This brief offers reflections and recommendations from the Water for Women Fund’s South Asia Regional Learning Event.
To understand Do No Harm, it is important to recognise:
- Harm occurs on a continuum from smaller, every-day forms of discrimination to more egregious harms.
- Discriminatory attitudes are the underlying cause of harms, which is why the concept of ‘transformation starts with ourselves’ is key.
- Violence, or the threat of violence, is a daily reality in the lives of women and marginalised people. Our programming actions can alleviate or exacerbate this harm.
Recommendations from the event include:
- In the face of harmful norms, doing nothing to challenge inequality does harm. Do No Harm requires a proactive not passive approach.
- A genuine commitment to Doing No Harm demands that we, as development practitioners, look at our own conscious and unconscious attitudes, and the way we use our own power.
- It is more constructive to focus on harmful norms as the problem that needs to be changed – not the groups harmed by those norms.