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Mobilising communities: mindset change, and unpacking Community-Led Development

18 February 2021

After the successful sessions on Community-Led Development and Human-Centered Design last year, which were organised in collaboration with Butterfly Works, The Hunger Project and The Movement for Community-Led Development, the first session of 2021 was organised on the 11th of February. In this session, which focused on tools and methodology, The Hunger Project presented a training tool that it has developed called Vision, Commitment and Action which deals with the mindset of change. The Movement for Community-Led Development presented “Unpacking CLD” and how they use the elements found for an assessment and evaluation tool.


Evelijne Bruning of The Hunger Project gave a warm welcome to all participants. This year we will offer six sessions in total and Evelijne invited any person or organisation to either host one of these sessions, or present a tool or share experience in the light of Community-Led Development. The proposed topics of the next five sessions are:

  • Session #2: Ways of working – Cocreation & collaboration
  • Session #3: Cross-sector / Public-private collaboration
  • Session #4: Testing tools like Exploration lab or Butterfly Works Toolbox
  • Session #5: Shift the Power in strategic partnerships with MoFA
  • Session #6: What obstacles are in our way and what can we jointly do to overcome them?

Please find the Powerpoint Presentation of the opening here.

During the first part of this session participants were invited by Miet Chielens to explore the concept of resistance to change in general and leadership mindset change more specifically. In groups of four, participants shared their views on resistance to change and  leadership mindset. What are the conditions for change in a community or on a personal level? Or in other words, how to get from I can’t to we can. Have the courage to try! Check her presentation here.

Subsequently, Irene Naikaali presented the VCA tool which stands for Vission, Commitment, and Action which is a mind set-shifting tool. The tool is designed to enable participants to realise that they too can be heard and can be in charge of transforming their life. It can be used in a workshop setting or a community setting. The VCA methodology was originally developed and tested in Bangladesh and has been used worldwide. In order to facilitate the tool, two versions of a manual were developed, a short online interactive VCA manual, and full VCA manual.

The manual includes the following elements:

  1. Change your mindset
  2. What are VCA (Vision, Commitment, and Action)
  3. How to make a VCA workshop successful?
  4. Types of sessions in a typical workshop
  5. Inspiration: best practices

The participants were not only blown away by the enthusiasm of the presentation by Irene but certainly inspired to further explore the tool. Please find the Powerpoint Presentation here.

The second presentation was offered by Gunjan Veda from The Movement for Community-Led Development, and focused on unpacking CLD, what are the concepts underneath, and how do you rate specific elements of CLD and their interconnectedness. This presentation is the result of a research done on CLD with the question in mind; what happens when CLD as a method is implemented and how do you measure it. And secondly, what is the evidence of the success of the method.

The main question asked was, what is the process of human change that CLD triggers? And how can you document this. A community of practitioners and academics was formed and research was done on this question. They concluded that there are eleven characteristics which were distilled into nine dimensions. Based on this a report was written which is open for comments until the end of February after which a final version will be drafted. Have a look at the report.

Two tools emerged from this research; the CLD assessment tool – Practicing CLD and the Quality Appraisal tool for Evaluations. Please find the Powerpoint Presentation with the eleven characteristics and nine dimensions here.