Looking At Tht Past: What We Learnt
Facilitating the communities to empower themselves for sustainable development is an achievable goal which requires systematic and coherent self-help approach and continuity of such approach fully complemented by strong community will and sharing of costs; openness to truly collaborative practices with state and non-state sector; vigorous commitment to the ambitious vision; and relatively modest though adequate and well-targeted resourcing.
Improving the life chances and choices of poor people through improving their access to the development opportunities- requires us to understand our efforts in the context of the broad national policies to close the gap in access and utilization of services and the health outcomes; to sharpen our focus on the importance of cultivating and working in genuine partnerships with the communities and enhancing the capacity of community representative organizations and local government; and the importance of delivering outcomes and building and making available a credible evidence base, always remaining focused on the right of all people to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental well being.
Working through strong partnerships and cross-sector collaborations with the local, national and international organisation presents us with opportunities to be part of an array of exciting initiatives to increase impact, contribute meaningfully to and share in national learning and help to facilitate outcomes far beyond the capacity of our own resources. In our experience successful partnerships and productive collaborations require genuine alignment of strategic goals and core operating principles, and a capacity to respectfully accommodate diversity of views. We are prepared to invest the time, effort and resources required to build genuine partnerships that help us realise our vision, and to respectfully withdraw where they do not.
Building a strong and dynamic organisation capable of facilitating development programs, and having a positive impact on public opinion, policies and practices in Bangladesh has clearly demonstrated the value of attracting, investing in and retaining staff, members and supporters who identify with our Vision and Mission, understand and commit to our agreed strategy and are capable of demonstrating their competence in acting as part of a broad team focused on the achievement of ambitious outcomes.
Long-term plan backed by coherent short-term action plan is required in all development efforts. The Union Parishads (UPs) must be supported to develop and implement a long-term development plan, for instance five years, rather than hitherto practiced annual planning approach. Continuity of development plans by the people’s representatives chosen through successive elections processes is a prerequisite for sustainable development and is guaranteed only through commitment to a ‘politically neutral’ common development agenda centred around people’s well being.