From Needs to Assets: Charting a Sustainable Path towards Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries Cormac Russell Nurture Development; Nurture Development Africa, ABCD Institute, Chicago & ABCD Global Consulting.
Departing premise: Everyone should have the opportunity to be a producer of their own and their communities well-being Our job? To support them..
International Development trends since 1950 <ul><li>As captured succinctly by Booy and Sena (Nov. 2000), the </li></ul><ul><li>empowerment approach in international development work signifies </li></ul><ul><li>a marked change from earlier approaches: </li></ul><ul><li>1950-60 Do development to the people </li></ul><ul><li>1960-70 Do development for the people </li></ul><ul><li>1970-80 Do development through the people </li></ul><ul><li>1980-90 Do development with the people </li></ul><ul><li>1990-to date Empower the people for development-the focus is now on developing local capacity for self-development. For the first time, people are seen as the primary focus and owners of the development process. </li></ul>
David Ellerman (World Bank) on Helping (2001) <ul><li>help must start from the present situation of the doers—not from a "blank slate", </li></ul><ul><li>helpers must see the situation through the eyes of the doers—not just through their own eyes, </li></ul><ul><li>help cannot be imposed upon the doers—as that directly violates their autonomy, </li></ul><ul><li>nor can doers receive help as a benevolent gift—as that creates dependency, and </li></ul><ul><li>doers must be "in the driver's seat"—which is the basic idea of autonomous self-direction. </li></ul>
Effective Communities <ul><li>Look inside first to solve problems </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships are seen as power </li></ul><ul><li>Have a good sense of assets and capacities, not just needs </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders open doors </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens are involved </li></ul><ul><li>People take responsibility </li></ul>
The Dilemma . . .where to start? Sub-Saharan Communities have many ongoing deficiencies & needs Sub-Saharan Communities also have strengths, assets and opportunities…
All Sub-Saharan Communities have some combination of 5 Assets $ NGO NGO $ G G
<ul><li>In the real world there are both strengths and needs </li></ul>So where is most practice focused? Where is most policy focused?
Consequences of the “Needs Map” <ul><li>Internalizations of the “deficiencies” identified by local community </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of social capital </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforcement of narrow categorical funding flows </li></ul><ul><li>Direction of funds toward professional helpers, not communities </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on “leaders” who magnify deficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards failure, produces dependency </li></ul><ul><li>Creates hopelessness </li></ul>
NGOs & Donors focused their attention on…. <ul><li>What can be done instead of what can’t be done </li></ul>What might be possible if rather than problems more than weaknesses
Asset map: Turkana, Pokot and Samburu pastoral communities in Kenya . Skilled people Business skills Farmers Leaders Businessmen Women Elders (traditional leaders) Entrepreneurs Activists Warriors Laibons / seers Religious Leaders Students Individuals Physical Space Rangelands Pasture grazing fields – Kadengoi, Kataruk, Kasarani, Loru plains, Silale, Aroo Hills – Kalangol, Lotiruk, Loriu, Silale, morwakiring, kamarok Farms – Morulem, Lokubae, Elelea Seasonal streams Water source e.g. wells, boreholes and water pan Women groups Youth groups Development committee VICOBA Group ranches Conservancies Family Support Groups Health Advocacy and Fitness Groups PFS Youth groups Business groups Religious groups Elderly groups Community Animal health worker groups Dong’a Cultural Groups Men’s Groups Youth Mentoring Groups Mutual Support Groups Neighborhood Improvement Groups Political Organizations Recreation Groups Religious Groups Social Groups Water users Groups CAHWs vet shop groups Former livestock rustlers group assosciat Local Economy Livestock trade (small scale) Charcoal burning Sale of animal Drugs shops by CAHWS For-Profit Businesses Business Associations Village banks Micro enterprises pasture Livestock Business trade Small scale farming Sand harvesting Quarry harvesting Honey harvesting Charcoal Mining Hides and skin products Eco – tourism Small arms trade Livestock rustling Stories Of Burning of prosopys Juliflora by the women Of Ashes from trees burning acts as manure to the soil Of background and personal history Of what we like to do and contribute Of existing and ongoing skills and capacities Of successful community development Of economic growth Of addressing discrimination Of including those who are marginalized Of recognizing the value of everyone Of a time when we felt appreciated and valued Of a time the community was at its best Community Community Institutions MWUA / LWUA (food security) LOMEDS (micro credit, peace, livestock marketing) LCRC – meeting facilities Schools (primary) Nginyang, Amaya, Ngoron, Chesawach,Kokwototo, Natan ) Secondary (Chemolingot, Barpello and Churo AIC) Nginyang Polytechnic Health facilities Churches
Person Centered Work The move is from services to clients , to, supports for citizens & communities Community Centered Work Development
Traditional Model Strength Based Model Focus on Deficiencies Focus on Assets Crisis Response Opportunity Identification Charity Orientation Investment Orientation Grants to Agencies Grants, Loans, Investments, leveraging dollars More Services Fewer Services High Emphasis on Agencies Emphasis on associations, businesses, agencies, churches, citizens Focus on Individuals Focus on communities/neighborhoods Maintenance Development See People as Clients See People as Citizens “ Fix People” Develop Potential Programmes are the answer People are the answer
"New frameworks are like climbing a mountain — the larger view encompasses rather than rejects the earlier, more restricted view." - Albert Einstein
A new framework for Development? <ul><li>Wherever possible combine the best of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>approaches: </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Livelihoods Approach </li></ul><ul><li>PRA </li></ul><ul><li>Rights Based Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Asset Based Approach </li></ul><ul><li>… then address needs with communities, not for them… </li></ul>
MOMENTUM A little push in the right direction can make a BIG difference .
In the final analysis <ul><li>Perhaps the most important contributor to a community’s and indeed a country’s success is a belief in its abilities rather than in its problems . </li></ul>