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30 Dec 2015 | Himalica

Developing Community-led Micro-plans for Improving Livelihoods and Climate Change Adaptation

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As a strategy for ensuring the sustainability of Himalica pilot interventions on livelihood improvement and climate change adaptation, Himalica supported the implementing partner organizations – the Environment Conservation and Development Forum in Nepal, Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development, Bandarban Hill District Council in Bangladesh, and Bhutan Ministry of Agriculture and Forests – to develop community-led micro-plans in their respective pilot sites. A total of 25 community-led micro-plans were developed in the pilot villages in Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. Local authorities – townships in Myanmar, village development committees in Nepal, union parishads in Bangladesh, and geogs in Bhutan – were brought on board to facilitate the micro-planning process, which keeps communities at the centre of decision making.

The process began with an orientation on micro-planning; climate change adaptation and its impact on local livelihoods and the environment; the use of different participatory rural appraisal tools and group exercises to understand the community situation; problem identification; and prioritization and planning with community visioning exercises. The community members were then engaged in detailed activity planning, focusing on problems identified during the planning exercises. The Himalica team helped communities to refine their plans before sharing them with the local authorities. Communities were then encouraged to share their micro-plans with local agencies and explore options for support and cooperation for their implementation. It is hoped that the micro-planning process will influence a shift in the local planning approach from a system in which the people participate in officially-led programmes towards one in which external agencies facilitate community-led initiatives.

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