This past summer HAF’s Center for Community Consensus-Building and Sustainable Development has been busy! In partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy, HAF organized and presented a series ofcapacity building workshops, post training activities including monthly meetings and round tables for locally elected officials and students from Hassan II University’s Faculty of Law, Economics, and Social Sciences in Mohammedia.
The Center’s activities took place both in the classroom and in the field, students and locally elected officials came together and had the opportunity to learn participatory development methods, participatory democracy, and to learn how to use their positions and assets to advance local community interests. The participatory development techniques learned included: community mapping, free-listing, pair wise ranking, wealth ranking and daily/weekly/annual activity schedules. The training topics also included a history of participatory development in Morocco, Moroccan administrative procedures for organizing community meetings, the Moroccan communal charter and the role of the facilitator.
The participants were first introduced to the concepts and methods in a classroom setting, and then they traveled to local villages to meet with community members and practice using what they had learned in the classroom. The field experience provided insights into human development, organizational capacity-building, and how the communal charter can be applied to community development. The participants are currently working with the communities to help them reach consensus on their priority needs and implement development projects.
In addition, this fall HAF’s team met with the Center’s University partners at Hassan II University’s Faculty of Law, Economics, and Social Sciences in Mohammedia, to do planning and coordination related to the Center’s activities for 2010-2011, and to hear their feedback and thoughts on ways HAF and the University can continue to build a productive and meaningful partnership. We look forward to our continued partnership and classroom/field training activities.