Robust and honest public discourse and debates are not only essential building blocks of an open progressive and enlightened democratic society, having well moderated exchanges that allow for a broad based exchange between a cross-section of society is a strategy for enhancing public involvement and engagement in development. Such discussions validate local, grassroots knowledge and experience, they legitimize traditional knowledge systems and create an interface with modern technological knowhow.
The reality of our modern times are such that the social barazas where issues were discussed by elders, the informal education sessions where elders passed on local wisdom to the youth or the collegiate decision making leadership councils are no longer practical. Knowledge generation and dissemination has become the exclusive preserve of the powerful privileged few. The ‘ordinary’ population are excluded from important debates by deliberate design or simply logistical difficulties, information is hoarded and used to perpetuate dominance by those in control. Facts and perspectives that would enable and empower citizens to make informed decisions circulate among a select few unfortunately resulting in the members of the public many a time making unhealthy choices that they later regret.
HAOSSAR Social Baraza is designed to: bridge the gap between ‘experts’ and the ‘ordinary’ population, narrow the divide between modern technology and traditional knowledge systems, open dialogue between scientifically and technologically generated information and experiential knowledge. HAOSSAR Soacial Baraza seeks to create space for interaction between the privileged academia and the blue and no-collar citizens, the youth and the experienced.
The HAOSSAR Social Baraza will utilize pod-cast technology to broadcast interactive discussions and debates pitting well-informed knowledgeable discussants on matters of topical interest. These sessions will bring holders of divergent well researched philosophical, ideological, developmental points of view together to engage with each other and bring varied perspectives to the debates. The panels will discuss a wide range of relevant issues covering land, the public debt, the environment, space, human-wildlife conflict, youth unemployment, health, religion, creative expression, globalization, gender equity etc. Listeners will be invited to post questions to the panel during the live stream sessions and after sessions. Questions posted after the sessions will be responded to later. We will make sure formerly marginalized voices and opinions are listened to, heard and their opinion considered.