Vivekananda Sevakendra -O- Sishu Uddyan ( VSSU) VSSU awarded special consultative status by United Nation ECOSOC
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An Idea: Development through Challenges

Mr. Kapilananda Mondal has a new idea for improving development practice. Through his work, he has realized that the current system of fund allocation to organizations working in development is inefficient and ineffective. He has seen far too many cases of organizations that come up with an idea for a project, and then receive funding from an external company or fund. The funding agency often does not look at the full feasibility of the program, and looks at standards such as expected income from the project or expected social impact using limited metrics. Not only do limited metrics such as these not give an accurate picture of the full impact the project will have, but they do not give any indication as to the likelihood of the project being able to reach the point where they are able to achieve that impact.

Development projects almost always have good intentions, but often fail to achieve the desired results. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most common is the lack of community commitment in the project. Mr. Mondal’s idea for revolutionizing how development projects are carried out could change this: he proposes “development through challenges”.

Development through challenges means that if there is an idea for a development project, it must first begin within the community. Whatever person or group thought up the project must see that it gets started without the help of any external organizations, only with their own resources and the resources of the community. This ensures community buy-in, and the greater the initial investment from the community, the greater the likelihood of the project being successful in the long-term.

Then, and only then, should the project receive external support. By proving that the project has a strong chance of success and sustainability, external agencies are then able to evaluate and gauge the type and level of investment they are willing to make. Through this new type and style of investment, organizations doing quality and effective development work are still able to receive the necessary funding from external agencies, but through their own labor and perseverance, they are able to ensure the long-term success of the project. The concept of “development through challenges” could very well usher in a new type of community-driven development that has the potential to create immense benefits in the future.