Assignment 1 Discussion Page
Online Learning: OL 344 Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Sustainable Implementation.
Center for Sustainable Development

Welcome to OL 344 Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change 4: Sustainable Implementation. In 341 and 342 you learned how to Develop Community Based Adaptation (CBA) projects designed for sustainability and long-term impact. In 343 you refined your project with both scientific and local knowledge, you continued to develop community ownership, and you formed a community based management and oversight committee that you will partner with when you launch the project.

In this course, OL 344, we will be launching the project and ensuring that the community members have the tools (documents, training, resources, and contacts) that they need to both co-manage the project with us—and take it over at the end of our project cycle.

This week, in Assignment 1, we will be putting together a plan of who’s going to do what in the project (what the community members will be doing and what the NGO staff will be doing), and assembling a customized set of project management tools/documents for the community members themselves to use.

Your working relationship with the community over the next few weeks/months/years may be relatively simple—or it might be more involved if community members are actually part of the implementation team.

A very simple example of this would be that if your project was a children’s vaccination project, your community’s simple involvement in the implementation might be to help set up a meeting place and in coordinating getting the children to the meeting place to be vaccinated. So there isn’t much day-to-day engagement with community members in the implementation of this kind of a project.

On the other hand let’s say that your health project was a little bit more involved than a vaccination program—let’s say that your project is to set up a community health center staffed by trained community members to provide basic health care. And, as your project is a CBA project, you will also be training these village health workers to use weather forecasts of a variable climate to identify health risks.

In that type of project you would be partnering with community members to choose a location for the health center—and to fix it up. You will be training village health workers in basic healthcare and prevention. You would be working with these health workers to survey community members and establish baselines. You would be working with them to lead workshops in health, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition. They might even be distributing water filters, or installing latrines. You might be working with them to set up a relationship with the local school so that the children can learn about health and be visited on a periodic basis by these health workers. In this situation, your engagement with community members will be very much more involved than in the first example.

This week we’re going to learn how, as project facilitators, to begin empowering the community members so they won’t need us when we’re gone: we don’t want to play too large role in the management process or it will be a disempowering experience for them. And, it’s going to be important to determine which activities are going to be best for them to do in order to train them and prepare them for project takeover. So this week we will review the list that we asked the committee to write up for us in assignment eight in 343 of activities that community members would like to do as part of the project.

We’ve also spent a fair amount of time over the past six or seven months developing our management tools: field guides, lesson plans, log frames, budgets, schedules, fact sheets, and proposals. These documents are reasonably sophisticated and might be overwhelming for our new partners. Perhaps they speak a different language than the documents are written in—perhaps they can’t read. It might be that some of the community members are better educated and can read, but still we need to make sure that we have tools that can be used by the people actually doing activities.

So this week we’re also going to determine what management tools we can give them—and in what format—so that they will understand how the project is going to unfold, what to do next and when—and a way for them to know when they’re on target.

Getting started
The Assignment One Homework will guide you through the process.