top of page


Updated: Jul 25

By Zaynab Osman

HAF Intern

A criticism of many development initiatives that I have come across during my two years as an International Development student has been that they are guilty of assuming that ‘one-size fits all’; they disregard the variations in every region, community, and individual. In my second week as an intern with the Center, I learnt that the participatory approach to development prevents any such generalizations from being made. A comparison of the two meetings illustrates this:

The setting of the meeting:

SidiMoussa Ben Ali: the house of one of the association members in the rural commune AinHarrouda: a youth center in the urban commune

The day and time of the meeting: SidiMoussa Ben Ali: Wednesday, 3.45pm (supposed to start at 4pm) AinHarrouda: Saturday, 4.30pm (supposed to start at 4pm)

My expectation of attendees: SidiMoussa Ben Ali: more men than women AinHarrouda: equal representation of men and women

Actual breakdown of attendees:

SidiMoussa Ben Ali: 7 people = 2 men and 5 women AinHarrouda: 23people = 22 men and 1 woman

The format of the meeting:

SidiMoussa Ben Ali: informal; all points on agenda were covered, although not in order, and refreshments served throughout AinHarrouda: formal; stuck to the agenda and there was a set break-time for refreshments

The delivery of the meeting:

SidiMoussa Ben Ali: association members described their communes strengths and weaknesses, the role of the Center was discussed, association members requested specific training from the Center to assist them in the actualization of their project, evaluation forms filled in after being provided with an explanation of how to do so AinHarrouda: a presentation of the work of the Center using a projector, attendees introduced themselves and the CSO they were representing, discussion of the problems of the commune, break, presentation of the potential training sessions that the attendees could benefit from, evaluation forms filled in

The context of the meeting:

SidiMoussa Ben Ali: examples of potential projects were specific; relating either to projects the association had already been involved with or projects they mentioned that they would be interested in: goat-herding and the production of cheese AinHarrouda: examples of potential projects were general in order to relate to the diverse sectors that each of the CSOs specialized in; ranging from cultural activities to road safety

Ultimately, it demonstrates the role of the HAF’s work as a facilitator: assisting communities to realize their own potential, for indeed for change to be accepted by the people it must come from them.

by Zaynab Osman, intern at the Center for Community Consensus-Building and Sustainable Development, Mohammedia

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page