Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Insights From dgCommunities

Sphere: Related Content

Some recent explorations through the dgCommunities sites revealed some interesting insights into the topics that this blog has been pondering lately. One line of thought has been the immensity of the challenge facing the effort to implement the Millennium Development Goals. More so now that the world is facing a financial crisis. Raising the question as what are NGO's or change-agent organizations doing in light of this?

NGOs Pare Down in Face of Financial Crisis

Some of the biggest development and humanitarian NGOs are laying off staff or revising programmes for 2009 as their income streams flatten because of the global financial crisis. Fundraising experts of three of the world's top NGOs - Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK and World Vision USA - said programme growth will slow in 2009 as a result of the squeeze.

There are other actions that can be taken that don't depend as much upon a large flow of financing to fund massive projects. Providing knowledge for empowerment or broad based solidarity is a form of action for which the Internet is especially suited. This blog is being defined, along with countless others, as a "small voice" blog. A description well suited for sites with minimal resources but a wealth of good metta. This blog and my other have been exploring the tools available on the web to reach others through social media, but there is also a wisdom in the use of those tools. Kasem Ali wrote about this January 8, 2009. I have summarized to a substantial degree below as a set of quick notes to be learned and applied, and his original article should be read.

A Triumph of Trust: Five Principles of Nonprofit Social Media Strategy
Nonprofits are getting a grip on the fact that their stakeholder have the tools to reach as many people as they do and that there are powerful opportunities to be pursued as a result. Broadly speaking, this is seen as the challenge of social media. Too many organizations are treating their vocal stakeholders as either journalists with whom they must be careful, or as followers to whom they must market. Drawing from my experience in treating journalists as human beings, this article describes five principles of social media strategy that chart a better way.

    (1) Don't Take It Personally: Assume that most of the time, most people will have little interest in what you have to say.

    (2) Tell the Truth: Don't lie. Don't sanitize. Don't obfuscate. Sound like a real person.

    (3) Make Their Job Easy: Study what people write and share. Figure out what else they need when they're considering your stuff and give it to them.

    (4) Be a Useful Source: Look at what they write, discover their current sources and what is useful about them. Determine what kind of information makes them look good, and give them that.

    (5) Prioritize Your Efforts: Invest more in those for whom your strategies are working and for whom your resources are useful, even if they have smaller audiences.

This level of established trust can become a basis for the sustainable development of grassroots empowerment. The Millennium Development Goals will not work as long as the model for overcoming poverty is donor in control and recipient in compliance. A level of grassroots empowerment must be established. The grassroots empowerment must also be nurtured into viable social and economic systems, but it has to be grown internally by the community itself. The Mercy Corps is one organization taking on this type of work.

Mercy Corps - Be the Change
Mercy Corps focuses on working in countries in transition, where communities are struggling to recover from political or economic collapse, conflict or natural disaster. Experience has identified community-led and market-driven programs as the critical factor in helping communities sustainably rebuild and recover. Key to this approach is enabling communities to mobilize successfully for action.

Sustainability Field Study: Understanding What Promotes Lasting Change at the Community Level
This report reviews the research and contributes meaningful data to the longer term impact of community mobilization program.

SUSTAINABILITY FIELD STUDY
Understanding What Promotes
Lasting Change at the Community Level
December 2007
Preface

The results of this study confirm the design hypothesis: that a carefully managed process of community mobilization can both increase the sustainability of community development investments and contribute to shifting outlooks and behaviors of communities to be more open and self-sufficient in decision-making and problem-solving. When programs work collaboratively with well-intentioned but under-resourced local government representatives, prospects for sustainability become greater. To increase sustainability, development programs must seek out committed government representatives and invest in their capacity alongside informal community leaders, building an understanding of transparent, accountable and participative processes for engaging communities in their own development. Additionally, programs should reach out to youth to help expand their opportunities for income generation and foster tolerance and community commitment.

SUSTAINABILITY FIELD STUDY
Understanding What Promotes
Lasting Change at the Community Level
December 2007
IX. CONCLUSION

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