Here you can read more about Diakonia's general framework for our strategic work within our chosen thematic areas human rights, democratisation, social and economic justice, gender equality ans a sustainable peace and conflict management.
Human Rights understood and respected
Diakonia works to spread understanding about and achieve respect for the universally acknowledged human rights, so that all women and men can live a life in dignity. Diakonia uses human rights as a guiding vision and tool to create greater accountability, a more stable society and more equal development where people have access to their basic rights.
The goal of fulfilling human rights means to focus on the most oppressed and discriminated sectors of society, on states’ obligations and the formulation of development objectives where human rights are included. This means that the participants in programs and projects are recognized as right holders.
Since states are the ones to be held accountable for human rights and human security it is important to assure that all state policies are coherent and contributes to the realisation of the universally recognised rights, even in forums not centred on human rights.
Diakonia works to promote democracy in order to strengthen the participation of hitherto discriminated groups. Except for constitutional frameworks and the rule of law, democracy also includes shared common values at societal level, e.g. solidarity and mutual responsibility. Diakonia views democracy and human rights as interdependent and reinforcing each other – where e.g. the violations of citizens’ civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights have serious implications on democracy. Diakonia stresses in particular women’s role in democratisation processes.
Democratisation needs to occur on different levels in society. Diakonia puts special focus on empowerment of the poor and democratisation from below. Much of the work is concerned with altering existing institutions so as to allow for increased and equal political participation. But dismantling patriarchal and other norms and attitudes that de facto excludes groups and individuals are also crucial.
Social and economic justice
Diakonia works for economic justice. To change the political and economic structures that create, maintain and aggravates the resource gap between and within countries. We work to minimise the gap between rich/poor and between men/women, in order to create more equal opportunities for all people to live a life in dignity. From our analysis, social and economic justice can only be achieved with a more equal distribution of resources between women and men.
In order to change the resource distribution in the world it is necessary to look at different flows of resources. Diakonia strives to analyse who the winners and losers are of current and proposed systems, and to proactively promote alternatives that favour a fair distribution. Diakonia and our partners challenge both decision makers and privileged individuals on local, national and international level to take their responsibility to create an equal distribution of development resources.
Diakonia works for gender equality by challenging patriarchal structures and attitudes. Gender equality means that women and men share power on an equal basis. It also means that women have the same right to access basic social services, the same opportunities to participate in political and economic decision making, the same right to legal protection and to enjoy the same opportunities as citizens in all aspects of life.
Through the years we have found that the existing gender order cannot be changed without the active participation of men. It is therefore fundamental to encourage men to challenge dominant models of masculinities and organise themselves, and/or together with women to actively participate in the work for gender equality. A gender perspective is equally essential in preventing the spread of HIV.
Sustainable peace and conflict management
Diakonia works to create peaceful environments where women and men can live their lives in dignity. Peace is more than just the absence of war or organised violence. It is a situation where all forms of violence are extinct. Such a situation is by no means free from conflict, nor should it be, but conflicts are solved by peaceful and constructive means.
Diakonia believes that the best way of solving conflicts is to institutionalise it within the political system through a structure capable of channelling different interests and points of view to work out compromises. An essential part of such a system is its ability and willingness to fully guarantee the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. In situations of armed conflict, Diakonia puts special focus on the situation of women and the need for their active participation in solving the conflict.