Three staff members of the GCF’s IRM in South Korea realized that they were all keen on vegetarian food. One of them started a WhatsApp group called “Vegefoods” and posted a recipe of a vegetarian dish made with local ingredients. Soon, the other two colleagues cooked the same dish at their homes and posted pictures on the WhatsApp group. The group soon became a source of vegetarian recipes and tips for these three staff members. Here you have the seed of a “community of practice”. All three staff members have a common goal – vegetarian cooking in Korea. They have a platform (WhatsApp group) to communicate their ideas, experiences, knowledge and information. Most importantly, they seem to be having a lot of fun making vegetarian food.
Grievance redress mechanisms (GRMs) face a similar challenge of sharing knowledge, information and experiences. One such challenge has been about how a GRM gets information about itself to potential complainants, who may wish to use their services. GRMs have been developing new and innovative ways to disseminate information about themselves, so that people with a grievance can access them to obtain remedies. Professionals working in GRMs and accountability mechanisms have come together to form a community of practice called the “GRAM Partnership”. The GRAM partnership had a soft virtual launch last December when over 100 participants from around the world met online. Participants expressed their views as to what would be the most useful activities for the partnership to conduct in 2021.
Subsequently, the GCF’s IRM convened the GRAM partners to develop a 2021 work plan for how the activities identified by participants might be baked into a work plan. In 2021 the plan is to conduct four webinars, the first of which will be held on 27 April 2021, hosted by the GCF’s IRM. The webinar will focus on how to establish and operate a fit for purpose GRM. Smaller organizations that wish to establish a GRM may be challenged in doing so by the lack of resources and expertise. The webinar will address these challenging questions and propose potential solutions. Subsequent webinars will be hosted by the UNDP’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit, Accountability Counsel and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Additionally, the GRAM Partnership plans to develop and issue good practice notes based on the knowledge and experience shared within the community of practice. These good practice notes will be publicly available and will supplement good practice notes issued by the Independent Accountability Mechanisms Network (IAMnet) and by other independent redress mechanisms.