ECNGOC's A-B-C-D Stakeholder Engagement
March 17, 2016, the Eastern Cape NGO Coalition (ECNGOC) shared its first results under the pilot project on; “Integrating Asset-based Community-driven Development (ABCD) into municipal planning processes,” at the Hotel Osner.
The session had different actors; local, provincial and national government together with civil society representatives, discussing the pilot project and engaging on questions of scaling up and popularising the ABCD approach to development.
The ECNGOC provided for state and non-state actors to share their views on the ABCD approach and on its application.
The pilot project undertaken October 2014 – March 2016, was aimed at exploring the application of the ABCD approach in municipal planning processes in two local municipalities; Nkonkobe and Lukhanji.
Lusanda Menze, Acting Municipal Manager, at Nkonkobe Local Municipality, said; “The ABCD project has really also changed mindsets in our municipality.”
Bafo Mabiya, of the LED Unit eNkonkobe, gave an example: “We are currently planning a Cooperative Indaba as the municipality.
“In the planning process, we were discussing the theme for this year’s event. We then had a suggestion from the Nkonkobe Cooperative Forum which suggested the title; Mobilising Community Assets to Unlock Local Economic Development”.
The ECNGOC has been and is championing the radical development paradigm known as ABCD – Asset Based Community-Driven Development. The ABCD strategy reinforces community–led and sustainable development and builds on the assets that are already found in the community.
“Stated differently, the approach essentially mobilises individuals, associations and institutions to come together to build on their assets and social cohesion,” says ECNGOC Director, Rooks Moodley.
“This is in contrast to the more conventional community development strategies and approaches that tend to focus primarily on community problems and needs. The ABCD is also a strategy directed towards sustainable economic development using the social capital of communities including networks, norms and trust that help to increase productive potential,” she adds.
Application of ABCD in Pilot Project
The ECNGOC in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and other strategic partners initiated the roll out of the ABCD Pilot in municipal planning processes commencing October 2014 – March 2016.
The pilot project in Lukhanji and Nkonkobe Local Municipality focused on municipal planning processes with the objectives of:
- Enhancing effective collaboration between civil society and local government (ward level)
- Enhancing existing statutory public participation processes with the innovative element of ABCD
- Popularising ABCD among civil society and stakeholders in the Eastern Cape through strategic capacity building workshops
- Building the capacity of local government officials and councillors to integrate ABCD in municipal planning.
“Following a phase of capacity building, the ECNGOC facilitated the development of asset-focused ward profiles. The process allowed community members to engage with their knowledge and skills.
“Based on these profiles, the project then included a phase of developing ward-based plans,” according to the ECNGOC.
- Improved collaboration and relations between government, civil society and citizens.
- Instils a culture of citizen action and self reliance.
- Identified champions for change, championing and growing ABCD globally and locally.
- Enabled youth to effectively participate in municipal planning and
- The National Department of Social Development has provided for 104 young people nationally to be trained in the ECNGOC accredited ABCD programme at NQF level 4.