Ensuring common perception would allow for effective synergy and performance of roles effectively. In this context, this workshop on synergy was specifically conceived to involve all stakeholders in village development. The workshop proceeded at Manna Guest House in Mebba, West Sabu on Saturday, 18 August2018 involving 8 CBOs from 8 villages (a total of 23 participants). Three CSOs present were:
- One participant from GMIT Classis East Sabu (the main church organization in East and Central Sabu, and Sabu Liae)
- Two participants who were community volunteers (child education, initiator of literacy house in 16 villages)
- One participant from Jagarai Community (environmental issues – marine and coastal conservation Thus, there were a total of 27 participants (18 men and 9 women).
Building synergy began with self-introduction to break down barriers to communication. It was expected that the workshop would trigger mutual understanding to engage in real works for village development within respective villages. Hence, sharing was important amongst participants in order to learn from each other about how they understand and practice development. The thematic focus included:
- Village development
- Development policy
- Planning process
- People participation
Some questions arose from amongst participants before sharing began. One person asked what development truly meant and who had to do it? Village government or CBOs? (CBO representative from Wuke Rohedui in Jiwuwu Village, Central Sabu - Bertha Leba). Another participant asked “is development something planned by the village government (using village funds) or something done by individual person such as growing vegetables?”; and how the latter connects with development in general (CBO Bersatu in Matei Village, Central Sabu - Osias Miha Balo). Another question from CBO representative “Ingin Maju” in Dainao Village, Sabu Liae Subdistrict, Ruben Lay concerned, “Do we talk about development that is underway or still in planning?”. These were important questions to deal with to show the lack of common perception about development, synergy and roles within villages.
Sharing was a sheer joy, as participants described important things they observe in local development. CSOs involvement was also interesting point in discussion. In the end, participants understood development not only in terms of infrastructure, but also human resources development. Development had to involve the people (written testimony of Reverent Anton Himu, chairperson of GMIT Classis in East Sabu). “Development is a means to address problems in the villages and to develop potentials, in order to ascertain synergistic, planned and sustainable development as articulated in drawing about the relationship between agriculture, water harvesting, economy (bottom-up), buildings and industry (to process domestic waste), human mental and spiritual aspects and consistent monitoring”.
It was interesting when participants talked about their experience; about lack of partnership amongst key stakeholders in development CBOs and government officials (as suggested by Yohana Djo Rate from CBO Dhe’I Ta Pe Kaddi in Eimadake Village, Central Sabu). Further, Tersia Riwu Djeta from CBO Bersatu in Matei Village, Central Sabu expressed her displeasure that development was not based on sound data. In the end, most participants understood and gave examples of development that not only focused on infrastructure and direct fund disbursement, but also on people’s capacity as active agents of development, how the latter understood their roles and responsibilities.
Participants watched films about development models in partnership with outsiders, to precede discussion about development stories. Critical discussion ensued after the film presentation:
Sharing during workshop:
- Presentation about village development, policy, planning process and people participation
- Laws/Government Regulations/Ministerial Regulation on Village Development
- Understanding of group roles (CBOs & CSOs) in village development
- Planning strategy on four thematic issues – village development, policy, planning process and participation – adjusted to local condition.
The discussion results formed part of detailed action plan to be discussed further within respective CBOs and CSOs. Another point of mutual agreement was tri-partite meeting involving CBOs, CSOs and village governments as part of collaborative endeavours to ensure success. To convince all parties involved, there had to be written consent on such partnership, and means of dispelling distrust within villages to ensure synergy.
I’a Lema Do Hawu Raijua