Building Inclusive Community Activism and Accountable Relations Through an Intersecting Inequalities Approach
López Franco, Erika
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Community development interventions can generate collective iden tities, foster community activism and build more accountable rela tions between marginalized groups and duty-bearers. Yet, our previous research shows meaningful inclusion of the most disadvantaged groups is not sustainable unless the intersecting inequalities at the root of poverty and marginalization are understood and addressed. This article draws on participatory action research (PAR) processes conducted between 2016 and 2017 in Egypt, Ghana, India, South Africa and Uganda, which worked through local partners to engage directly with groups affected by deep inequalities and unaccountable dynamics. Collaboratively, we explored how intersecting inequalities play out in people’s everyday lives to drive poverty and marginalization and the elements necessary for par ticipatory processes to catalyze community activism and build pathways towards accountability. In this article, we operationalize the concept of intersecting inequalities, in order to understand the complexity of ‘community’ in different contexts and the contribution of this approach to inclusive community development. Finally, we draw lessons about how to navigate the intrinsic tensions between recognizing difference and building community activism for accountability.