We are about to embark on collecting a knowledge asset on the practice of Mobilising Resources.
 
I believe each of you has had, or knows of, an experience where a community has been able to mobilise resources (their own and/or others) to achieve something remarkable. Tell us about that and your role in it. What is the one main message the story makes?  Try sharing the experience out loud to a friend or colleague before writing it down. Please add it as a blog on Ning and use the tag “Resources” to help others find it. 
 
To inspire you might read “Beauty meets Quality” from Kerala, India. By acquiring a mirror, a chair and a table, sex workers set up their own beauty parlour. This helps build their self-esteem which in turn stimulates the change to insisting on safer sex.
 
Based on your experience, what is the ESSENCE (the essential principle) of Mobilising Resources? To prompt you here are a couple of offers:
- one from Guyana: If we apply an individual approach based on personal change; then we do not require a lot of external resources and can tap into the potentials of our own resources
- one based on level 5 of the self-assessment: We use our own resources, access other resources to achieve more and have planned for the future. 
We'd like you to share your essence or dream for Mobilizing Resources in this forum discussion.
 
Once we have collected a number of experiences we will sort them by common principles for action.  If you want to join the series of discussions to generalise these common principles please let me know.
 
Laurence
PS: If you want to check out knowledge assets on other topics click here

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Social mobilization is always backed by lot of support ,knowledge & capacity building , advocacy which leads to empowerment of the community . I would like to share one of my experience with an NGO Guria , Varanasi (U.P) , India which works for child trafficking and women in prostitution .
Varanasi is considered as the Holiest cities among all the Hindus globally , beside this the city is having a continuous history of more than 5000 years which makes it oldest living city in the world .
The Indian society is very traditional and when we are talking about Varanasi talking sex , prostitution & AIDS on public platforms can lead one into serious troubles . Guria did a very innovative act of connecting the society with WIP ( Women In Prostitution) , the WIP are trained in the traditional singing and dancing forms for which they were highly recognized and respected in society during the pre-independence era . But with the changing time and coming of modern entertainment forms their role was confined to sexual services .
Guria formed a group of these WIP who were also good at performing traditional singing and dance from all across the country . They are have participants from 6 Indian states and 25 districts . A big event 'Pearls of Love' was rolled out to show case the art and the talent of these marginalized section of the society . Efforts were done to main stream the WIPs . The event was organised in Varanasi on the bank of river Ganges (the most sacred place for Hindus) . Many celebrities , local administration and people from politics were invited and attended the event . The event was covered by National and International media like BBC .
The WIP who are living a life where they are not having any interaction with the main society except their clients got such a warm appreciation from all the audience . The event led to breaking of several myths which the society was having about WIP. And when we talk about how WIP or the Performers felt about the event they didn't had the words to express their happiness . Now pearls of Love has become an annual event by Guria and is rolling successfully .


You may watch the video of 'Pearls of Love' at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFftl9Ez1Ws
Dear Abhindav,

Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful experience! You managed to change the outlook on these communities from being 'target groups' and 'most at risk populations' into talented artists!

What is your key lesson learned in mobilizing resources for this event (could be human resources or financial resources)? Can you give an example that illustrates your lessons learned or tip?

Thank you,

Laurence
Mobilization Resources is the umbrella of all forms of resources whether social, financial, human, knowledge and physical resources all of which are found in the community. Mobilizing these resources involves personal and political advocacy. Before, I am often reminded that NGOs should remain apolitical in order for the organization to keep away from dirty politics and influence of traditional politicians who might corrupt community workers and facilitators.

Later I realized that "political exercise" is a basic human right of every every human being. It is the only way they are involved in democratic processes in each of their spheres of decision-making whether peer-group, family, community, society and Nation. Its the only way they are engaged in creating an enabling environment and as watchdog for good governance where people are empowered to take action positioned to bring bout positive change in their lives.

Like JL who have a rich history at the UNAIDS who continuously strive to influence the agency to make a difference through political advocacy and indeed, jumping off the agency and creating the constellation was the leap that created a big difference because until now, a number of UNAIDS country offices around the world is adopting the life competence process that facilitates in the mobilization of local resources to respond to the pandemic.

The Ning Community too is one of the my favorite (second only to Social Edge) knowledge-sharing interactive space where resource such as community data is transformed into information then into knowledge and then wisdom. This is what the Constellation is all about. Discovering the Star in each of us then transforming them into a constellation and create communities that build relationships, support each other, share lessons learned, engage in community dialogue and cultural exchange, and develop local responses for addressing shared challenges and issues of life concerns.

Maybe, for people who suggest NGOs to be apolitical should do rethinking and instead of telling us to shun politics, should inspire us be "non-partisan instead". Or maybe, these people who tell us not to be political are the "corrupt" leaders we had and just wish to stay corrupt forever and wish to put corruption a "status quo" that feeds their greed and so that the resources available to all people will be controlled by their avarice. They tell us not to take our share by fooling us that it constitute corruption.

We should be VERY POLITICAL but NON PARTISAN, this can mobilize resources through advocacy and social mobilisation, as one of my favorite speaker Mr. Lito Lorenzana former Secretary of the Philippines Department of Agriculture always remind me.

JohnPierre
My example of political participation is our project on Advocacy and Social Mobilization entitled: Mainstreaming HIV Prevention and Programmes in the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in Barangay Sum-ag Bacolod City: Promoting Locally-Informed Evidenced-based Policies and Programmes for at-risk and vulnerable children and youth – presented during the 17th International AIDS Conference Mexico. www.aids2008.org/Pag/Abstracts.aspx?AID=4065
Hi John-Pierre,

Thanks a lot for sharing about political engagement. Do you find that advocacy is a good way to mobilize resources? Do you find that political power is a resource as such or is it a mean to mobilize resources?

You are probably the biggest champion ever in mobilizing resources whether with Starbucks, with rich business people or from your community, you manage to mobilize what is needed to make a change. Can you share what is the most important thing for you in order to mobilize resources? Can you illustrate this lesson learned or tip with one experience?

Thanks a million,

Laurence
It has come to my knowledge that resources are always on our reach and only ways of mobilizing them is required and sensitizing the communities on methods of mobilizing these resources .It was when we started to look into ways of organizing the Informal Private Sector members in our country to come together and have their voice heard by the Government and Formal Private Sector that we realized we have a lot of resources which we could utilize. Services of heath matters were not properly implemented in the informal sector and this sector contributes almost 70% Gross Domestic products and so they should get services.Thats how we started the advocacy for these resources from the government to be channeled to this sector and also contribute themselves to start the Hiv /Aids programs at their workplaces and capacity build their members. This has worked well in the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers where we have mobilized resources and put up wellness centers along the transport corridor where we educate the drivers and CSW on behavior change,V.CT.,CONDOM Distribution.Through various advocacy Methods and involving policy makers we have mobilized a lot of resources both human,social and materially. SAMUEL GITHIRE--KLDTDU
From my experience with mobilizing (financial) resources for the Constellation Support Team (CST) the last 2,5 years, I learned a few essential things:
1. We really need to know what resources we need. Whether it is on a village level or for a global partnership. Good mobilisation of resources requires good preparation and analysis. Else we can not convince the people that will provide the resources to join this cause.
2. We need to know the strengths of the people that will provide the resources. They will provide it once they realise they have something special to offer in this situation. Many will underestimate their potential added value. We can reveal and align their strengths and show them how their strengths/ resources can make THE difference. When we mobilise strengths, we align with people's passion and drive resulting in many other spin-off effects. Resources are then mobilised based on passion and ownership. This is in line with Guyana's comment above.

Once we know 1. and 2. we can start aligning them and mobilising the resources.

Hope this helps. I'll try to post specific stories later.
Gaston
Cette histoire de Abhinav Singh sur les ''femmes dans la prostitution'' démontre que le regard des autres est un facteur qui pourrait amener les gens à changer de comportement. Chacun doit jouer sa partition: Communauté, ONG, administration, politique, leaders d'opinion, média, population générale, tous les acteurs de la vie en société.

Merci à Abhinav SIngh

Youn
Notes from Knowledge Asset meeting: 9 Sept 2010
Resource Mobilisation
We shared the stories we had been working on or our own stories.
Laurence shared a story about a man returning to Russia because his father had died. Friends rallied round with money and clothes to help him get back. The message was ‘If you build a strong sense of community then the resources will come.’

Marijo shared a story from Wiwin about fathers getting involved in Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) issues. The emphasis moved from education and providing information to community discussion. Funds were prioritised from infrastructure projects to funding community discussions about ARH. The message is “when you understand and care for members of your community then you can mobilize resources”

Marlou reflecting on the street children projects and the way they sell products when they go to workshops, conferences etc. “If people look for creative ways to get resources they will find them.”
Also she shared the story of Wayan in Bali. When project money stopped for IDU users infected with HIV a man drove a taxi by day to pay the bills and spent time doing the things he wanted to do the rest of the time to help those infected.

Geoff talked about Sumali and the puppets – Once the community had collaborated on putting on the puppet show to share the facts about the HIV virus it was easier for them to deal with other issues in the village together, such as starting cottage industries to provide jobs in the village. Message when a community comes together to tackle on issue it is easy to mobilise that community pull to deal with other issues.

Phil commented on a number of stories that have been captured on Ning

Abinhav Singh shared a story about Women in Prostitution performing traditional singing and dancing thereby changing the publics attitude towards them. The essence of this story is “We have resources that are not recognised by others or ourselves”
John Pierre Montilla reminds us that our voice in the political process is a resource that we can use. He advocates that NGOs should be very political but not partisan.
Samuel tells of the wellness centres for Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers. The resources are available if we recognise them. In this case the resources are human, social and material.
The power of identity (Are we human?) Women in Togo receive a certificate to show they belong to the Women’s group. This gives them a real sense of identity. Burdens can become resources. PLWHIV become part of the solution
Identify the need then ask for resources as part of the planning.

Geoff shared a story from his village which illustrates these last two points. His village organise a village fete and show each year. The money raised goes to a number of projects in the village and a large portion goes to the church. One villager opposed the money going to the church because he feels the church is rich and doesn’t need it. Stella organises the village show which shows off flowers, vegetables and produce from the village. She asked this person to help her on the day by collecting money for people to enter the church and he agreed. He agreed because despite his views he was asked to help on a specific task and be part of the community.

Gaston shared a couple of his learnings before the meeting. We really need to know what resources we need. Whether it is on a village level or for a global partnership. Good mobilisation of resources requires good preparation and analysis. Else we can not convince the people that will provide the resources to join this cause
We need to know the strengths of the people that will provide the resources. When we appreciate strengths, we align with people's passion and drive resulting in many other spin-off effects. Resources are then mobilised based on passion and ownership.

Reflecting on the sum of the essence we noted that most of the resources were non financial, and usually resources that the community already had.

If you build a strong sense of community then the resources will come.
When you understand and care for members of your community then you can mobilize resources.
When a community comes together to tackle on issue it is easy to mobilise that community spirit to deal with other issues.
If people look for creative ways to get resources they will find them.
We can earn the money to pay our bills which enables us to do the things that will make a difference.
We have resources that are not recognised by others or ourselves
Our voice in the political process is a resource that we can use
The power of identity. Burdens can become resources.
We really need to know what resources we need. Identify the need then ask for resources as part of the planning.
We need to know the strengths of the people that will provide the resources. When we appreciate strengths, we align with people's passion and drive


A key point added by MariJo If we change our perception of 'our' and 'their' resources? I mean if it would be possible to change the idea that we are asking monies from them 'to us', but making them part of the community and sharing responsibility for the problem and the solution.

What do we need to know?
The Constellation needs to mobilise resources in order to do its work. If we consider we are a customer for this knowledge asset on Mobilising Resources, what do we need to know?
We need to know:
What resources do we need?
What resources do we have available? What ones are we using? Not using?
What members want to do? And what strengths do they bring?
What can we demonstrate we have already achieved? [We do this well in the annual report.]
Who are the right people to act for us within the partner organisations?
We have to be able to articulate what we offer as an organisation {What is our business proposition?] What we offer to the donors? What we offer to the members?

What else do you think we need to know in order to mobilise the resources to achieve our goals? This will help us focus on what stories and experiences to collect. Please add these on the discussion forum on Ning.

The next meeting will be Thursday 7th Oct at 08:30 GMT. Reflect on what your dream is of resource mobilisation and share it on the discussion forum before the next meeting.
Here is my first pass at my dream for Resource Mobilisation.

Together we will recognise and use our own resources, both financial and non-financial to achieve something. Our achievements help us access resources beyond our own to achieve more.
Dream

Many initiatives fail when the funding stops. I want to see sustainable responses and these usually occur when people realise they have the solutions available to them with their own resources. I'm currently reading a book on "The Power of Positive Deviance" by Richard Pascale and the Sternins and the initial story is about child malnutrition in Vietnam. The solution lies within communities but people can't see the well nourished child till they understand the norm and forget the conventional wisdom that poor families cannot afford to nourish their children. Supplies of nourishing food are great till the money runs out but then the children become malnourished again. Finding their own solutions within their own communities with the resources they have available creates something sustainable. We have opportunities to learn more about how both as a facilitator of community discussions and as an organisation that struggles for the resources to do what it wants. I'll contribute more as I read more of the book
My dream - a try, for Resource Mobilisation

"In our community we put all our resources at work in order to reach our dream. The commitment of people who contribute their skills, time and/or financials is recognised and this stimulates all to contribute their part".

Our (nice!) challenge in the Constellation is exactly that I think: so many people and teams are contributing in so many ways to achieve the dream of Community Life Competent Communities. How can we 'reward' that commitment and put all our resources at work in the Constellation?

Marlou

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