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This usually involves a needs assessment, which find out what community needs are and whom they affect. Only when we know what people really want we develop an effective project. The need is followed by a capacity assessment to see what the strength the community has which it assess. some people prefer to use ,appreciative enquiry ,instead of needs assessment and capacity assessment. This,in effect ,starts with capacity assessment by asking community members to identify the resources they have and then asks them how they wants to use them in the future. The tools on the following pages can be us ment can use to address its problems. The project should seek to strengthen any weakness ed or adapted to help the community members identify their vision. The project can then aims to help the community achieve part of its vision. NEEDS ASSESSMENT. We might already have a good idea of local needs. They might quite obvions ,or we have become aware of them during a past project. On the other hand, we might have no idea what communitys needs are . if it important to carry out the needs assessment before planning development work, whether we think we know what the need are or not. The project should come out of what people say they want and not from assumption that we make. Some times the need are not immediately clear or cannot be easily understood. By talking different people . for example poor access to clean water may affect women more than men because women have to walk a long way to fetch water. Circumstances change . There may be new needs Old needs might have been addressed Problems might be affecting people differently. Needs assessment given people opportunity to priorities their needs, which leads to more sustainable development project. The times spent carrying out a needs assessment may vary according to the contact we have had with the community in the past. In general, needs assessment is done fairly quickly. At this stage, we trying to gain an impression of needs and who the project beneficiaries might be. We are not looking for too much detail. Further research into stakeholders and causes and effects of problem is carried out during the design phase of the project cycle. Try to talk to variety people, such as key community members or representative of community groups. Or use methods that can draw out the views of many people in shorts space of time, such as community mapping .we do not want to be raising expectation or wasting people,s time .make sure that the people we talk to include women, men,girls,boys ,elderly,people with disabilities etc. There are many tools enable communities to identify their needs . A few tools are outline below as exmples of some of the option available. These tools can be adapted for capacity assessment. Asking questions
The kind of question we ask makes difference to the information we can gather . asking the wrong kind of question will limit the information discovered. The import thing is to avoid closed question where people can answer only yes or no . for exmple ,isn.t the new health post wonderfully ? try to use open –ended question which allow the person replying to give more information for exmple what do you think of new health post? Listen carefully ,and explore people,s answers.it is useful to have some key question in front of us, but be careful not miss the answers because we are preparing the next question .be flexible and ready to ask question if someone say something interesting. To explore people answers, questions normally begin with one of the si ping words; what?,when?,where?,who?,why?who? TOOL x ,hel 1 LISTENING By listening for the issues about which people have the strongest feeling, it is possible to identify the issues that wants addressed and project which they are most likely to participate in. A team of people (development workers or village members)ask a community or group question to find out what people worried ,sad happy,fearful, hopeful or angry about. The question should be open-ended. It is important to have a clear idea about what we are looking for so we can make sense of the answers. TOOLS 2 INTERVIEWING. This tool help us to gain great understanding of the issues. It involves talking to key people in the community in order to discuss their knowledge, experience and understanding the issues. These people might already be involved in community development activities, they might be people that the community turn to in times of crisis or those who seen as the heart of the community .. Key people include heath workers, traders ,religious leaders ,village chiefs ,pastors and teachers. When choosing people to interview , make sure their view and opinions are likely to represent those of others in the community. Take care not only to interview the powerful , but also to interview those whose views are not usually heard. Use open –ended questions such as. • What are the main problems you face in your area of work? • What are main pressure that people in the community are facing? • What simple things could be done improve the situation? TOOL 3 FOCUS GROUPS. This tool is use with a group of 10-20 people. It helps them to understand and voice some of the problems they face and the needs they have .a focus group enables people with different views to discuss their differences ,challenge assumption and come to collective understanding of the needs of the community . by exploring issues together from the start, communities start to own the development intervention. QUESTION TO STIMULATE DISCUSSION COULD THE FOLLOWING: o What are the main pressures that people in the community are face? o What simple things could be done to improve the situation? o If you could change one the in this community ,what would it be why? TOOL 4 COMMUNITY MAPPING. This tool involves community members drawing a map of their community to tell their story together . they draw either on paper or out side on the ground ,using whatever resources are available .they is given little guidance of what to include . the important point of exercise is to discuss
what people have drawn . the map might show natural and physical resources in the area –forest , rivers ., roads, houses ,wells. It might show important people and organizations. Once the map has been drawn encourage discussion by using question such as How do you decide what to include?what was excluded? What was emphasized? Which are the most important parts? What was difficult to represent? What were the area disagreement? What can we learn from the map about the needs of the community? To gain greater understanding of the issues facing different group within the community ,the groups should work separately. A map by young people may show very different information from that of women. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION COULD INCLUDE. • What different are there between the map? • Why are there different? • How does the information from each map help to make a more complete picture of the community? Agreeing priority needs. Once the needs have been identified community members should be given the opportunity to say which needs they feel are a priority . ask them to group their needs into general issues such as water ,health, land ,and food . it does not necessarily matter how they are grouped , but it is important that people can see how their concern have been include. Once the needs have been grouped community members can decide which of the issue should be given priority . write all of the issues on to separate piece of paper . community members then place them in order in line from the most important to the least important. Encourage them to discuss and negotiate with each other and to move the piece of around until they all agree. Alternatively, write or draw the need on separate paper bags. Give each person six seeds ,stones or beads to uses as counters .each person in turn is invited to put their counters in the relevant bags. According to their priorities. They should pay three counter s for their first priority, two for their second and one for their third priority . the counters in each.
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