Holistic understanding of development goals in Härnösand

The yearly training course is targeted mainly towards partnerships in the inception phase of a project planning to apply for a project in the nearby future, and is meant to be attended by both partners. It is a prime opportunity to plan a municipal partnership project with the guidance and support of the ICLD programme officers. This year the lectures consisted of an introduction to project planning through the LFA-method, an overview of ICLDs core areas and the thematic priorities identified by Sida.

During the lecture by Vasna Ramasar, an external lecturer from Lunds University, a holistic view of development was introduced to show how the thematic priorities along with the core areas of ICLD are interconnected and can be integrated into the projects. This session was particularly appreciated, and emphasized the importance of inclusive participation for a sustainable democratic development. Ann Masai from Machakos, Kenya firmly stated after the lecture that “we are going to include everyone in the project, every stakeholder will be able to participate”.

Most of the course however consisted of the participants working with their own project based on what they learned during the lectures. One of the main activities in this regard was the “problem tree” which was used to formulate the main problem of the project, its’ causes and effects. These were later transformed into an “objective tree”, including the project objectives, intermediate objectives and overall objectives. The problem tree helped the participants establish more coherent and feasible projects. One participant expressed that they will be “much more able to plan activities connected with the goals for the project”.

Overall, the course was well received amongst the participants, based on the survey responses after the course. Many of them claimed that the course exceeded their expectations and that the interactive method of mixing theory with practice on the participants’ projects improved the learning. One respondent concluded that “I truly was able to understand the LFA method used for the project as well as incorporating ideas from everyone involved in similar project was amazing”.