Village Visit: Kadamguda

Corey writes:

On Tuesday I visited Kadamguda to start applying the tools I learned at the NGO-IDEAs workshop a few weeks ago. For our regular readers, you'll recall that Gina visited this village also.

The tool I was there to apply is called the Participatory Well-being Ranking. Besides a mouthful of political correctness, this tool is used to "involve the community in classifying the families into different categories of well-being". The gist of it is: you go to a community, ask them to rank the households in order from highest to lowest "well-being". Then you ask them to explain their rankings. Why is this family rich? Why is this family poor? "This family owns 3 cattle, this family over here owns none", for example. These answers become the indicators of well-being for the community. And our job is the raise the poor well-being families and keep the good well-being families where they are.

The points of this are manifold:

  • The community is setting the standards, not us. Owning 3 cattle in one community might put you in the "rich" category but it might put you in the "poor" category in another community.
  • By ranking the households we can make sure we're helping the people that need it the most.
  • By asking the people to think and talk about well-being, they might start to see their own situation in a different way

SOVA is applying these tools within their Education programme, so we held the meeting in the village schoolhouse. That also meant the teachers could participate in the exercise.

(Of course I had to do my obligatory "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" session)

Not a bad way to spend a morning, no?