Issue One: MINORITIES
This report focuses specifically on the Fuga (or Ejje Werk) people of Hadiya Zone in SNNPR, and the depth and complexity of their exclusion in society, despite government policies which make such discrimination illegal. The biggest achievement of civil society work there has been on galvanising government to disaggregate data so as to identify where Fuga people are being overlooked with services.
Over five years, CSSP has developed an approach called ‘Radical Inclusion’. This digs deeper into the social factors which lead to some people being regarded as ‘outsiders’ and others regarded as ‘insiders’ able to access benefits which ‘outsiders’ struggle to acquire despite Ethiopia’s anti-discriminatory laws and policies. CSSP’s work across a number of such minorities (for example, the Me’enit and Menja [SNNPR], the Negede Woyto [Amhara], Gaboye [Ethiopian Somali], Kunama [Tigray] and indigenous populations such as the Berta and Gumuz) has contributed to a much greater understanding in mainstream civil society and government of the extent to which anti-discriminatory policies alone cannot sufficiently address the problem. The causes and experience of exclusion are so unique for each group that much more customised approaches are required. As the Results Review noted in its final report: ‘We observed that where CSSP had been present, government was catalysed to think differently. Presence of policies and laws is something we all should celebrate, but the Government tended to look as if everyone is equal on the ground because of its laws. Now it is the CSOs which are bringing to government the deep rooted issues’.
CSSP plans to go even deeper during the current extension phase in its search for more creative ways to overcome the barriers faced by these different groups of people. A key priority for the future is more targeted investment to CSOs coming from the communities themselves.