Incorporating community-led development in day-to-day practices

Recap of the Learning Network Human-Centered Design and Community Led-Development Event

agenda April 29, 2020

As a follow-up to our last session, we had an online interactive session with a group of diverse actors passionate about exploring and creating more human-centred design and community-led development. The online workshop was hosted in collaboration with Butterfly Works, The Hunger Project, and The Movement for Community-Led Development. The session kick-started with expert presentations by Mariken Gaanderse from the social enterprise Upinion and Donald Mogeni from World Vision. This was followed by a range of lively discussions in breakout rooms. The discussions revolved around two key questions focused on uncovering and sharing tools that can be used to continue our work on community-led development at a time when the corona virus has disrupted ‘practice as usual’

World Vision’s Citizen’s Voice and Action Approach
Donald Mogeni enthusiastically presented to the group from his office in Kenya about World Vision’s four-step Citizen Voice and Action approach (CVA). The CVA approach aims to create more social accountability by equipping communities with the right knowledge and skills to hold their governments accountable. In this way citizens’ voices can be better heard, and planning processes are influenced from the bottom up!

Upinion’s COVID-19 Community Monitor
Mariken Gaanderse presented Upinion’s COVID-19 Community Monitor, aimed at enhancing NGOs communication and engagement with the communities they work with. The tool can be built on top of social media messaging apps where it is designed to ask targeted questions to those people using the apps. The generated data can help inform organisations about local situations, one step towards helping create better and more efficient support. Gaanderse recommends the use of this tool particularly in helping organizations monitor the impact of COVID-19.

Brainstorming Tools
After the informative presentations, the tools participants and their organizations use, want to use, or recommend using were jointly shared. What are ways in which we can best connect with offline people in our ‘target groups’, what tools would improve working long-distance on this topic? One participant remarked that those tools that work well for communicating with their colleagues in the Netherlands might not necessarily be the best suited for communicating with their foreign partners. Instead, some organizations opt to use local tools that are already commonplace in the partner countries when talking to partners. A further takeaway was that already in place low-access communication tools are oftentimes most useful in reaching more isolated offline communities. In this instance, groups mentioned using tools like local radio channels, mobile phones, posters, and murals, to reach communities. And even ‘gatekeepers/influencers’ were suggested as great ways to help spread information or communicate locally.

Interested in these topics? Care to contribute or share ideas? If you want to share more updates about community-led responses to COVID-19, you can reach out directly to ann.hendrix-jenkins@thp.org who is compiling a list. Attached today’s version – which is currently being built collectively.


Save the Date: Our next session will be May 15th from 15-16h. Spread the word! Together we’ll continue our efforts to transform the current top-down development paradigm and create more bottom-up community-led change and development!

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