|The Village Development Partnership (VDP)
The Village Development Partnership (VDP)
is an integrated rural development project model being applied by the
Population and Community Development Association (PDA), one of Thailand’s
most established and well-known NGO’s. By combining PDA’s diverse developmental
expertise and extensive rural network with the financial and human resources
of a sponsoring partner (particularly companies, although individuals
and organizations can also be effective), the VDP provides a structured
approach towards sustainable poverty alleviation.
The VDP addresses issues in the five development
areas of: social development, economic development, environment,
health, and education. By placing initial emphasis
on social and economic development however, a foundation is created from
which further development can be sustained. Community empowerment, in
the form of an elected, gender balanced Village Development Committee,
ensures that the community understands, manages, and leads its own development.
Business skills training and access to micro-credit (through the Village
Development Bank) provides villagers with the opportunity to start or
expand income-generating activities; loan repayments then go towards increasing
the available pool of credit and funding further development activities.
Once a suitable village and sponsoring
partner are selected, PDA guides the village through the start of the
VDP process with 7 steps in Phase I: Institutional Development
1. Building a common understanding
2. Forming the Village Development Committee
3. Training the VDC
4. Community Needs Assessment (CNA) and
5. Eye-opener Trip
6. Finalizing Development Plan
7. Submitting Development Plan
The output from these steps is a clearly articulated idea of the future
village the community would like to have, prioritized goals and activities,
and an implementation plan which breaks down the steps and resources necessary
to achieving the desired village. Implementation begins in Phase II.
There are 5 steps in Phase II: Implementation of Development
1. Tree Planting and Establishment of Village
2. Barefoot MBA
3. Barefoot MPH
4. School Lunch Farm
5. Water for Health and Wealth
6. Other Activities
Phase III: Monitoring and Evaluation: Throughout the VDP, PDA staff regularly visit the village to discuss issues
with the various committees and councils, provide advice, and request
updates on activities. PDA’s Research and Evaluation Division (RED) staff
will be engaged in program evaluation and impact assessment.
Through the VDP, rural communities develop
the knowledge, skills, and capacity to analyze and respond to their needs.
Once a community has become experienced with the social and economic institutions
of the Village Development Committee and Village Development Bank, it
possesses the tools and funds necessary to sustain its own future development
out of poverty and low quality of life.