Bridging information asymmetries to strengthen community organizations
Many NGOs have over the last decade been specialising in “capacity building” skills, which provides an ideal basis for informing people and encouraging them to act collectively to claim their rights. These efforts are complemented by the Right to Information Act that came into force in 2005, which imposes a positive duty on the government to disseminate information to the people and extends the right for people to seek and receive information held by government bodies.
Most often, community involvement in watershed activities is dependent on how well they understand the processes and techniques. This has a direct bearing on their participation in the planning, implementation and monitoring aspects of watershed development. It is also prerequisite for post-project period sustainability.
Based on discussions among the CE-WLP learning group members it was felt that some of the important steps towards community empowerment include:
- Demystification of information through constant update of information to the community
- Promoting transparency and developing a sense of right to information among the community
- Provision of technical skills and information