MARGINALISED GROUPS PARTICIPATION INDEX (MGPI)
The Marginalised Groups Participation Index (MGPI) is a framework developed for utilisation as a participatory tool for exploring the broad range and scope, as well as the depth and degree of participation of marginalised groups across four broad spheres of human and societal engagements and interactions. These four broad spheres of participation include Category A – Political and Governance Sphere; Category B – Social Sphere; Category C – Economic Sphere; and Category D – Organisational Sphere.
The MGPI is designed as a participatory tool, such that the very process of its deployment itself becomes empowering for the targeted groups. As such it is best deployed through Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) with a wide range of representation of the diversity of the targeted group. Alternatively, it can also be deployed through the use of questionnaires directed at a random selection of a wide array of persons representative of the targeted group. However, this approach will require the use of technical experts, in particular statisticians, to help analyse the results of the questionnaire, thus making this approach less empowering for the people and targeted group.
For Civil Society Organisations working directly with communities and seeking to improve their interventions towards improving the levels and quality of participation of marginalised peoples in the political and socio-economic processes, the first approach is best suited for their objectives.
For policymakers and planners, as well as researchers seeking to explore the relative levels and degree of participation of peoples and groups in political and socio-economic processes, with a view to understanding the gaps, and improving policy design and implementation processes, the second approach may better suited for their purposes.
Nevertheless, the MGPI framework can be utilised by experts as well as ordinary persons. Its very design allows its users to be able to identify gaps, improve and develop participation empowerment interventions, and track progress over time. It also enables comparative ranking of various groups, so that intervention programs can become better targeted and directed at specific needs and requires for different groups.
The MGPI framework was developed in a participatory manner and included training and capacity building in knowledge of its content, and understanding of how to utilise the framework, followed by a field survey of the targeted groups in the targeted communities. This was then followed by the compilation of the reports from the FGDs, the rating of the various targeted groups on the various categories and subthemes, and the preparation of the overall ratings and rankings of the communities.
For this inaugural report of the MGPI, women groups in five communities across four different states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers state were targeted for the survey and deployment of the MGPI Framework.