Sociedade Aberta

The government of Mozambique has defined the Districts as the "Planning and Budgetary units." It therefore, allocated the District governments with a Local Investment Initiative Budget (OIIL). This is for funding income generation projects, employment and food production in line with the approved strategies and structures. It is meant to be the way to operationalise the strategy to make the District the "Centre of Development."

Since 2006 funds from the internal investment component have been allocated to projects decided on by the Districts with the participation of the local communities through the Local Councils (CL).

However, civil society organisations which work in the areas evaluate that these funds have had a small impact on the economic life and on the quality of life of the population in these districts.

Sociedade Aberta, an association of young students and new professionals with university degrees was founded in order to put the academic world at the service of local communities. It developed an action plan to build capacity in communities so that they be able to obtain more benefits from local economic opportunities. The aim is to enable people to be able to spot enterprise opportunities. The project is funded by TROCAIRE.

The approach used in the project is to work on enterprising responses in vulnerable communities, with a focus on young people and women. The project will support people to develop their capacities to be agents in the development process and to take advantage of local opportunities, rather than to simply be "beneficiaries". The programme is also using a rights based approach which seeks to promote greater social justice in marginalised groups. The methodology used will be participatory, involving the community in all the stages of the process.

After initial meetings to launch the project and to mobilise the participating communities, they will do a community diagnosis. This will include a household expenditure survey and an analysis of the local economic impact of local businesses. This participatory research will identify the socio-cultural profile of the community. The information produced by the diagnosis will provide a basis for tailored interventions based on the particular situation in each district. It will also be possible to identify economic initiatives that can later be transformed into proposals and submitted to the government for funding.

The process will lead to having community members who are more able to take advantage of the economic opportunities and to keep investments that enter their district within the district and to keep them circulating locally. Community members will be able to share the process with other members of their community without a dependency on external facilitators. They will have obtained a greater understanding of the OIIL and be engaged in local governance.

Sociedade Aberta      Sociedade Aberta

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