Friday, April 27, 2007

trying to articulate what I want to do when I grow up

I am interested in communities and how communities define their needs and how to equally value the opinions and perspectives of those that are lowers in the community. Also, how to create valuable opportunities and policies that will increase access to those communities so they are able to sustainably reach their needs; avoiding situations of dependency and the uppers of a community stockpiling resources to the detriment of the lowers. I want to implement sustainable livelihoods program:

Financial – income, access to credit

Social – support networks, political participation

Human – skills, labour, health

Physical – shelter, basic consumer needs, tools

Natural – land, water, livestock

Personal – self-esteem, spirituality

Everyone has all of these needs to have a sustainable livelihood (maybe an area of personal research? – is this true?). A community is made up of interacting individuals and to make reach development the power relations (interpersonal, political, judicial, corruption etc.) must be addressed to ensure (ensure what?)

Are the resources out there, they just have to be used better? and using par I am able to listen to where those needs are and using the help of the community, direct the flow of resources accordingly? Is the problem corruption, lack of resources, mismanagement? Why are these people not getting their resources?

Fort McKay got them because they had oil that needed to be extracted for Western society. My role with the Lubicon is to increase the legitimacy, urgency and power of their claims. In that situation I can see how having a resource management background could increase legitimacy.

But maybe in a different context a development background would be better. Especially if the problem is social – ie. I am a development professional and I say that it is because of high level government corruption that these people are not getting X very well defined resources (using sustainable livelihoods or another Participatory Action Research model).

What is the focus? Needs assessment using Participatory Action Research methods, and this will create a research project for me, and meet the needs of the community. ie. if the resources aren’t available because of high level corruption, then I can study the impact of corruption on local communities. Maybe even find other communities that have the same problems and have a rather large study of the impacts of the Swiss bank account of one official.

Shining a bright light on a dark place.