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Notes from STEPS

February 5, 2012

Thanks to Susan Klein-Rothschild for taking these notes at the Symposium to End Poverty Sustainably at UC Santa Barbara on January 28.

Session: Rotary Future Vision
The presentation focused on three things:
1.  Our district approach for development
2. The Rotary Foundation and the radical restructuring of the grant-making process
3.  How an NGO works with Rotary

  • There are projects that give things and projects that empower people. Giving things is good for a readily identified problem that has a concrete solution. But giving things does not usually offer ongoing solutions.
  • Projects that empower are the pathway to eliminate poverty. Empowerment projects are typically education and micro finance. Societal change occurs through education. For example, the percentage of girls graduating from high school will reach a tipping point and the society will change.
  • Empowering projects measure things.  They are the pathway to sustainable change.  Projects that give things alleviate the immediate needs.

The new development model:
1.  Identify a community that is ready for change.
2. Obtain an understanding of the community (community leadership structure, including a community contact).
3. Assess the community’s needs and agree on goals.
4.  Focus on preferred project areas: education, micro credit, water and sanitation, health
5. Commit to the target community. Be clear about your club’s commitment, get a resolution from your Rotary Club to back you up.

You can continue reading notes from the symposium by clicking below.

  • Historically, accountability has been a weak point of projects. Rotary Clubs will need to sign a memorandum of understanding In the future. Accounting will be a huge issue.
  • What’s sustainable? If you have to buy something for your project five years from now,  it is not a sustainable project.
  • Communities that participate in projects must have the expectation that recipients will give back and contribute for the future. Keep a database of names and where recipients are now.
  • Sustainability and accountability dovetail together.

The Future Vision funding model will be in effect in District 5240 on July 1, 2013.

  • Starting next year there will be detailed seminars on this new model.
  • There will be no ambassadorial scholarships.
  • The District designated funds results in District grants. There will be more in the pot and more competition for these grants.
  • The global grants are a second funding source. Global grants will be within six areas: peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education, and economic and community development. Global grants will be much bigger. They will be longer term and require Rotarian participation. They will require sustainability. Multiple clubs will be involved in these larger projects.
  • Rotary will have to develop some technical sophistication. We will have to start working with non-Rotarian organizations.
  • Ventura East Rotary has been working collaboratively with CoCare, an NGO. This organization has morphed into a grant-making organization. They have a collaboration with Rotary Foundation, CoCare, and the local Rotary club. They are expanding in new communities and would welcome other Rotary clubs.

Session: Peace and conflict resolution.

  • Itonde Kakoma works at the Carter Center in the conflict resolution program in Sudan and South Sudan. We see a country which is at odds with itself.
  • Divisions in Sudan are ethnic ( Black African and Arab) and religious (christian and muslim). Those are false categories.
    Neither the peace agreement or the independence of the south brought about peace. There have been heightened levels of conflict and humanitarian efforts have been put at risk.  The root cause is not fully understood. Some is related to vengence.  You are never quite sure what started the conflict. It could go back to things may years prior.
  • The right to self determination is a key component.
  • There is a comprehensive peace agreement – allegedly. Who is and is not a part of the peace agreement?
  • There is a new country with South Sudan
  • Significant portions of the divisive issues remain unresolved such as citizenship, border delineation and oil sharing.
  • There are three geographic areas that are not included in the peace agreement (not including Darfur)and are in complete limbo.
  • What Itonde Kakoma and the Carter Center are doing: Assist in creating a more conducive environment for treatment to eradicate the guinea virus; Engage all relevant actors in the conflict; develop relationships; brief government officials; train people for conflict resolution
  • The Carter Center works on the basis of invitation. Funding comes for a variety of source including US Aid.
  • The president of Sudan has stated that if South Sudan support rebels (including Darfur) , military action is a possibility.
  • In Liberia, the Carter Center works at training to support access to justice.
  • In Rwanda education was a key component of building sustainable peace. Infrastructure is important, it’s an emphasis on fundamental needs.
  • Trauma and memory can hinder other work.
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