Community strategic planning workshop: promoting participatory community development

On Saturday June 04th, 2011 URF mobilized leaders and residents from the 22 villages we serve for a Community Strategic Planning Workshop. The villages were grouped into 11 Zones; each comprising of two or three neighboring villages that form a catchment area for service delivery. The main objective was to promote participatory community development, empowering people to take action on key development projects within their communities instead of waiting for charities or the government to act. Through this dialogue it became vividly clear that people have the solutions to their local needs and do have the potential to address them but often lack the mobilization and motivation to take concrete action; this is the role URF is coming in to play.

We are trying to provide a forum through which a dialogue can take place. The first segment of the day was to assist people identify existing resources and strengths within their communities, then uncover gaps within these resources or call them challenges or needs, and finally work together as a team of members from each village forming a zone to identify three priority needs and map out a strategy to address them. For instance, if a community needs a school, the members have to come forward to commit to building a school, then pledge to donate land, labor, local materials, etc. Then URF or any outside support could come to fill in the gaps on material such as cement or roofing sheets that can’t be obtained from the community. Some communities have already made pledges and follow up planning meetings are scheduled. This strategic planning process will take several months but people are very excited about getting their hands dirty to fix problems in their communities.

community strategic planning workshop

zone level discussions

Kyawagonya zone

Zone A discussions