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Re: SPECIAL vol.7 Attending the Sanriku Region “Machizukuri” Symposium
by el joma - Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 10:57 AM


Hello to all. smile.

Reading Mr. Teratani's reflections above made me recall some insights I gained during my involvement in some government-led development projects back in my home country (The Philippines). Using ODA monies, income-generating projects for the poorest families were to be initiated at the community-level. Inevitably the question of ownership/stake by the beneficiaries of the project became a central issue of sustainability and long-term impact, as Mr. Teratani highlights in the case above.

But then other equally compelling views came into the discussion -- and these are what I would like to share with the VfF team.

In the Philippine case where the poorest communities may be unorganized (as the primary concern of the residents is just day-to-day survival) -- and thus may not have a mechanism, an organization through which their Machizukuri may find its voice -- should development funding be then withheld until they are ready to "lead" its implementation? In other words, which is the greater goal: guaranteeing sustainability or getting food on the table?

I find myself asking then -- on the Iwate case as narrated by Mr. Teratani -- were the grassroot community organizations at the community level through which their Machizukuri could find expression still intact after the destruction wrought by the tsunami? By intact I mean, did the core officers luckily escape with their lives? In those areas where the tsunami erased even community organizations by taking with it its members, then which now is the higher value: still Machizukuri/citizen-led reconstruction or just getting the reconstruction started as fast as possible in any form (i.e.Machizukuri/citizen-involved) ?