Developing a Plan for Sustainability
The VDP staff facilitates a multi-day brainstorming session during which villagers create an overarching Community Needs Assessment (CNA) development plan. The CNA provides a unique opportunity for the community to understand its situation and determine future objectives, as well as map out what the community can do to realize these objectives. This learning process is a crucial building block towards long-term self-sustainability and away from dependence on outside donors.
The 32 community members in VDC facilitate this process which involves the whole village. Villagers exchange ideas about priority needs and goals, what changes are viable in the community, who will be responsible, and what the appropriate activity rollout schedule will encompass.
In the preliminary planning, a focus group discussion is facilitated in order to obtain primary data about the overall situation of their village. The objective of this activity is to engage community members in assessing the current climate within their village, and then to set a plan for how they would like to improve their overall situation.
Topics discussed during preliminary planning are:
General quality of life in the village
- Economic: (e.g. income generation, primary and secondary occupations, labor, employment, debt burden)
- Social: (e.g. village population, education, health)
- Environmental: (e.g. access to potable water, land usage)
- Health: (e.g. common health ailments in the village)
- Education: (e.g. access to and condition of schools and daycare centers)
The resulting output from this initial brainstorming session will be a community map and provide identification of basic needs for quality of life and economic improvement.
The Village Development Committee members, community leaders, and other villagers travel to villages where the VDP project has been successfully implemented. This allows them to gather new ideas and observe successful business activities. It is an opportunity to see projects first-hand and speak to members of other communities to understand how these activities can be implemented successfully.
Finalized Development Plan
Following the eye-opener trip, villagers return to their community and undertake a detailed community planning session. The final outputs of this meeting are lists of activities/projects proposed by the village. The participants differ from each other in aspects of age, gender, career, and social role.
The result of this detailed planning stage is a Village Development Plan of Implementation, which is divided into 3 categories:
- Work plan of activities that the community can begin to implement on its own
- Work plan of activities which require support from the local government administration for implementation
- Work plan of activities which require support from both public and private organizations for implementation