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Promoting the autonomy and responsibility of the collectives

The ’Récasé’ project (Rwanda) empowers farmers’ organisations to become agents of social change and development in their area. That’s the aim of Duhamic-Adri and Adenya, the two organisations running the project : to promote autonomy and responsibility within.

To achieve this, the ’Récasé’ project has helped set up Concerted Collective Actions. Relying on a consultation with various local agents, these actions meant farmers’ organisations could be entrusted with the management and execution of collective workcamps in order to solve a local issue. Housing and hygiene being identified as the issues, workcamps were set up to build proper toilets and to renovate houses.

The purpose of empowerment is clear in the selection of the beneficiaries : despite the methodological and financial support, the Recasé project did not impose any criteria. The only guideline for selecting beneficiaries was to mix organisation members and non-members (in a 80/20 ratio).
To select the beneficiaries, the members of the organisations consulted each other. Because they are neighbours and live in the same area, they know the general situation very well. Also, as the budget was limited, members of the grassroots organisations (OCB) had to make decisions and prioritise beneficiaries.

There are many advantages to this method :
🡺 Members of the grassroots organisations are in the best position to identify priority beneficiaries as they know each individual situation.
🡺 Both members of the grassroots organisations and beneficiaries are part of the action. This means they are more involved, and ultimately they participate in the collective decision-making process within their organisation.
🡺 Consultation can help avoid conflict or jealousy.
🡺 In order to identify non-member beneficiaries, the organisations had to work closely with the authorities, thus promoting better relations.

This specific example from our field experience shows what the ’Récasé’ project is all about : giving a lot of responsibility to community organisations in order to create autonomy.