Applying CLCP to new issues - what did we learn in the facilitation?

Dear friends, 

In 2010, more new applications of CLCP have been started than in any year before (at least to my knowledge). 2011 will continue in the same trend.

What did we learn from this? Specifically in terms of process design? Is 2 days before a learning event sufficient to develop a new Self-Assessment framework? To what extent do facilitators need to have experience with the specific topic? Can the process be applied to any other issues without adapting the various steps? (dream building, self-assessment, action planning, measuring change, learning & sharing). 

We have several new partnerships coming up with particular applications to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), TB and Peace. We would like to learn from your experience in what you learnt in terms of facilitating a new application. 


Thank you. 

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In Guyana we collaborate with the Catholic Relief Services to apply Community Life Competence to mitigate threats of trafficking in persons in Amerindian communities. This effort is currently being rolled with SALT visits to two cluster communities. Already communities are linking social issues [hiv, gender violence, family planning, alcohol and drug abuse] as a common concern and adapting measures to address these in a holistic manner.

Hello everyone,


In BelCompetence we apply the process to very different issues. It varies from work groups (like advocates, a medical house (doctors, nurses,...), social workers who have a lack of sense in their work) to communities of migrants who would like to become integrated in Belgium.

We often apply the same process but they build their own practices. We don't have a self-assessment framework with standard practices. So, that can take some time. I think, you need at least 2 days to do dream building and self-assessment (if you want to do this well). So, normally, we start with an exercise that shows the strenghts of the community, than we build the common dream (often in several groups, drawing or describing in words). We build practices together with the group and they make their self-assessment on that basis. 


It is true that you better learn about the topic because it will help you to understand what's going on... but a deep knowledge isn't necessary and you learn a lot by facilitating.

We would like to apply the process also for environmental issues. But always with the same process.

Hope I helped...



Hi Gas,


Gaetane and I applied the CLCP to climate change. I wrote a blog about it with my lessons learned:


Here is how we did it: 

"Individually participants draw their dream for their village, neighbourhood or community that lives in harmony with the environment and is competent towards global warming. In small groups of 5, everyone share his/her dream and the group draws a common dream on a flip chart. (see pictures)
Then, every group presented its dream in plenary. I wrote down all key ideas that came out of each dream on separate pieces of paper. We then put all ideas on the living room floor and tried to group similar ideas into 'clusters'. From these clusters, we tried to find the practice or strategy that is necessary to reach the dream. It is best to use a verb in the practice because it reflects an 'action' to reach the dream."


The next step would probably be to test the framework in a few communities.

Thanks for this interesting topic.



Dear Gaston,

I am delighted to contribute here. I remember i once shared on how i adapted the SALT process into a Dairy productivity program in 5 Districts where Land O' Lakes Kenya was working. I was invited to support over 60 Dairy farmer groups through Participatory planning processes. 

I shared my approach with Agnes the Dairy production officer at Land O' Lakes Kenya. The steps included, 

  1. Timeline of response for each group highlighting High and low moments, outcomes of their work, their strengths as a group. The Time line helped the group to see where they have come from, and where they are today. Reflection moments helped the group to see the value of their work, analysed what was common in their effort to making progress but also acknowledged that they have not gotten there yet. 
  2. Dream - After we heard from the group story of response, the groups were motivated to want to do better. So then a question to generate their Dream in 5 years to come was asked. People share their individual dream about Dairy farming in their communities which was shared with the big group. They captured that on a Flip over inform of a diagram describing the meaning. From the dream we listened for key practices that would lead to a competent dairy farmer. These included; Breeding and artificial insemination use, Pasture establishment and fodder conservation, basic animal health care,Water conservation & Harvesting, Marketing & Milk value addition, Clean milk handling and preservation, measuring own change, learning from others, Mobilising resources etc  
  3. Self assessment - The groups did their self assessment to gauge their current level of Competence but also to nalyse their current situation. I remember, One farmer from Mt Kenya said during the self assessment reflection on where are? and why do we think we are there?He said, " I think as a group we have not gotten to level 5 because any group in level 5 has totally eliminated the use of Bulls for breeding and the use of artificial insemination(AI) by the farmers in that community is not negotiable. People are using A.I normally and their milk volumes have increased. So for this practice on Breeding and use of A.I we are in Level 3. In our group and largely in the community many farmers are being challenged by stray bulls and their milk volumes are going down or their cows are drying up."     
  4. Action planning - after the self assessment by the groups. We had a reflection on the diagrams. What does this mean for us???? Key reflections included, we are strong in some areas and we have others that we need to improve on. We are glad because we also see who we can learn from. It was amazing to see in the action plans groups indicating exchange learning visits e.g From Meru to Katangi in Machakos etc. So each group identified 3 to 4 priority focus areas from their self assessment and Generated and action plan for 6 months. They named key specific activities to undertake to improve on each priority practice.

Added value of  SALT,

  • Land O' lakes began to include SALT visit during each training session for the farmers. 
  • Consistent and increased use of A.I was evident. With more farmers demanding for the A.I services.  
  • Increased feed security for animals as there were more Hays and silage made and stored for use during the dry season.
  • The profit margins for farmers had increased since they were able to manage simple diseases by themselves.
  • Milk glut concern for many farmers fizzled as they formed partnerships to market their milk in the neighborhood.
  • Shifted from looking at Land O' lakes to provide -  to mobilizing their own strengths to address their common challenges. E.g One group began a merry go round to by each other a water storage tank for rain water harvesting as clean water for their animals was huge challenge. 
  • Horizontal Learning from strengths.
  • Formation and strengthening of Milk shed federation to address the challenge of Milk marketing 

PLUS many others.



Dear Gaston,


I  am happy to share some lessons learned from the India competence team project with Nari Saksham on application of CLCP for empowerment of sex workers from 10 Community based organisations (CBOs).

  • Have a core CLCP team involved in the project from the beginning till the end. Before the start of the project I sent out an email to the National support team to ask who were interested in the project and had experience of working with sex workers. A group of 4 team members from India competence came forward. Involve local facilitators of CLCP which helps build rapport and cuts down travel costs. In our case the local facilitator even translated the self assessment framework into the local language. It was an added benefit.
  • A preliminary meeting with the implementation team is extremely useful. This gave us a better understanding of what their expectations were from CLCP and similarly it gave them an idea of what we planned to do. This also helped to chalk out a plan which suited their schedule. Selection of a project coordinator and community facilitators was also done in this meeting.
  • While indepth knowledge of the subject may not be essential but some knowledge is required. Taking the support from the implementation partner can help in this. So, for this project we had a team - India competence sub-group, project coordinator plus one focal person from CARE the funding agency. This person had deep understanding of the Nari Saksham team, the background and the issues they had.
  • In the first learning event we focused on SALT and dream building . We have found that too much information flow, sharing all tools at one go  has not worked everywhere. Go with the flow, don't thrust your own agenda, the facilitators may not be ready. The next event which was about 6 weeks later we did dream building again. Now we had more mature answers as the community faciliators had gone and done dream building in the communities. I feel that dream building is the crux of CLCP.  From this dream building excercise we compiled a self assessment framework. All the community facilitators were involved in the process. We used the language they were comfortable with. The ownership and understanding of the self assessment tool exceeded our expectations.
  • We had also built a budget line for exposure visits of the team to another NGO (Samraksha/PNF) and some budget for Community Action Day. Sharing on Ning was encouraged. These steps helped them learn from others applying a similar process. Regular communication over skype, emails and phone calls helped a great deal.
  • All tools of CLCP can be applied to different contexts except self assessment framework which has to be compiled.

I did not understand the question on developing self assessment framework before the learning event. Please explain.

Thanks to Onesmus, Autry Gaetane and Laurence. I learned a great deal from their experience.




Dear Gaston,


In Bangladesh, India, and Nepal CARE is applying CLCP to its Mobility and Migration Regional program on 'Enhancing Mobile Populations' Access to HIV & AIDS Services' (EMPHASIS) in South Asia. The aim of the project is to reduce the incidence of HIV in mobile populations through interventions at source, transit and destination as well as influencing policies for safe mobility through evidence generated across three countries.


In some of the sites in these three countries and in the border as well as the transit areas between these countries, CARE has its partner NGOs. Since the scale is large, the regional progress on CLCP has been only upto the dreaming and Self Assessment stage in most of the sites. The Self Assessment on the Mobility Competence Process is at:


In addition, we have had many blogs and discussions on this ACP Ning site, some of which are:

SALT visit in Dhangadhi, Nepal

Dream building exercise, Modicare Foundation

Dream Building - Activity Programme for Peer Educators

Why CLCP is far better than Targeted Interventions (TI)

SALT Visits and AAR in CARE India

AAR of India to Nepal Cross Border Field Visit - Draft


Moreover, CARE in India is applying CLCP with a Federation of CBO called NARI SAKSHAM in Rajamundhry, Andhra Pradesh. The blogs by this team that have come up are:

NARI SAKSHAM IN RAJAMANDRY dreams to have partnership with Governme...

CLCP – An Effective Approach

Hope we will be able to scale up our efforts to make CLCP, the strategy for these programs.


With best regards,





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