Despite being the Pearl of Africa, my country Uganda is faced with tons of challenges ranging from poverty, poor health facilities, political issues, education issues, unemployment, landslides , big refuge influx and all that you can think of to attract international interventions, rescue aid and programs. These challenges have ignited a number of both nationals and international, youths and old to launch amazing solutions to create change in their communities through Community based Organisations (CBOs) , Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and Charities.
If all these initiatives could be sustained, close to 75% of the challenges would be solved however most of them die just when their funding ends.
To the Founders, Program designers and change makers have you ever thought of the best way to impact and create sustainable change?
Do you ever ask your self:
- Why the intervention you launched a few years ago did not live to see your end term evaluation?
- Why the wild grass covers the village latrines you constructed or why they are being used as animal shelter.
- Why that borehole that broke down six months after construction was not repaired.
- Did you even take note of those village leaders who ignored all your invitations to the planning meetings till you parted with per diem?
- Why community members discriminated against the locals you recruited because they thought you paid them to mobilise for your intervention.
These may be random examples but things really become hard every time you think you have all the solutions for communities. Try to engage that local community in the planning of events, consult with a significant number of representatives on what their pressing need is and how you can work together to solve it. What resources they can provide and the gaps you can fill. This sounds to be time consuming but ….who does not want to be part of the solution when given an opportunity?
In 2018, September 17th The World Bank recognized that Community Driven Development (CDD) approaches and actions are important elements of an effective poverty-reduction and sustainable development strategy. Noting that such programs operate on principles of transparency, participation, local empowerment, demand responsiveness, greater downward accountability and enhanced local capacity. Now most of you have these elements as organisational values but how much do we practice them….?
I have also come to appreciate Spark MicroGrants’ approach of putting families faced with poverty in the front seat of the change they want to see through their Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP). Village leaders, youth, men and women define their community challenges and together draw a sustainable roadmap. They meet often to share, plan and hold each other account for all actions taken.
Next time try mobilising communities to take charge of their own development and see how much impact your intervention will achieve .If we all involve the local community freedom, control, decision making ,we end up empowering them to take charge of their challenges in a sustainable manner .
Remember what you are doing for these communities is for its People!!!