Gujarat plans to integrate People-Led Development in their development programmes

Transforming local people to lead their own development makes communities stronger. The approach of People Led Development (PLD) empowers communities to build their capacities and initiatives for a greater control over their own development.

Over the years Caritas India is promoting PLD in most of its programmes to strengthen local communities and local people to recognize and support their development. Impressive models of PLD has been seen in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and North-East India programmes of Caritas India.

To initiate PLD approach in Gujarat, Caritas India has trained partner organizations of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Gandhinagar, and Rajkot in Ahmedabad from May 30-31, 2018. Maharashtra State Officer of Caritas India, Melvin Pangya facilitated the training for 32 senior staff of the partners.

Melvin explained the PLD approach and shared about the common understanding, it’s principles and challenges with the staff members. He said, it creates awareness within the people and binds them towards a positive change. People organize themselves and start taking initiatives for collective action. In a nutshell, it is a people driven not project driven.

Though there are challenges in implementing such approach effectively and efficiently, it requires transformation, be it within the staff members, within the organization or at the community level.

Partners in the state have been implementing Caritas India supported interventions in the project mode, where project participants had limited role, and implementing organization played a major role in planning, implementing and monitoring of the projects /program. This has raised a big question on the sustainability of the program/project in the long term which was unanswered.   By ensuring people’s active participation at all stages and sustainability of the project/program, Gujarat partners intend to adopt PLD approach for the proposed cluster program on food and nutrition security, which is in the pipeline.  The proposed program would be implemented in Anand, Banaskantha, Narmada, and Surendranagar district of Gujarat, covering 6 development blocks, 36 villages, 5992 families and total population of 35929.

All the partners get acquainted with the PLD approach and later the same will be shared with the community members of the project villages prior to project commencement.

Jayanti, Project Coordinator of Rajkot DSSS-Rajkot said, we have been doing many interventions with the community, without realizing their potentials, PLD approach will bring real change in the lives of the community.

Fr. Jagdish Macwan, Diocesan Director appointee Ahmedabad assured that we will put our best effort to implement PLD approach, that would bring perceptional changes among the community members towards implementing organization.