Wednesday, 9 July 2008

How will new projects come online?

As we've had to put a hold on new projects coming online in the past few months, there are currently over 130 projects in the pipeline, with many of them eager to come online as new NABUUR Villages. We've already established contact with most of them to advise them of the new process - so we thought we'd share it with you as well.

The Villages (or projects) waiting have been asked to answer some very specific questions regarding their local community and project. These questions will help determine if the project is feasible and achievable within NABUUR standards. The new local reps will be asked to join a preparation group on the new website where along with a special task force they will define their projects and outline tasks for the neighbours to work on. The task force is made up of experienced Neighbours, facilitators, leading local reps and a few external experts in project management. Each new local rep will be matched up to a project manager where they'll be given a space in the preparation group where they can discuss the project definition. The group will be visible to all NABUUR neighbours, but the discussion threads will only be accessible by the expert in project management and the local rep. No offence meant: Just trying to avoid too many chefs in the kitchen!

Simultaneously as the local rep works on the project definition, they will begin filling in their village pages with the assistance of leading local reps and yours truly.

This is a new process and we sincerely think it can work. We are emphasizing the peer to peer aspect and have already had positive feedback on this new way of working.

As soon as the preparation group is fully set up, we'll link you up to it so you can see how things are being set up.

Romina

2 comments:

manperez said...

My only concern is that you state that "Each new local rep will be matched up to a project manager where they'll be given a space in the preparation group where they can discuss the project definition." This assumes that the community's difficulty can be solved by project management... a conclusion I doubt, since in my humble experience, most poor communities also have social, educational and work issues that need to be addressed, among others.

Couldn't a sociologist or trained community organizer also be an option for future Nabuur villages?

Romina said...

Good to see you on here, and thanks for the comment.

You're absolutely right; the issues of a local community cannot be addressed only by project management. A multi-dimensional approach is needed. But looking at the mandate of NABUUR, the showcasing of a local community's project online and facilitating the tools to carry out this project, is the means by which the organization provides assistance.

Of course, this doesn't solve all the community's problems, nor do we pretend it does. NABUUR is meant to be used in conjunction with other support avenues the community is pursuing.

A trained community organizer is a wonderful idea. Perhaps once we establish (and strengthen) local networks we can pursue the angle a bit more.