According to a February 2012 report by HAF Project and Training Manager Abderrahim Ouarghidi, a series of Participatory Planning meetings has been completed in 19 separate villages and attended by a total of 800 villagers. The objective of these meetings is always to identify their needs, define projects that can best serve these needs, and then prioritize these projects to determine how best to accomplish them (and in what order).
Over time, and after completing the multiple planning processes of mapping and discussing, it became clear that a small health center with a nurse is long overdue to serve this region of 10,000 inhabitants. They all felt that this would almost immediately improve the women’s health and that of their children by providing much-needed medical advice and follow-up care.
As a result of these meetings and processes, community members gained a heightened understanding of the direct links between waterborne illnesses, unclean drinking water and their health. This line of discussion brought out a pronounced recognition of their need for clean drinking water for better health — and irrigation systems that will ensure available water for the survival of their plants during drier periods.
In this region, the natural floodings caused by spring thaw and heavy rains most years (and the resulting erosion) threaten the local terrain, and water levels often drop too low in reservoirs used for irrigation.
Once again, an attempt to identify a solution to one problem revealed other, equally important problems that need solutions as well, so that in order to succeed, the final plan needs to incorporate them all.
NOTE: The attached document "Participatory Planning Mapping Diagrams" contains photos of the visual diagrams (which, as you can see, are very effective — and visual — assessment and analysis tools) made during the participatory planning meeting “mapping” exercises.
[Please disregard the camera-generated dates; they are wrong.]
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc),