Seeing our community in a mirror
Seeing our community in a mirror
“This community selection process is good,” expressed Kalpana BK, an elected member for a local government ward, after participating in a village appraisal, “because we have prepared a map of the community and discussed about individual settlements regarding different issues like availability and access to facilities from local government and other service institutions, water, sanitation, and hygiene. This process is helpful to the ward and Rural Municipality (RM) as well.”
UMN’s Saksham*  Project started in Bogtan Fudsil Rural Municipality of Doti District from January 2020 in partnership with CEAD. In the targeted communities, our project staff facilitated the active engagement local residents for the settlement screening process. Local residents began to draw a social map of the settlement by indicating number of houses, available local resources such as drinking water facilities, paths, electricity, community groups, primary health care, outreach clinics, clubs, schools, government services, sanitation etc. They then classified settlements into three categories based on the availability and accessibility of resources. 
At the end of the appraisal process, community people were able to classify their community’s settlements by themselves and were happy to know their community better. Durga Bam, a local woman, shared, “We had never practised and participated in this process before and nobody had analysed our communities in this way. We gained so much knowledge of our settlements through this. There are different conditions in the settlements even though we live in the same community and the process helps us to know these things just like looking at a mirror.” Govinda Raj Binadi, from another community, shared, “Using this participatory tool before implementing programmes helps us to reach a needy and marginalised communities and people without any biases. It is a new process for us, like a voting system with the purpose of selecting settlements in the presence of the respective community’s people.” 
The local people and ward representatives are committed to supporting every step of the project intervention towards uplifting the living standards of community people.
* Meaning ‘empowered’.

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