Empowerment and Accountability: Who Should Care?

May 9, 2013

Guest Post by Gabby Abrego, Community Social Change Workshop, April 2013

To achieve positive and worthy community development and social change, more than just good intentions and planning need to be implemented. Going through the framework we created during the workshop, we found that development is complex – really complex – and even if an organization tries to include every factor, compassion and strong relationships between the stakeholders are really the keys to pulling an effective project together.

When comparing my case study organization methodology to that of AASD, it was shocking to see how much they were missing and how much their mission was, in some ways, crippling development in the Lares region. My organization wanted to foster empowerment within the Lares community but made no effort to connect with them or listen to their needs. The organization also provided a greenhouse for the community hoping to improve nutritional health but did not teach the community members how to utilize it and, even worse, never returned to maintain and follow-up with project sustainability.

The AASD approach comes from the hearts and voices of all stakeholders. They are not only capable of finding a problem and working with the communities towards a solution but also, when necessary, they can say no to a project that is too big or out of reach, because they feel accountable for their actions within their communities and for the people they work alongside. Development needs compassion and accountability to achieve empowerment. Communities need policymakers and practitioners to care about not just the end result but the process as well. Only then will responsible development and social change occur.

Entry Filed under: Agriculture Projects,BLOG,Guest Posts From Students,Immersive Education. Posted in  Agriculture Projects ,BLOG ,Guest Posts From Students ,Immersive Education .

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Our mission is to provide and implement sustainable programs and projects in collaboration with the indigenous people of the Sacred Valley of Perú in an effort to improve their lives and reduce poverty in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner. Furthermore, we work to support local NGOs with whom we have shared values using the skills and tools we possess.