At dZi, development is something our partner communities initiate. In order to work hand-in-hand with these communities, we ensure that there is complete community participation in all of our programs and that community members are the principal players at all levels.
First, a community invites us in if they think our model fits with their beliefs around community development. Next, they create a plan and send us proposals for what they hope to accomplish by working together. Once we raise enough money to fund the proposal, the community leads implementation of the projects. After the projects are complete, they will also be responsible for maintaining and repairing them in the years to come.
Starting last year, we added a new step to our Deep Development model to improve the process of community participation in all of our work. Before we actually begin working, we sit down with community members and dream up a shared vision for the future. Together, we map out what a more prosperous future might look like for them. This collaborative exercise provides us with a plan for how we will spend the next 8 to 10 years in that specific community.
In January 2017, we completed our first visioning session in our newest partner community, Jaleshwori. After spending 2 full days with more than 40 community members from all of the villages in Jaleshwori, we drafted a set of common dreams detailing what we would like to achieve together. We also wrote and signed a letter of understanding that holds dZi, the community, and our local NGO partner accountable to a mutually agreed-upon set of principles, which includes transparency, inclusion, ethics, putting the neediest first, etc. You can read through our detailed contract here.
Our first visioning session was a success! The community loved that they had the opportunity to create a plan for how dZi can help them on their own terms. This year, after we decided to partner with a new community, Bung, we began our partnership by conducting a visioning session with the community. We completed this visioning session in December 2017.
Enjoy this short video that showcases major highlights from our visioning session in Bung.