Welcome to this April 2015 issue of Winds & Waves, the online magazine of ICA International, entitled ‘Lessons from the Village’.
ICA is perhaps most widely known today for its group facilitation methodology the Technology of Participation (ToP). This proven approach is applied by many hundreds if not thousands of professional facilitators around the world, to help groups to connect, learn and collaborate together in a wide variety of contexts. The International Association of Facilitators was founded in 1994 by some seventy such ToP facilitators, and many ICAs around the world today provide professional facilitation, training and consulting services to clients on a social enterprise basis, specialising in the ToP approach. ICAI members ICA USA and ICA Associates and the ToP Network are proud to sponsor this year’s upcoming IAF North America conference in Banff, Canada, from May 14-16. But what has all this got to do with Lessons from the Village?
The methods and tools of the Technology of Participation have been developed and refined by ICA in over 50 years of experience working in grassroots rural community development, in villages around the world. Most if not all ICAs continue to apply this approach to empower poor and marginalised people to participate meaningfully in bringing about positive change for themselves, for their communities and for the world, even as these ICAs work with other approaches and in other contexts as well. There is more to the Technology of Participation than the methods and tools, and there is more to ICA than ToP, but it might be fair to say that ToP is among the most enduring of the Lessons from the Village that ICA has learned in its first half century.
This issue begins with a series of stories (pages 4-15) of ICA colleagues revisiting today the Indian villages in which they were involved in ICA’s pioneering of the ToP approach in the rural Human Development Projects of the 1970s and 1980s. I began my own journey with ICA (and as a facilitator) as a fresh-faced international volunteer in one of these very villages in 1986, so I share a few of my own archive photos of Jawale here as well. Emerging lessons from these stories include the impact of urbanisation, the importance of connecting communities with local authorities, and the importance of values and methods to inspire, mobilise and empower volunteers.
Also in this issue you will find stories of peer-to-peer collaboration between ICAs today, including a youth media project involving students in Nepal and the USA (page 16); an online event on cross-border peace-building of ICA Ukraine with ICA Taiwan (page 23); and lessons learned by Global Facilitators Serving Communities on the role that ToP facilitation can play in supporting the recovery process and resilience of communities affected by disaster (page 20).
As our colleagues of ICA Nepal now respond to the impact of April’s devastating earthquake, in Kathmandu and in rural areas, we encouarge you to show your support by responding to the appeal that they have launched – for details in ‘News Briefs’ and also ICA Nepal on Facebook. Many more of ICA’s own Lessons from the Village can be found in the 2012 book of ICA Nepal ‘Changing Lives Changing Societies,’ published in conjunction with the 8th ICA Global Conference on Human Development hosted by ICA Nepal in Kathmandu.
This 11th issue of Winds and Waves is the last to be co-edited and laid out by John Miesen of ICA Australia, after some 30 years involvement in ICA publications in Australia and internationally. On behalf of the Board and ICAI as a whole, I thank John wholeheartedly for his years of service, and in particular for his central role in establishing Winds and Waves as ICAI’s flagship publication and a key tool of our peer-to-peer approach to facilitaing mutual support, learning and collaboration among ICAs.
The ICAI Board will meet face-to-face in Tanzania in May, prior to a regional gathering of East & Southern African ICAs. We plan to meet virtually during that time with the ICAI global communications team, to plan for the continuity and development of this magazine and our communications more generally, in the light of the new ICAI website and blog that is now in development in WordPress.
Please do contribute your own stories of advancing human development around the world to the next issue of Winds and Waves in August.
Please also get in touch if you may be interested in joining the team, to support with commissioning, reporting, editing, layout and design, social media, or in any other way.
Enjoy this issue – Winds & Waves, April 2015.
• Return to Maliwada
By William L. Bingham
• Journey back to Jawale
By Jeroen Geradts and Rokus Harder
• Learning from Yolanda
By Mark Pixley
•Saving time through virtual meetings
By Khrystyna Yablonska
• New app for online conversations
By Rob Work
• Why I Write
By Hila Gharzai
• My Prayer
Deborah Ruiz Wall
• Promoting peace across the borders
By Svitlana Salamatova, Ana Nikolov
• Internship that changed my life
By Jessie Ho
• The Great March for Climate Action
By David Zahrt
• Shoot, share and study
By Loren Weybright, Steve Harrington
ICA News Briefs
• News Briefs
This post was first published in Winds and Waves, April 2015.