We start this year answering a few questions posed to our blog writer recently. What is development anyway. For that matter, what is sustainable development and what the heck is community-driven development.
Let's dive in to these concepts which are the foundation for the work of SGUW.
First, it's important to note that development is a process. In the international context, the term "development" refers to the process of positive transformation in aspects of a country or region. Development encompasses economic, social, political, technological and cultural dimensions, aiming to improve the well-being of individuals and thus, whole communities.
Some examples of development include a new road system that eases travel to and from a rural region. Training and hiring more school teachers. Drilling a well for clean water in a village. Building a cell network for reliable phone communication is as well. Enacting laws addressing land reform, anti-corruption and business compliance are all development.
Additionally, the concept of development considers issues of equity, social justice, and sustainability to ensure that progress is inclusive and enduring.
Sustainable development emphasizes meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves an integrated approach to economic, social, and environmental considerations to ensure long-term well-being. Sustainable development aims to achieve coexistence between human activities and the natural environment while promoting economic prosperity, social equity, and cultural resilience. Lets talk about the two areas of sustainable development that are most relevant for our purposes.
Economic Sustainability: Sustainable development seeks to foster economic growth that is inclusive, environmentally responsible, and socially equitable. This involves promoting sustainable business practices, investing in green technologies, and considering the long-term economic impact of development projects.
Social Sustainability: Social sustainability focuses on creating societies that are just, inclusive, and respectful of human rights. It involves addressing issues such as poverty, inequality, education, healthcare, and social justice to ensure that development benefits all members of society.
The work of SGUW is an example of sustainable development. Everyday we are in a classroom teaching about justice, gender equality, the right to education and healthcare- we are practicing sustainable development. Everyday we are in the fields with farmers clearing land, planting crops for market, building storage for seeds, we are practicing sustainable development.
Participatory or Community-Driven Development:
Community-driven development refers to an approach in which local communities actively participate in the planning, implementation, and decision-making processes of development initiatives. This approach recognizes the importance of involving community members in identifying their needs, setting priorities, and designing and implementing projects that address those needs. The goal is to empower communities, enhance local ownership, and promote sustainable and culturally appropriate development.
Our believe in community-driven development is fundamental to the work of SGUW. Community members and their chosen leaders work closely with our staff to identify needs and design effective strategies how to address those needs. According to the UN, this method of development is less costly, more sustainable, less risky and has far better outcomes than the more institutionalized "top down" approach.
As we look forward to 2024 and beyond, SGUW will continue to be grounded by the concepts of sustainable and community-driven development. This year will bring changes, expansions and new projects that we are all looking forward to and the SGUW blogger will be sharing with you.
The scale of the problem does not define the scale of the solution.