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by Phil Bartle, PhD

Discussion Handout

What Kind of a Report will Contribute to Sustaining the Mobilisation Intervention?

Leaving Usable Records

At the beginning of mobiliser training, we recommended that you start a journal, and to do so with your successor in mind. See Getting Prepared.

When it gets to be close to the time that you mist leave, that journal, if you added to it daily, can become a major resource in sustaining the intervention after you leave.

If you wish the mobilization intervention to continue, you have several choices in front of you. If you have identified community members able to mobilise, and provided them with needed encouragement and training, for example, they would be the best choice. It differs from community to community. If your organization or department intends to provide a replacement for you, then you are in a good position to help with the orientation and preparation of the new mobiliser. It differs from agency to agency.

If you have good, or at least comprehensive, notes in your journal, then you have a further choice. You may wish to take your journal with you, in which case you need to extract information out of it, or them, to prepare handing over reports to your successor. You may wish to simply hand over the journals, but be very careful with this choice. The journals may have confidential information in them, hidden away in the details, which may be harmful or dysfunctional if they become public. This is even more a dangerous possibility if you want to leave handing over notes to a successor who is a community member.

Much of this module is devoted to writing reports, good reports, and reports that will be read and used. Use the same guidelines for writing a handing over report. Its structure and outline might be quite different from other reports, but the other advice remains: keep it simple, use simple grammar and vocabulary, use the active voice, do not repeat yourself, avoid long and convoluted sentences, have a clear introduction and conclusion (summary), keep it organized, and make sure it is easily readable. Do not be afraid to rewrite; each time you do the report gets better. If it is not read, it is useless and a waste of time.

This task is on the cusp between a record and a report. Remember how you want it to be used, and avoid letting it be used for negative purposes.

Now you have to find a way to ensure it will be received and used by your successor.

If you leave, and your agency will take a few months before it sends your replacement, then you need to set up a means by which your successor will get your report. This might not be done automatically by all agencies, so find out if it is. Prepare a sealed package if necessary. A copy of your report might be needed for your supervisor, manager or co-ordinator and, if so, be sure it is copied so the one intended for your successor will not be used that way.

If you choose to ask a community member to continue your mobilisation, you need to meet a few times with that person. Ensure the person agrees and understands what it entails. At least a few months before you go, ask the selected person to accompany you to all community meetings, rallies, meetings with leaders, meetings with the project committee, and meetings with local or district authorities, to get a good picture of what you do as an animator. Set up one or two one-on-one meetings with that person to go through a list of what you do. Work from a written Do List (job description). Discuss any items on the list that the person may feel hesitant about. Finally, go through your handing over report with that person and give that person a copy.

To summarize, the hand over report is an important document that contributes to the sustaining of the mobilisation intervention. Most of the guidelines of this module apply. It may be a bit longer and detailed, and that is a function of how long you have worked with the community before leaving. Base it on your journal notes, and rewrite it as often as you can to make sure it is read, and that it guides your replacement in continuing the community mobilisation.


© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2012.09.12

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