Rural roads need to be functional ... they do not need to be built to main road standards,
but should be passable in the rainy season.
This child in Eastern Sudan is severely malnourished. In good times this is a harsh
environment, but with conflict the situation is made dramatically worse.
|Images like this don't belong in the 21st century ... anywhere!|
This is a chronic failure of global leadership,
of governance, and the prevailing economic
|SOCIETY SHOULD BENEFIT FROM THE
EXPERIENCE OF HISTORY. |
SOCIETY SHOULD BENEFIT FROM THE
EXPERIENCE EVERYONE HAS.
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HELP MAKE TR-AC-NET A CATALYST FOR
USING KNOWLEDGE TO IMPROVE SOCIETY AND
THE WAY RESOURCES ARE USED.
Economics of the Village
The economics of a village are relatively easy
to understand based on the actual facts about
a specific community. The short slide set shows
how the status of the village changes based on
external interventions. The origin of this
presentation goes back to the 1980s. It was used
in this form in 2006:
PDF slideshow about Economics of the Village (Version of December 2006)
Database about community
Tr-Ac-Net has started to build a community database so that relief and development performance
at the community level can be measured and tracked. Local people ... the residents of the
community ... serve as the key stakeholders in this information and can see, or not see, the
impact of initiatives that ought to be having impact at the community level.
The database is emerging slowly ... the conceptual framework exists ... and some preliminary
datasets are being compiled. More will come as fast as possible. Stay tuned and watch the
database section of the website.
It has become more and more apparent that society at the community level has been
marginalized by the world's leadership and decision makers, in part because the spreadsheet
metrics of the financial and corporate community and GAAP accountancy only considers money
value as being of any worth.
While this is patently absurd to any thinking human being, it has been in the mainstream
of business school education for many decades, to the exclusion of all metrics that relate to
society and the quality of life.
Tr-Ac-Net's response to this situation has been the development of Community
Accountancy ... a system based on the underlying concepts of accountancy but
embracing not only money expended and money income, but also value consumed and value created.
This system makes it possible to look at development performance in a rigorous way ... relating
money expended with the net value created.
Every analysis that is done using the money dimensions, can also be done using the
value dimensions. The end result of this will be start holding to account those enterprises that
make money profits at the expense of society.
It is not going to be comfortable ... but it is important that it is done.
CCSD ... Community Centric Sustainable Development ... has been the focus of Tr-Ac-Net's
thinking about development since the 1980s. Already, it was becoming clear that the
focus on country, the government, the big implementing organizations and big projects
was failing to achieve what was widely understood to be the underlying goal of
relief and development expenditues ... that is, improving the lives of ordinary people
where they live and go about their lives.
It has long been said that "all politics is local". But it is
even more so that "all life is local".
Experience shows that community progress is constained in many ways, but that many of the
constraints can be avoided with modest assistance. A focus on community can help get resources to
where they can do the most good. Focus on a project or an organization has the danger that the
community value may not be realized.
Some communities are already operating at a level that is limited by the natural circumstances.
Constraints cannot easily be mitigated. These communities have a development challenge that
requires a lot of thoughtful consideration. Other communities are operating well below what would
be possible with modest assistance. By thinking about development at the community level, interventions
can be optimised for the circumstances of the community and the relief and development results
can be optimised.
With community priorities used as the driver of development initiatives, it should be possible to
create a lot more durable value from the use of scarce relief and development resources.
Tr-Ac-Net is approaching the challenge of making CCSD mainstream by addressing the information
dimension of relief and development. Relief and development metrics at the community
level can be very clear. Resources used in a community give tangible results and the
enduring value can be seen.
While there is a lot of data associated with relief and development ... the World Bank
and the UN are among the largest creators of written reports in the world ... but
rather little of this can be used in a "management" mode and little has a recognisable
Big money discussed at conferences that is either never disbursed ... or disbursed in ways that
result in little or nothing at the community level can eventually be challenged.
New money that is remitted directly from well wishing donors to beneficiaries that can be
identified in the community are inherently transparent, the accounting and accountability is
simple and clear, the monitoring and evaluation is meaningful and recognisable ... and donors
can see results, and understand better the constraints at the community level that people have
to live with.
Community up strategies
There has been a failure of top down strategy, and this has given rise to an enthusiasm about
community up strategies. Community up strategies on their own are no more likely to be successful
than top down strategies on their own are going to be successful.
The advantage of the community level strategy is that it is far less likely to be highjacked by
powerful intermediaries ... but community level strategies on their own have little chance of being
adequately productive to be in a position to be globally competitive. Keeping things simple
is fine ... but not by eliminating the details that are important for the analysis.
The Tr-Ac-Net strategy of using community data to help understand the performance of the
community, and then to understand the potentials of the community and the constraints has the
potential to make community up work ... and for the community to benefit from some of the
potential arising from valuable top down initiatives.