Yared Mekonnen

by Yared Mekonnen


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Practical Insights from a Successful Community Health and Development Program

Often, development partners are working toward building the organization, while the targeted communities are not given priority for their success. Ensuring the technical and financial capacity of the organization does not guarantee successful community development programs. On the contrary, an organization can have relatively small budget with average technical capacity, but outstanding achievement in community development. This begs the question: how is it possible to make a meaningful difference amidst such vast and complex development issues we all face.
Let us share some practical insight Life In Abundance International has learned while working in 10 Africa and Caribbean countries during the last 15 years. In particular, what made the program unique to its success in Ethiopia, where LIA’s work began? It was not the size of the budget and the wide coverage of the targeted community. Rather it is the vision, value, mission and strategy of focusing on empowering local churches that made the remarkable difference. The vision was quiet compelling and the mission was realistic enough to challenge the prevailing complex community and health problems. This workshop will highlight some practical insight of such a development program and address the following questions:
• What are the vision, mission, value and culture of the organization?
• What are the roles of the organization and the local church in transformational development?
• Who is our staff comprised of?
• How to select target community and direct beneficiaries
• Who will identify the need in a target community?
• How to approach and lead the project in a participatory fashion
• How to sustain the program(s)
• How to measure success in line with the vision and mission
• What are practical success examples that have been registered so far in OVC and WASH Projects in Ethiopia?

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