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Community Mapping and Sustainable Development in Rural Zambia Introduction: Sustainable Development A major problem facing development efforts today is.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Mapping and Sustainable Development in Rural Zambia Introduction: Sustainable Development A major problem facing development efforts today is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Mapping and Sustainable Development in Rural Zambia Introduction: Sustainable Development A major problem facing development efforts today is sustainability. Large amounts of resources are poured into making improvements to underdeveloped countries by philanthropic, political, or religious organizations. Such organizations must eventually withdraw their presence, however, and frequently the improvements they leave behind fall into disuse and the quality of life returns to its starting point. This happens because the improvements do not have an appropriate support structure, either within the community or in terms of the resources it takes to maintain the improvement. Community mapping is a means of working with the community to better development workers’ understanding of problems the community find important, and what resources are available locally to address these problems. By identifying what the community finds important, and what they are capable of doing to help themselves, development workers are better able to make decisions about how they can assist the community. By working with the community, and involving the community in every step of the process from inception to execution, it assures that resources are being applied to a problem that the community really does find important. It also gives the community a sense of ownership, and improves the capacity of the community to make similar improvements in the future without dependence on outside donors. Timeline : Interconnectivity:Community Initiatives: Library Project Problem: School books are free for grades 1-7, but too expensive/rare for many in grades 7-9. Non-school books are non- existent. Community: Phase I: Introduction Introduction to other team members Meetings with in-country contacts/advisors Training Language classes Conversations regarding interview technique: Isolate and eliminate personal bias “Solution Neutrality” Manage expectations Phase III: Synthesize Data Evaluate data collected through phase II Build conceptual community map Evaluate Capabilities Decide what problems can be addressed now, what can be addressed later, and what is beyond our reach Form Action Plan / Stock for Return Develop solutions we feel we can execute Manage logistics of solutions Phase IV: Implementation Execute action planned in phase III Feedback Hear community opinions of our presence Follow up Establish means by which work can be continued – contact with our team maintained Continuity Single most important activity is to follow up in future Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7 Phase II: Mapping Interview community (try to sample groups, individuals, and all levels of social strata) Develop understanding of: Basic community structure Problems community faces Resources available locally Use interview technique developed in Phase I H2O Health Nutrition Agriculture EconomicsEducation No understanding of H2O sanitation Bad distribution by NHC Inadequate health education for community & providers Absenteeism Poor diet lead to stunted growth/ immunosuppresion School fees Lack of capacity Low resources means no Cl, boiling, and poor storage practices No money for preventive care, medicines or hospital visits Morbidity Orphans Widows No extension officer/ education Knowledge of proper diet Low crop diversity No capital means no investment in seed, tools, etc Knowledge deficit Losses to pests Poor seed availability Downward cycle Ability to pay for supplemental food Team: Faculty: Allen Armstrong (MIT) Dr. Clair Piere (Harvard) Amy Smith (MIT) Students: Alfinio Flores (Harvard) Xanat Flores (MIT) Alex Herrera (Harvard) Chris Langhammer (UMDNJ) Sam Miti (UNZA) Nadja Oertelt (MIT) Sham Tembo (UNZA) Evans Tulisha (UNZA) Jessica Vechakul (MIT) Families Village Headmen Section Headmen Ndunas (Advisors) Chief Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Village Headmen Families Section Headmen Section Headmen Section Headmen Section Headmen Government Neighborhood Health Committee Neighborhood Health Committee Neighborhood Health Committee Neighborhood Health Committee Neighborhood Health Committee Section Health Post Section Health Post Clinic Herbalist/ Witch Doctor School Teachers/ Headmaster Community Organizations Political Health Care Education It is difficult to dissect a community to the point where you can analyze parts of it individually because all aspects of a community are interconnected. The chart below indicates some of the ties between the major concerns we were able to identify. It is artificial to assign such a clearly delineated hierarchy to a complex and dynamic society. The figure is meant to show only the basic anatomy of the political, health care, and educational infrastructure. Community Extension Education Problem: No standardized education for farmers on how to manage crops, results in poor yield and continued financial stagnation. Water Education Problem: Poor understanding of water sanitation techniques and consequences of contamination lead to constant infection by water-borne diseases. Solution: Teach a core group of community members to be water educators. Not only teach them a improved understanding of water sanitation, provide them with training enabling them to teach others in community. Solution: Establish student run library. We provided initial books for library, worked with students to decide logistics of library management. Community ownership achieved through students formulating and following through on management plan. Solution: Organize a group of interested farmers into a group capable of disseminating farming information. We provided an initial loan of seeds, and information on farming practices. They developed plan to disseminate seeds, pay back loan, distribute knowledge to rest of community. Community Mapping Approaching any community from the outside it is easy to cast judgment before you fully understand the context in which society operates. Community mapping is meant to improve your understanding of a community by trying to see the world from their point of view. Identifying the problems they find important, and what they are willing/able to do in search of a solution are important aspects of this process. Multidisciplinary Approach In order to better understand a problem properly it is necessary to understand the community and context in which it exists. Communities are by their nature complex entities. To address the many aspects of a community, a team encompassing multiple disciplines was assembled with the idea that it would be better able to comprehensively understand the community than any one discipline individually. The team consisted of primarily engineers and medical personal, as most issues raised in development work are related to these two fields.


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