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KEY REFERENCE FOR ACTORS IN ROC & Congo Basin countries: Towards A Regional Plan

**ESSENTIAL REFERENCE: As a private, neutral and independent research initiative, IPRB has no affiliation with any organization or particular interest beyond that of facilitating greater understanding and support of indigenous peoples in the Republic of Congo and the wider Congo Basin. Towards this end, IPRB seeks to facilitate access to key resources and it is in this spirit that this May 2006 document, "EVALUATION: STRENTHENING THE RIGHTS OF PYGMY PEOPLE IN CAMEROON, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, AND THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)" (written by Dr. Shoa Asfaha, an indepedent external consultant, published by the INGO Rainforest Foundation UK in partnership with local organizations OCDH, CED and CENADEP with the support of the Baring Foundation) is hereby identified as the single most important reference for actors in the Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin Region.

While there is no substitute for the process of reading, analysing, comparing and assimilating information from a range of sources, time is often a major constraint for policy makers and planners. Hence, IPRB identifies this document as the single most important reference for policy makers and program planners in the Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin. Specifically, actors who are concerned with supporting indigenous peoples may wish to consider how their approaches and programs can specifically compliment - rather than compete with - the initiative that is the subject of this report. This report presents not only an excellent and accurate analysis of the context of the Republic of Congo, but also sets forth compelling and well-reasoned recommendations that represent what is perhaps the best approach to programming to support indigenous people in the Congo Basin.

It is the opinion of IPRB that donors, international agencies and international organizations will be more effective in the stated goal of supporting indigenous communities if they are able to shift their focus away from their own narrow organizational mandates, interests and agendas (organization-centered), to instead look beyond their own institutions for positive models that show promise (outcome-centered).

While vigorous competition for limited funds is often encouraged by the way donors allocate aid resources and fosters a credit-grabbing and "me in the spotlight" culture, humanitarian and conservation actors are strongly encouraged to seek collaborative approaches by maintaining a focus on communities and realities in the field. This means having the ability to acknowledge something valuable and then working to actively support and compliment the initiative - even if it doesn't bear your organization's particular brand.

Finally, other actors may wish to note that the on-line publication of this Program Evaluation document reflects a level of transparency and accountability that serves as a positive model for all entities, agencies and organizations.

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