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FAMILY PLANNING WORLD. 1994 Jan-Feb; 7, 29.While female genital mutilation has been brought into the open and is a topic of much conversation, the global community has yet to invest the necessary funds or devise a blueprint for eradication. International agencies defend their response by citing their concern that a full-blown attack on the traditional practice will simply drive it underground. Female genital mutilation can range from cutting or removing the clitoris to full-scale excision and infibulation of the genitalia. In fact, international agencies can do little more than provide funds and resources to local nongovernmental organizations working to eradicate the abuse. Population Action International (PAI) notes that recent publicity has made female genital mutilation a "hot topic." The US Congress is considering legislation to outlaw the practice that is being imported along with immigrants. PAI claims that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was reluctant to become involved in the controversy, but USAID officials say that African nations were reluctant to accept USAID's help. USAID has funded research studies on female genital mutilation and expects that its approach will follow the lead of other international agencies that have integrated eradication programs within existing projects. To date, local efforts to eradicate the practice have led to only minor successes because female genital mutilation is intrinsically tied to the status of women in developing countries. Experts insist that local organizations must lead the eradication effort with funding from international agencies.
[Unpublished] .  p.This document relays 10 lessons learned in providing communication technical assistance in programs designed to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM). 1) The community must identify FGM as an issue they are interested in working on, and the local implementing agency must request technical assistance. 2) Agencies providing technical assistance to FGM eradication programs must avoid high visibility. 3) Technical assistance is most appropriately given by local staff living and working in the particular country. 4) International agencies should strengthen the skill base of their local counterparts so the local groups can acquire the necessary communication skills to work toward eradication. 5) The local implementing organization must conduct research to guide the intervention and the target communities must be involved in designing the interventions. 6) Interventions must be very local in nature and design. 7) Workshops provide good settings for providing technical assistance and training. 8) Local-level project staff need assistance in skills training and individual-level support to deal with their sense that they are betraying their own culture. 9) Skills training helps local staff work through individual behavior change issues in order to help communities adopt behavior changes. 10) The process of behavior change takes time and requires continuity. Donors and local implementing agencies must understand that it may take as long as a generation to eradicate FGM.