Sustainability via extended target groups

To be sustainable, development workers focus on extended target groups

During my two last months, as I worked with the Anoshe women’s group in Northern Ghana, something pricked my mind. I realized that while we tried to focus on the main group of women farmers, we had to open up to for their husbands, children and even other men from their communities.This was either to provide some information during interviews, for soil mapping in their communities, focus group discussions or even preparing field beds for our experimental plots.

Husband preparing seedbed

Everyone is involved and ready to contribute to the progress of their community. Then it dawned on me that “joint effort”, “involvement of everyone” or “unity” could make our project have a longer lasting impact within our focus communities.

Husband and wife in front of their sheep pen

I think that while it is important that we focus on specific groups, say women, girls or youths, development projects aiming at sustainability should engage every member of its target community. Even the children should not be left out as they can and should carry on with what is started today. Then as donors, NGOs, students or stake holders, come 20 years and more, we will still be seeing the fruit of our efforts of today.

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