'العربية / al-ʿarabīyah
Balancing Internal and External Sources
by Phil Bartle, PhD
How much help can come from outside the community before that community becomes dependent on outside help, and therefore loses its self reliance?
As a mobilizer, you will find that it is difficult to find balance between resources that originate outside the community, and those from within.
You and the community executive will be under considerable pressure to bring outside resources into the community.
Donor agencies want to help, while community members want to receive.
You know, however, that bringing in outside resources contributes to the dependency syndrome and reduces the chances of sustainability and self reliance.
Yet there are ways to maximize the strengthening ability of using outside resources as illustrated by the story of Mohammed and the rope. (See Telling Stories).
If you can convince an outside donor to provide some costs of skill training, management training, and mobilization, and assist the community in obtaining most of its own construction resources, you can contribute to self reliance and sustainability.
If the Prophet, peace be upon him, had merely given food to the beggar, he would have been training the beggar to be a beggar; by giving him some advice and capital instead, he assisted the beggar to become self reliant.
This website does help you in obtaining outside resources, as in Proposals, which guides you in preparing effective proposals.
Like any powerful tool (eg fire), these skills can be misused, and may contribute to poverty in the long run.
Use them well, and for the correct ends.
© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle