SALT as a way of thinking and a way of working

Hi everyone,

Last week, held in Bogor, some ACP facilitators to met again. Bogor is a city that connects Jakarta with cities in West Java.It is about 2-2,5 hours away by bus from the international airport Soekarno-Hatta, Jakarta. Bogor, a haven was once the Dutch officials who will be traveling from Jakarta to Bandung (capital of West Java). Bogor also has botanical garden (tropical), one of the most complete in the world. The city is nicknamed the city of rain, because it's rained almost every morning/afternoon in this city.

This time we met in a workshop named: Workshop for AIDS Competence Facilitators in supporting the HIV prevention programme through NGOs. One purpose of the workshop was how to incorporate strategies that BCI (Behavior Change Intervention) is now running by all the NGO partners of UNFPA with ACP approach.
It started by sharing session. Many stories and experiences of friends from the field were cool and interesting to learn, dug deeper and some can then be applied by others. I shared 2 experiences. it's like a story of before 'n after.
Story #1: Around late of 2006 to mid 2008, in West Kalimantan (Pontianak & Singkawang) ACP workshop held 4 times, starting from kick-off, learning event and support visit. In that period we were visited by friends from Jakarta (Indocompetence) and also from Constellation (JL, Lawan, Joseph, etc). A day before event, we usually meet first to discussed the plan briefly.
At the second and also the third visit, at the 'pre-meeting', JL asked us (he usually asked this one...;-D): what happened since the last time? He asked the local team. This question was not only about ACP, it also about life, such as: how's the city goin'? how about Major, is it still the one that we met before, etc. But, ACP was the most. At that time, we, especially my self, more talked about that it is very difficult one, more participants confused, more were not understand yet, etc.It was most about negative things. This was causing a negative aura, the atmosphere wasn't cool. (I'm sure JL, Lawan, mba Ria, Eq, Rachel, Dewi & Harry might still remember this condition).
Time passed, we (WestKal team) discussed about why ACP does not work.We got some conclusions,: we as facilitator were not really facilitated communities, we're not actually practicing ACP, we're just too busy imaging and analyzing ....... from our desk.
Those were waking us up. Those were to spur us to improve. Now we practice and also facilitate. We finally found that so much strengths and potency in community.

Story #2: As a programmed coordinator at the provincial level, I periodically visited partners at district level, 3 times a year. When we met, my first question was usually: Ok guys, what problems we have in this quarter? It's just the same: the atmosphere wasn't cool. Sometime we debated, we defend our own word. Sometime we're just silent, we probably too lazy to argue.
Since the early of 2009, I changed it. When we meet (especially with partners in the field), my first question is: ok guys, does anyone here wanna share about the cool stories? any interesting moments you wanna share? what success story you wanna tell? Then some cool and funny stories and also success stories were just coming out. Some were fought to sharing stories. The atmosphere? Happy off course!
We have also a report form. There's a column for 'Finding'. In the past, we used to fill it with problems we have at that period. The funny thing was I feel confused when I didn't find any. The second one was we felt cool when we able to identified a lot of problems and also proposing the solutions, seems like we've been working so hard. Now I prefer fill it with the positive stories, partners success stories and anything that achieved by partners. It makes me more appreciate what partners have done.
Rebeka asked me, what did I do with the form, did I change it? I said no. The form is neutral. It's about perception, about vision.

Those are a little bit of change, very small and simple, even probably meaningless for some others. But I'm enjoying that change. I'm happy with that.

Back to the workshop. Then how to combine BCI & ACP? In BCI we have Individual Risk Assessment (IRA). I see similarity among them, where ' where are we today' and 'where we going to go' are decided by their own, by community. Not by assisted NGO, not even by donors. Field workers are really play as a facilitator. This is in-line with SA in ACP.
And based on my experiences above, whatever you do, whatever your job, wherever you work, do it SALTY.

Just like Dony said (a friend from PKBI/IPPA), there's no contradiction at all (between BCI & ACP). They could completed each others. For me, it would be interesting to do not bait to identified the differences strongly. We better explore and reinforce the similarities. Now, the similarities is our strength and we're gonna use it to address the differences (if any).

At the workshop, we have a new friend from Australia, she is Olivia. She is pretty and warm person. She shared something interesting about the power of listening. She said,: Are you listening, or waiting to talk?


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Comment by Dewi Rahmadania on June 7, 2010 at 9:29pm
yeah i agree chandra is the best story teller among us..,
tx for the inspiring story bang,,,,

spirit clap,
Comment by Gaston on May 27, 2010 at 3:06pm
Myrna I love your take on the process. It's so important and I can resonate with what you're saying. Many coaches or facilitators are so often loaded and busy and show signals of stress. How can we avoid this? I was thinking to develop a self-assessment on 'stress-competence'. Is our team stress competent? Then facilitate this regularly to see where we are going.

What would be your practices?
Comment by chandra nurhasz on May 26, 2010 at 9:47am
thanx, Myrna...

I agree with you about happy environment of work. It is such an important thing, because actually we work for a better (happier) life.

Comment by Myrna A. Maglahus on May 26, 2010 at 9:27am
yeah man!!

Nice to read something cool. Thanks to your blog my friend.

We at PinoyCompetence have also agreed to make the process happy and light, everything from discussion to reports. Of course, there are days when it feels like "work" but those days are minimal. We know that if we are not happy (read: "overburdened") our team will fall apart. So we make it a point to ask ourselves the quesiton "Will it make me happy?" in our decision-making process.

thanks again Chandra!

Comment by chandra nurhasz on May 25, 2010 at 1:53pm
Thanx, Teh Wiwin ...

And U are the best interpretation person among us ....

Comment by wiwin winarni on May 25, 2010 at 11:22am
Dear Abang Chandra:

U're the best story teller among us. It's just cool n inspiring. I do agree with u on diffremtly veiwing ME Form. They just neutral. we, indeed, that make them negative or positive in nature.
Thanks for sharing this :D

Best REgards

Wiwin from Bandung
Comment by chandra nurhasz on May 20, 2010 at 1:06pm
A-ha, thanx for your compliment, Gaston. Finally there is someone who put attention my English...:D. Well yes I'm trying to improve it, and for me by writing at Ning is a learning process it self to improve my English... (I hope it's fair...).
About your question, I was also questioning those. One day my friends asked me, if we just exploring the strengths, so when we solved the problems or probably we never know what our problems are. I couldn't answered that question at that day.
Couples week later, my friends & I facilitated ACP in other community. I facilitated SA and also AAR. Amazingly after that, I found the answer by my own (I'm probably wrong, pliz give me input). In SA, when we assessed the practice of 'measuring changes and adjusting our response'. They decided they were at level 1, their dream was level 4. In the discussion, they realized that they never measured the changes and never adjust their response. In other word, when they make a plan, they never looked at what they have been done before and then the next planning seemed like no correlation with it. From this I've learned, this was actually one of their problem. I saw they have identified their own problem and were trying to solve the problem without debating the problem itself.
At AAR there is a question,: what should we do to make it better in the future/how do we improve for the next better? For me, this question is stimulating us to solve the problem without debating it.

I still don't have experience on did they take more action afterward. May be I've to back to them and learn.
Comment by Gaston on May 20, 2010 at 7:47am
Good to hear from you again Chandra. What a sincere and nice sharing. And my compliments for your good written English. You have improved even more right?

I remember I once got this question after explaining SALT: if communities simply look at their strengths and what's good, won't they just stay passive and accept today's situation? Doesn't the discussion of problems urge them to move forward? What's your experience with this? Did these communities start taking more actions to address their concerns after changing the approach?
Comment by chandra nurhasz on May 20, 2010 at 6:52am
Thanx mba Ria...
Thanx, Phill. To be honest, I always like your blog-posts, the way you telling. I've learned from those. You've wrote something simple but true, seems like so close with my own life, about appreciation for example.
Comment by Phil on May 19, 2010 at 8:31pm
Hi Chandra,
I read your post yesterday and I have been taking pleasure from it ever since.

I like the entry on the report form headed 'Finding'.
Perhaps we could also write something like 'Life'.
Whether we write joyful things or grumbles in our life depends on us.
The form and life are neutral.
They are about perception. They are about vision.

You must keep writing gems like that.



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