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A snapshot of strengths! Community Visioning on the floodplain, Zambia.

Sometimes pictures speak a thousand words.

But here is some background on the partnership which has led to this beautiful process you see in the photo-documentary:

How did this video come about?

I have just returned from 2 and half weeks accompanying facilitators in the Barotse Flood Plain in Zambia. It was part of a research in development programme known as AAS - "Aquatic Agricultural Systems" - which is being spearheaded by CGIAR and the World Fish Centre. I was so inspired by what I saw and learned and I wanted to share it in a photo-documentary film. With no access to internet, I had a lot of time during the evenings to play around with the movie-maker software. This is the first time I have created something like this - so forgive me if it is a bit amateur!

What is the nature of Constellation's involvement in the AAS Programme?

The Constellation was invited to partner with the World Fish Centre in 3 countries: the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh and Zambia. The Constellation team is made up of Onesmus, Sirinate and Bobby and myself, but of course we draw from the collective knowledge and experience of our Constellation community - all of you.

Our involvement started from the very early stages of scoping and design, including:

  • 1. A stakeholder consultation workshop (where elements of CLCP were used to unlock the local experience and knowledge of stakeholders within the "hub");
  • 2. The development of a Self-Assessment Framework, tailored for each context, and with practices that focus on livelihoods for communities dependent on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (things like Canal Clearing, Diversification of Crops and Livestock, Access and uptake of new innovation and technology etc).
  • 3. A learning event - where community facilitators were trained in "AAS Competence"
  • 4. Support and Accompaniment of the community facilitators in a process of "Visioning", which was the application of the AAS Competence approach for the first time. 
  • 5. Aggregation of Action Plans from 10 communities and 4 districts --> to feed into the AAS Research Design. 
  • 6... the journey continues! we will walk together.


What did I learn?

Many things. Mostly that quality support and accompaniment requires a careful balance between letting things flow naturally so that facilitators learn through experience, whilst also being available to offer strategic guidance to ensure good quality outcomes. This careful balance was tricky at times, but believing in the capacity of the facilitators and the approach helped. I also reminded myself that this is not merely a process of "implementation", but part of a bigger cycle of learning, for all involved - the community, the facilitators, the partner and ourselves. 

My motto became: "when in doubt, think SALT!"

Enjoy the video!


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Comment by Olivia Munoru on September 24, 2012 at 4:57pm

Hi Rituu, so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your question too. The World Fish Centre wishes to undertake what they term "Community-Led Research in Development". They invited us to partner with them for the Visioning Process and Community Engagement in particular. What we are doing is like clearing land before cultivation. We are preparing the soil and planting seeds... and I believe that what we do now has significant implications for the future of their programmes, which could span up to 15 years in some hubs. This organisation is courageous and clever - They could taken a traditional path but instead they chose to engage the community genuinely and fully (which is not always easy - did you see the roads we were driving on??!!) This is because they believe in the value of local knowledge and wisdom. It's an honour to work on this. 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 21, 2012 at 7:14pm

Olivia, just one question. What were the challenges Zambia team facing? Why was Constellation invited?

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 20, 2012 at 6:02pm

Hey Olivia, I loved it...touched my heart. What an interesting way to share about the event and the CLCP process! I am coming to you for some classes. Thank you!

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 19, 2012 at 5:44am
Marlou de Rouw Dear Olivia, I have many emotions when I see this. It is so beautiful. I am sure you will be sharing this much wider!!! Thanks for bringing us with you - I can see, hear and even smell what happened
  • Olivia Munoru Thanks Marlou de Rouw. Imagine that this is just a small piece! Thanks for coming on the journey. :-)
  • Dolores Rey Olivia Munoru What video so pretty. It remembers my trip to Guinea. The same welcome, the dances, the strength of communites ... I can see the people speaking, I can still see people talking, smiling. They wanted to explain you his dream... I hope to have the opportunity to share moments so intense as you just did. A wonderful work. Kisses
  • Autry Haynes Thanks Olivia, did you walk with a documentation specialist. Kudos to the creator of this documentation. Quite informative and stimulating. I notice real local response and ownership, there was balance; gender and age wise as well. I do not know the language but I gather the significance of the last cultural item. SMILING (^_^)
  • Olivia Munoru AUtry thank you! I used a cheap camera, my laptop and Movie-Maker software (part of Microsoft Office programmes). It took me about 3 hours one night. It was very easy and I encourage others to try it!! (it's also quite a lot of fun to do). Thanks for joining the journey. The communites were balanced indeed and ownership was generated slowly after a shaky start with communities used to hand-outs and numerous NGO's coming in and out over the years....
    14 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Autry Haynes well well well lets do movies (^_^)

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