Hi everyone,

I have been coaching the CLCP in Malaria affected areas along the Cambodia-Vietnam border since late last year. The Malaria Control programme, a joint programme between Thailand (HRH Princes Sirindhorn of Thailand) and Cambodia (MOPH), has been implementing in the areas in the past 7 years. After they found that the activities in the communities dried down after the programme phrased out a year ago. The programme invited me to help them to re engage the communities in the programme.  After around 6 months of facilitating the CLCP in the areas, the communities (ethnic minority groups) have built their dreams and started to take some actions based on their priority dreams. Examples of their plans include (i) clean water, (ii) toilets, (iii) community forest, (iv) community schools, (v) community center, etc. Though none of the 6 villages have any plans directly related to Malaria, the programme does understand that this is the process to first building ownership and revealing and strengthening the capacities of the communities so that they can take actions in any other issues in the long run.

Recently, the Cambodian Ministry of Public Health (the joint partner) has a plan to distribute Abate Sand Granules to prevent Dengue fever which is expected to become the next health issue in the areas. Since we have been facilitating the communities to build their own dreams and plans, we suggested that communities  should be involved and be part of the new programme. I am going to join the planning meeting in Phnom Penh this coming Friday the 29th to discuss on how we can implement the new programme in such a way that it will go along with what we have been promoting and facilitating and will not go back to the same outcomes like what happened 7 years ago.

What is your experience in this kind of situation where the community has already developed the action plans and the program wanted to implement another plan which is not in line with the community dreams and plans. What should we to do to make the community feel ownership of the new plan?

Please note that Dengue is not yet an issue in the areas. I am not sure how many people know or even have heard about it. However, the programme sees the signs of the epidemic coming….and quite soon.    

Kindly share your experience, your thoughts, and suggestions.

Thank you so much.

Sirinate

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Happy to be back on board. I add my voice to the many that its a good question that is being discussed. Representing an NGO,that works with communities this is one important issue that we are confronted with,but the good part of it is that we are always reminded of sustainability of projects and community ownership. Bottom up approach ,hence community participation at every level of a project or a programme is the best way to go.

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