There is a new movement taking place in the world of development. Organisations like Spark MicroGrants are moving away from externally led efforts and moving towards a model that is based on participatory design. We believe that aid efforts should be community owned from start, to implementation, to evaluation versus the traditional model of development where external organisations prescribe solutions to communities.
The Local Solutions Forum (LSF) is designed to facilitate communications among local communities, foundations, NGOs and other groups interested in supporting locally-led development.
Local Solutions Forum (LSF) is a discussion group dedicated to CBOs, NGOs, and Funders engaged in locally-led development efforts. Every two weeks a new participant shares valuable information learned through their experience working in the development sectors.
Outsiders often drive development efforts but there is a growing movement to engage beneficiaries in the planning and implementation process of aid projects. Participatory design has been shown to increase local buy-in, sustainability and project effectiveness. We still don’t know enough about it though, and many of us are trying out new ways to support local development efforts.
Local Solutions Forum is a discussion platform created to enable everyone involved in locally-led development to share lessons learned, new models and common problems. There are two components, a google group (groups.google.com) to house our discussion and a dropbox (dropbox.com) folder to share materials and program designs.
Every other Monday an individual or group will “present” via an email to the mailing list. The first week of each month is for groups that work locally. The second week is for a global organization that supports local solutions. In the third week of each month, somebody will lead a discussion on a topic relevant to local solutions. The fourth week will be for a funder. We’ll coordinate this through an online schedule.
Each discussion will be entirely over email—the discussion leader is expected to start the week off with an email post to the group, which will be followed by back-and-forth questions, comments, and answers over the course of the week.
Please join us by signing up here: http://groups.google.com/group/local-solutions-forum
Questions? Please email LocalSolutionsForum@gmail.com
We look forward to discussing and sharing about locally-led development!