‘Supping with the Devil’, an update on ‘Scotland’s Apartheid Connections’ was published; the ‘Debt Game’ was produced; and the very successful ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ education pack on women organising, was launched at a conference of the same name.
Funding was received from the Overseas Development Administration (now the Department for International Development) and SEAD held a successful conference ‘Delivering the Goods?’ on the Labour Party’s proposals to set up a Ministry for Women in a future Scottish Parliament.
SEAD hosted a visit to Edinburgh by Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemalan human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prizewinner.
With new funding from Europe, SEAD held a highly successful conference Womanwise on women and development, with guests from Chile, Bangladesh and the Solomon Islands. A handbook on women and development with the same name was published and sold out.
Mary Robinson, then President of Ireland, visited the SEAD office.
This year saw the launch of SEAD’s Action for Development Network linking those with common concerns throughout the world.
In September the first ‘Shifting the Balance: People, Power & Participation‘ conference took place, and was in many ways a turning point for the organisation, making a notable contribution to the debate on the future of democracy. The accompanying study tour featured guests from South Africa, the Philippines, Ireland, Nicaragua, the Georgian Republic, and Scotland.
SEAD’s concept of ‘mutual solidarity’ was born – bringing people together from around the world to exchange experiences and ideas.
A new grant for the ‘Shifting the Balance’ project was received from the EC and the ‘Shifting the Balance Recall Conference’ was held in Dundee’s Caird Hall, followed by a series of consultation meetings throughout Scotland on how to ‘shift the balance’. Packs from the initial conference were sent to all Scottish MPs for their response to SEAD’s ‘Shifting the Balance Action Points’. The ‘Shifting the Balance Handbook’ is full of useful information on holding participatory events and involving members of your community. If you’d like to learn more, you can download the ‘Shifting the Balance Handbook’ from this site.
The SEAD Prize for community activists was launched and awarded to Loraine Houston, from Drumchapel in Glasgow.
The ‘Shifting the Balance Charter’ was launched, consolidating the ideas generated by the consultation programme into a code for all public bodies.
‘Living in The Real World’ by Kevin Dunion was published with a look at how a Scottish Parliament (at that time still a distant possibility) could have a role on the international stage.
Another two successful conferences were held, one co-organised with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), and ‘SEAD Celebrates’, focusing on SEAD’s Shifting the Balance work. Guests from South Africa and Sri Lanka participated in another highly successful study tour of Scotland.
SEAD turned the spotlight on sustainable development with the ‘Turning the Tide’ conference (co-organised with Friends of the Earth International) and a corresponding study tour with guests from India, Hungary, Nigeria, and South Africa.
In February a Task Force of Scots from various backgrounds went to South Africa to seek inspiration on how Scotland could make more effective demands on its democracy, and to discover how community and civic organisations made their voices heard in South Africa’s new democracy. Later that year, a conference about what Scotland could learn from South Africa was held in Edinburgh with Gertrude Fester from the African National Congress (ANC) as the main speaker. ‘Taking to Task’, a report and video on the South African visit were also produced.
The SEAD Prize was awarded to Edwin Kalukwella, a disability activist from Tanzania. SEAD also hosted a visit to Scotland by Joe Mavuso, from the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.
In March, Fiona Sinclair was appointed as Director, and in August three new members of staff were recruited for the ‘Striking a Chord’ programme. Grants were received from the EC and the Department for International Development.
The ‘Leaping Barriers Youth Arts Exchange Project’ (a collaboration between SEAD, Fablevision, and the Intlazane Theatre Project, South Africa) brought a group of young South African performers to Scotland.
‘Striking a Chord’ workers visited the Dominican Republic to meet various community groups, and Tigu, a Brazilian film-maker working in the Dominican Republic, came to Scotland.