7 março 2024

Proforest's SWARA participation app Inspires Inclusion on International Women's Day


Proforest's SWARA participation app Inspires Inclusion on International Women's Day

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, and its theme of #inspireinclusion, we are launching Proforest’s participation and inclusion app, SWARA, now available as a free download so other organisations may also use it.

At Proforest, equality and ensuring every voice is heard is incredibly important. As part of our work with companies, governments and communities we often need to monitor the attendance and participation of men and women at workshops and events. This information is essential to enable us to adapt our way of working to ensure better representation, equality and inclusion. We also often have to report back to donors and grant-makers on gender representation and share of voice. This has proved difficult to track in practice.  

We have therefore created SWARA to help us track participation of women and men in meetings, as well as having potential to expand the audiences and situations to other underrepresented groups, such as NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and local communities or youth groups.  

The app is intended to provide a baseline for further conversations and work. We know that the number of women or men speaking in a meeting is not a signifier of gender equality, but it can highlight broader issues of representation and share of voice in working towards solutions. The idea is to take learnings from the data collected using the app, to move towards best practice in our engagement and facilitation processes, to provide the optimal environment for full participation by all. 

Ensuring the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and making sure worker voices are heard is central in our work in Africa in our engagements with companies, governments and other stakeholders. This app gives us access to real data, enabling us to develop and constantly adapt our strategies to facilitate the best participation and inclusion possible at every event we are part of. By providing the needed enabling and professional support for women, including me, Proforest has #inspiredinclusion and has enabled us to not only thrive but grow professionally.

Afua Prempeh, Principal Project Manager, Proforest Africa 

In Proforest’s work in Colombia and Mexico we’re really keen to track participation in meetings, workshops and community consultations. We can use the results to make sure our work is as inclusive and participatory as possible. So the launch of SWARA is great news for us, giving us a workable tracking tool for all our team to use. 

Daniel Arancibia, Co-Director, Latin America 

The app is available to download from Apple and Android app stores (search for SWARA) and is suitable for Android 4.1 and up, and Apple IOS 11. The data from your meeting is only stored on your device and is not shared with any third party. 

For video instruction on how to use SWARA press play above (turn subtitles on or play with sound on) or click here for written instructions