Connecting local responses around the world
We believe that communities have the capacity to acknowledge their concern, act from strengths, measure their progress and transfer their responses to others. Another key area of strength is ongoing documentation of progress.
Organisations working with communities have developed diverse methods to document the progress made by communities. However, communities tracking their own progress, documenting it and preserving it shows ownership, capacity and desire to preserve 'community memory' for the current and future generations.
In an upcoming project, 'SALT and immunization', we would be interested to see how communities could track their own progress.
What is your understanding and experience on community documentation of change? We will be greatly benefited from your sharing.
Thanking you in advance.
There is a great social accountability project taking place in Ethiopia. It is called Ethiopian Social Accountability Program Phase 2. I did a number of trainings on participatory video there and many partners involved in the project implemented it. Communities have been assisted in vizualizing their results on social accountability, by voicing their achievements, challenges and changes they have been going through. The process of participatory video had an empowering effects. Communities realized that they have been accomplishing a lot by working together in a short time frame. A number of videos is available showing some major results as outcome of the process of social accountability. Watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/ESAP2Channel Also research was done and a paper was published. The project generated a lot of results especially in healt service delivery, education, water and sanitation and agriculture and rural road construction. Read my blogpost, at http://simonkoolwijk.blogspot.nl/2016/06/what-initiated-change-participatory.html
Thanks for your inquiry. I think the key to any documentation of change is for the community to have a clear vision of what the change they are trying to make looks like. My experience has been that once you can get the community to articulate a clear goal it becomes easier to determine indicators of success and thus ways to document progress towards the goals.
We ran a project with Rituu Nanda with a couple of community based sex worker advocacy groups in India and Cambodia where we used the self-reflective methodologies very successfully. We wrote a case study about the project that you can find here: http://www.fabriders.net/potatoes/.
We've also done a lot of work with data literacy practitioners - people who are working to build data literacy in communities for social change - around doing impact assessments and have also written about that here: http://www.fabriders.net/impactassessment/
Always happy to have a conversation about any of the above, if you would find that helpful.
Dear Dirk and Simon,
Thank you for your response and the links outlining the framework in which measurement happens, the tools, the outcomes and lessons learned. Participatory video is an excellent tool to capture the impact.
A need that I foresee in our upcoming project would be the scale of skill building (120 villages) in a duration of 1 year. Also, facilitating community documentation in an ongoing way (say once per month) to capture ongoing progress will be a learning experience. If we can come up with some tools that are easy to use by villagers, that would be useful.
We will share our experiences once we are into the project. Would be also interested in keeping in touch to discuss ideas.
Thanks once again.
Contribution through email from Irene Karanja. Thanks Irene!!
I wanted to share the work we have done on community documentation. The fundermental things to preserve is that communities have stories that they tell so well. It is imperative toprotect the originality and the trust to let any information out of their chest. In our work, we terefore looked at strengthening those values and skills with tools that would assist Communities to articulate their agenda to local authorities. Universities always play a fundermental role in projecting the voices of the communities to various platforms.
I have felt indebted to share this because i was team leader in alot of participactory documentation that was supported by agencies such as Rockerfeller Foundation who are keen and strong partners of AFREA.
Attachment one (second attachment in the following reply)
Contribution through email from Irene Karanja (second attachment)
I have attached two videos taken at two community symposiums facilitated by Plan International and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka in 2011. The symposiums were held following a process of working with communities on improved child growth and development for almost 2 years.
People making presentations are all community members with an average education up to about grade 9.
The first video shows how records of progress was maintained at individual house hold level which were later converted by the community to community level progress indicators. The second video shows how a community can come up with indicators and tools and refine them with their own experiences.
Several things to note are; firstly Plan Int. and the University proposed the idea of community symposiums to communities after being inspired by the level of monitoring and documentation that the communities were undertaking on their own. So it is not with the intention of presenting the progress that the community was interested in monitoring their own progress. In the videos they explain the actual reason.
Secondly, the facilitators (from the Foundation for Health Promotion, a Sri Lankan NGO) themselves were not experts on monitoring and evaluation. So the capacity to monitor their own progress is, one could say, inherent in every individual and community. It just needs some nurturing and most importantly it is essential not to preempt their own interest and initiative by the "expert" prescriptions.
Hope these would be of interest to you
Videos are too large to be uploaded. Please follow the links:
Thanks Kalana! I am putting up an extract of our chat as its an important point. Key is the question to ask on the dream of the community for healthy children. Look forward to further updates from your work in Laos.
Thanks for your sharing Pawan. Excellent work and ideas- artwork, plays, newsletter and so on. There is a great deal of difference when one tells one's own stories and when others tell your story. Congratulations Pawan!! So glad to re-connect.