In December 2020, Human Development Facilitators (HDFs) from our program partner in Nepal began investigations to explore which communities they should expand their program work to next! HDFs are our world-class international team of talented, brilliant, caring folks who help our community partners get organized, find inspiration, and work together toward empowering results, every single day.
HDFs lead communities through the process of development through things like this:
- Issue identification, prioritization and analysis
- Project development on plans that address their community’s issues
- Organizational development of their community-based organizations
HDFs support local leaders as they grow into their responsibilities, and provide a framework for success in which every participant has an active – and important – role.
Meet Milan and Reshab – some of our rockstar HDFs in Nepal!
They have been ready to begin work in two new communities for a year now and they’ve decided not to wait any longer. Challenged by ongoing meeting and travel restrictions related to COVID-19, they started with extensive research and fieldwork. We refer to this type of work as the “area selection process”. Usually after the area selection process, participatory social investigation (PSI) is facilitated where community members and HDFs meet together to start to have conversations about the issues that are impacting their communities.
For the community of Badhikel, these early conversations and PSI took place in January 2021. At the very first meeting 40 people gathered – 39 of which were women! Wow! After Milan introduced herself and PSI, everyone gathered and participated in the various breakout discussions. The community shared information about Badhikel’s 1) population, demographics, education, and transportation infrastructures, 2) economic, health and environmental situation, and 3) varied socio cultural facets and community issues. Participants were eager to meet and excited to share. The PSI participants even happily welcomed Milan and Reshab into the community with open arms!
When the day was done, Milan shared her reflection with her staff teammates.
“[I am] very happy and satisfied with the result of PSI and [I am] feeling positive [about the potential] success of [Participatory Human Development process] PHDP in the community and [I am] excited for community entry. This PSI is [a] very good activity to understand the overall situation of community and [to see] opportunities to build initial relationships with the people.”
In Badhikel, Milan will begin her integration into the community, with house-to-house visits, meeting families, talking with mothers, and learning from elders about daily community life. Reshab will do the same in the new community where he is assigned too. This is a crucial stage in Outreach’s approach to community-led development. We officially refer to it as the “Groundbreaking Stage” of the Outreach process!
As relationships build and households discuss issues of the community in the next few months, people will intentionally gather for their very first meetings as a future community group. Such meetings will “break ground”, setting in motion powerful action planning and solution seeking energy that will take these communities to the next level! Milan and Reshab will continue to support these communities for the next four to five years.