During research for another class, I came across the Indian Alliance’s training programme. This programme is an important part of the partnership between local organisations as it aims to spark off social change. The part in the article that really stuck with me was what Sheela Patel had said about transformation: “transformation occurs within the boundaries of the people’s self-determined priorities and is driven by their own resources, initiatives and skills.” I thought this was really interesting. It seemed so simple but true to the basis of the training programme. There would not need to be an intensive participatory action plan just for the sake of gaining results and a more realistic outcome, but it was to really spark off a momentum for attaining social change within local communities and surrounding them to lead to transformative outcomes.
Before coming to study at the DPU, I had no idea that participation would be important in urban planning and/or development. I would like to see how the Baan Mankong Programme’s work has really enabled communities and individuals within them to participate not just for the sake of checking the right boxes, but to equip them in the right skills and knowledge to transform their spaces around them. It would be good to compare this programme to maybe the Indian Alliance’s efforts to find opportunities and challenges faced.