Four UBU members visit India to monitor the Resilience Project

img_6249The UBU-JGVK Resilience project has now run for roughly two years. With one final year left of the project, UBU visited JGVK to monitor the project progress. On the 25th of September, Henrik, Jeanne, Natalie and Emil traveled to JGVK to assess project activities and help JGVK plan for the year ahead.

After being updated on the project progress by the Resilience management staff, the UBU team split in two groups and spent three days visiting various villages in three different project areas, interviewing local field workers and CBOs, schools, self-help group (SHG) members and government officials. These visits yielded great insights into how the project is creating a positive impact on many communities in terms of preparing for future floods, SHGs applying for funds from the GP on their own initiative and school awareness. However, it was also clear that certain challenges still persist in developing the capacity and involvement amongst the villagers. For instance, villagers’ personal engagement in improving their own resilience is rather mixed and so far the SHGs have only acted as informants in the preparation of the disaster risk mitigation plans in four pilot villages rather than contributing to the writing and formation of the plan itself.

The team also conducted a two-day workshop for approximately 50 JGVK field workers. We focused on how the field workers can apply a participatory approach and actively involve the local villagers in their daily awareness and advocacy work as well as in the implementation of disaster risk mitigation plans. The workers were very engaged and willing to discuss and share their challenges and possible solutions on these subjects throughout the workshop. The workshop format was highly interactive and involved different activities spanning from poster-making, role-play to act out the good and bad ways of doing advocacy work and building a resilient village out of clay. In the evaluation of the workshop, most claimed the only negative thing about the workshop was that it only lasted two days!