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Participation should not be about just numbers, says AAITG CD

Mar 27, 2014, 9:35 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Country Director of Action Aid The Gambia, Omar Badjie, has said participation should not be about just numbers; it needs to be genuine, effective and seen to add value to the work being done.

Mr Badjie was speaking at the opening ceremony of a weeklong regional workshop on reflection on Action held recently at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul

“It is not enough to have more women than men in decision-making processes. What is more important is for those women to have the necessary skills, knowledge and education,” he said.

It is equally important for them to have courage and confidence to be able to influence processes in their favour, which could not be possible in the absence of genuine and effective participation, he said.

This, he pointed out, was where the participatory approaches to development become handy and useful and it would therefore become incumbent on them as development animators to know the approaches very well and be able to effectively utilize them in the field to promote people’s involvement in their own development processes.

He said in Action Aid, just like many other development organizations, different participatory approaches were developed for use in different situations.

Mr Badjie said the key purpose of these approaches is to promote and enhance participation by the people but the fact that different people from the same organization use different approaches to engage the same communities could be a source of confusion to the people they work with.

He said that although it is good to have variety, the different approaches would better serve their purpose with proper coordination within and between functions in order to avoid confusion with a view to maximizing impact from their interventions.

However, he added, it was quite encouraging to note that all their approaches have now been harmonized and integrated into one approach ready for use in the field globally.

He said any result emanating from the use of the reflection on Action methodology in their respective countries would be shared with the wider Action Aid Community.

Kadijatou Jallow, programme specialist of Action Aid thanked the participants for answering to their invitation, adding that the purpose of this sub-regional workshop was aimed at building the capacity of the staff and partners of Action Aid on reflection action to enable them pilot the methodology and support for the capacity development.