Facilitation, organization and community

I was reading the Constellations news letter for January and thought will go bed soon as it is almost midnight here. I could not stop and go. I read the news on launching of blended learning programme and the comments made by the participants and also an experience shared by Phil.

Yes, I am talking about the organizations, say x NGO or even UNFPA who supports faciliatate CLC in communities and want to integrate CLC approach in it's strategic plan. Its a big and challenging task and I do not know whether any one/organizations has done it already or in the process of doing so? Is there any one? Please reply and let us learn together. I echo with the participants of blending learning launching programme "If we were to work with an NGO ‘X’, this NGO would not drop everything they do and adopt the Constellation approach. So how do we set about merging the 2 approaches, perhaps to develop something new and better?" I agree with JL, we need more flexibility ( off course to a point where we must be strong enough not to fall apart and with great patience) and creativity. Now my question, how do you infuse, stimulate that flexibility and creativity in an organization which has 'impatient donors' who want to see targets set by the organization. And how to change our mind set who works for the organization. This is very challenging.

In Phil's comment he said it was community who set the time frame. My question to Phil, How do we convince, and approach to our organizations (who facilitate support CLC) to let community decide the timefram not by us or any one out sider. And how we work on that timeline?

I invite you to this discussion.

Rebeka

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Comment by Ashanta Osborne-Moses on February 6, 2010 at 7:00am
Hi Rebeka,

Very interesting situation indeed and I am reminded of so many instances where we (as a civil society organization) have had to deal with this very issue.

My immediate thought is that you are correct in that this way of thinking (or approach) will take some time to catch on:
- There is need to begin (on a larger scale I suppose) engaging the donor stakeholders in the AIDS Competency approach. In our discussions of the past week going through our learning process....we discussed that that group will probably be the most challenging to work with. But that It must be done.
- Those of us who have gone through the process must now share and encourage our colleagues in the field to adopt this approach.
- Lastly, we must document and share the results (particularly as it relates to how this approach focuses on building the capacity of the community to effectively respond to their vulnerabilities to HIV and AIDS...and its real benefits). Only then will we have the evidence based tools to advocate for this to be the "standard" approach to working with a community.

While not using the AC approach, the Red Cross has always based its work within the communities on identified needs highlighted through dialogue with the local Leadership. This has served to ensure that the work we do is relevant to the needs of that community. In order to employ the full AC approach, my immediate thinking is that we need to be engaged with the community long before a donor(s) grants us funding for a particular project/programme; so that when this happens we would have already been going through the process of identifying strengths within the comm. and the needs. Therefore, the donor support will not be propelling us into the community, but allowing us to respond (or contribute to the response) to an already identified in a SALTy way.....

I have a very positive hope that this can happen. We have worked with some very "results oriented (#s)" donor partners, and have had some amount of disagreements as our 'approach' to working with communities were not exactly conducive to rapid production/reporting of the "numbers reached". But I am happy to say that after 6 years of working on making them understand and exposing them to how we work in the communities we work....we have seem tremendous changes.

This has gone on for a while, but I hope that it in some way shares my views on this subject. And I am more than ever committed to being a part of the team that will work on bringing some SALT to the world we work in.

Best!

Ashanta

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