An inside-out approach to healing, recovery, and ongoing development in Sierra Leone that puts the people at the center—and the helm
We know all communities carry within them the solutions to their own unique problems. They just need to be organized and catalyzed. Fambul Tok developed the People’s Planning Process (PPP) to mobilize and engage the people of Sierra Leone in their own community welfare and development. Our longstanding experience designing, supporting and implementing community-owned and led postwar reconciliation has taught us that we must create opportunities for all people—especially women—to contribute and lead if we want peace and progress to last
Before the PPP, needs assessments were designed to address only one event. Despite their best intentions, outside aid organizations can become gatekeepers that siphon and squander resources meant for communities. In order to create sustainable change, the PPP first invests time and resources in restoring relationships, building trust, and fully understanding complex community dynamics.
From village to section to chiefdom …
The PPP is currently the core focus of our work in the Kailahun, Koinadugu and Moyamba districts. Coordinated at the Chiefdom level, the PPP supports each section (including all of the villages within them) as they:
- define their needs and identify their resources;
- develop sectional healing, prevention, recovery and development plans;
- and to move forward with beginning to implement these plans, without waiting for outside aid.
Sectional plans are then aggregated to the Chiefdom level, where structures such as the Community Welfare and Mediation Committees (CWMC) are in place to help resolve longstanding conflicts and promote participation—again, without direction from “the top” or from the outside.
Our radical, inside-out approach repairs the torn fabric of community and builds social immunity for any challange, helping to break the endless crisis and response cycle. The PPP is creating space for communities to lead their own recovery from the Ebola crisis while charting their ongoing development.
… to districts across Sierra Leone
Fambul Tok has also brought all the development stakeholders together in the three districts currently developing the PPP to build a platform for leading in their own community-centered development. They have formed Inclusive District Peace and Development Committees (DPDCs) to coordinate their diverse peace and development functions, facilitate the PPP across their districts, and define their District’s development goals going forward.