I missed out the pre field trip posts. Like a local authority who is always busy with other issues who do not have time for his/her main responsibilities! It happens so often!
We are here in Thailand and it is a while that we are just talking about CODI, bang Mankong and related stuff. For me the most interesting thing has been the link between CODI and the government. With my back ground of working with NGOs I have always believed that NGOs no matter how ambitious they could be, find it quit hard to scale up their projects. They spend most of their limited resources just to attract people and convince them to participate and this process consumes most of their time, energy and budget that by the time they have the community ready they have no more resources to implement what they wanted to from the very beginning. Convincing and negotiating with the government and the local authorities is another story that sometimes swallow all your motivation when you want an approval. But CODI is a part of the government sector. It is acting like an NGO but it is not one and it is quite interesting to see how a government sector can act as a facilitator within the society and build trust. Strategically they do not spend their resources until the community is united in a way so it is like a new role has been defined for the government. It is possible to be critical with the process but still there is no doubt that there has been a willingness within the government ( for a reason for sure!) to be flexible with the idea at first place.