What happens when international development is put into the hands of the poor? Let’s talk about it!
Spark Voice is a global citizen media platform for isolated Rwandan communities to report stories of how they are taking control of their own development. This project is a part of Spark MicroGrants (www.sparkmicrogrants.org), which was established to show that poor, rural communities could accomplish a great deal if given some organizational support and responsibility to decide how to spend a small grant.
Spark Voice will initially work with 2 local facilitators, providing them training, support, netbooks and video cameras. They will in turn engage with 3 Rwandan communities to create the reports, photos and videos to be posted on our new citizen media platform we are launching.
Spark Voice seeks to give voice to groups of people who are normally ignored in the development discussion, but who are actively working toward or have ideas around how to solve issues they experience first-hand. All too often, the development conversation is a one-way conversation--from the foreign ‘experts’ to the people. It is time for dialog.
We expect Spark Voice to empower communities to persevere and become key active participants in the community development conversation. At the same time, it will increase the global community’s awareness of the capacity of people who experience poverty first-hand to successfully design, propose and implement development projects. The combination of both of those outcomes will, little by little, start to shift the approach to development from an expert-driven to a community-driven focus.