When we enter a village that could potentially become part of a development programme, we look at the houses where people live, the natural resources that people have access to, the roads of the village, in which conditions they are, we look at the infrastructure, whether people have access to clean water, sanitation, electricity and do they have phones or access to internet? We look at whether they have a school that is safe for children to learn in and with paid teachers. We look at whether the village has a primary health care post, with a doctor and a nurse and access to medicines to take care of the community. We look at safety and security and how law and order is administered.
We look at access to opportunities, services, infrastructure, and resources in general: is access equal for all?
In particular, we look at the relationships that people establish with each other to organise their skills and manage their resources in a way that allows them to take full advantage of opportunities to progress and prosper. We look at people’s talents: what do people do to earn their living and is that successful?
We try and understand whether the processes that a community has in place for the creation of prosperity are exclusive or inclusive. And are they fair? Do they treat some groups differently? In heterogeneous communities, exploitative relationships do exist and these perpetuate poverty.
Development programmes can help communities re-organise the way they manage their resources and talents so that the outcome is more equitable – some will have to be fine with sharing opportunities and power though and some will have to have enough confidence and self-esteem, (besides getting the practice) to seize opportunities, including leadership opportunities, and manage power well.
This is what we look at…