow Fever, Dengue and Chikungunya. Dengue alone is responsible for making between 50 to 100 million people ill every year. Control of the Aedes mosquito is clearly a key strategy for addressing these emerging global pandemics. One approach that has been heavily reported by the media is a solution developed by Oxitech, … Read More

Are Community Owned Solutions against progress?

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It’s often been argued that, increasingly, Indigenous communities, especially younger generations, are evolving towards more ‘Western’ lifestyles while leaving behind traditional indigenous practices, thus making the communities ‘less indigenous’. In this discourse, there is a Western ideal representation of indigenous communities as ‘primitive noble savages’ which often contradicts the actual day-to-day practices and customs of indigenous communities. It is important to make it clear that the ‘community owned solutions’ approach does not intrinsically favour traditional practices or prevent communities from … Read More

Why Community Owned Solutions

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Why are we advocating community owned solutions? Highly marginalised groups, such as Indigenous peoples, are generally represented as ‘poor’, ‘backwards’ and ‘requiring help’. This deficit model too often prevails at all levels of policy and decision making, where government and market-led approaches to sustainable development are generally designed by external experts. Many of these policies propose generic, blueprint solutions which may undermine already existing local solutions. The Cobra Collective has shown that Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups are a … Read More