This year, the 40th Development Dynamics Course (DDC) was organised by Caritas India at Poornodaya Institue, Bhopal from 10 - 28 February 2012. The 19-day intensive programme held annually for the capacity building of senior personnel of Church-based development organisations was attended by 34 participants from Sri Lanka and India.
The DDC began with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Chinnappa, Administrative Director of Caritas India on 10 February 2012. In his opening message, he elaborated the systemic determinants of poverty, social conditions that perpetuate backwardness and economic factors that aggravate poverty situation. He expressed concern over the governmental apathy to the sufferings of the poor and politicising of the issues of the poor. He said that the welfare and development mainstream, controlled and managed by government, is becoming more and more insensitive to the crying needs of the poor. Fr. Chinnappa lamented that market-led and market-centred development is creating more inequalities and social contradictions. He said that the Church-based development agencies have a greater emancipating role to play in the prevailing exploitative social system.
Fr. Frederick D’souza, Executive Director (designate), Caritas India, introduced the participants to scriptural and spiritual underpinnings of development work implemented by the Church. He said that the Holy Bible has a profound development message which is relevant for today’s world that is marred by exploitation, violence and marginalisation. He said that the core of development work, envisaged and implemented by the Church, is safeguarding the dignity of human being and creating and sustaining a social order that is based on the Christian values. Fr. Frederick also helped participants understand the principle of subsidiarity, Christian interpretation of justice, economic well-being and development participation. He called upon the participants to continue the work of Jesus Christ for establishing the Kingdom of God and dispelling despair and suffering from the world.
Caritas India conducts DDC at different parts of the country every year for the professional orientation and capacity building of NGO personnel on the various subjects related to the development sector. This course was the fortieth in the series of DDCs that Caritas India had started in 1986. The curriculum of the DDC includes social analysis, community mobilisation process and strategies, emerging development theories and approaches, organisation development, disaster relief response, gender and the social teachings of the Church.
During the DDC participants were exposed to development theories - their origin, evolutionary growth and applications in Indian and international contexts. The course was a balanced blend of theoretical and practical sessions. At various course intervals, participants visited rural communities to understand field level management of development interventions and people’s response to development initiatives.
The programme helps the participants to enhance their skills on project proposal development, increasing efficiency and effectiveness of organisations and programmes, organisation management, leadership development and team-building. Several experienced professionals including Fr. M.K George SJ, Fr. Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI, Mr. Philip, Ms. Shimray, Mr. Varkey, Mr. Christy and Mr. James facilitated the sessions.
Fr. Frederick D’souza, while addressing the concluding ceremony said that, the development sector of the country is passing through challenging times due to socio-economic and political upheavals and uncertainties. “Development workers need to equip themselves with necessary information and abilities for being effective and relevant in this changing and testing times”, he said. He further added that, “Caritas India is devoted to the development and welfare of the poor and committed to protecting their interests. Caritas India perceives DDC as a platform for developing and placing an efficient workforce on the field and thus reach out to the needy communities, Fr. Freddy added.
Fr. Frederick and Fr. Paul Vithayathil, Director of Poornodaya Institute, distributed completion certificates to participants during the ceremony, which was followed by the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Frederick.
The programme also included thematic interactions, competitions, cultural programmes, field visits and group exercises.