How does a community development project become sustainable?

Global Development Group project J443 with Metamorphic in Laos show how this can be achieved by building a sustainable business alongside the community development taking place.

In Vientiane this week to monitor the project, Global Development Group project officer Craig Tunney joined up with Martin Press, field officer for GDG partner ‘Metamorphic’, diving into two days of intensive follow-up with 27 community developers. “Our process was individual interviews to assess the trainees’ community and business plans. The community leaders each had a focus issue and their own business plan to sustain the effort. Our role was to give feedback, especially on their business plans and budgets. These social entrepreneurs are making transformational change with sustainability built in from the beginning,” Craig said.

Laos’ infrastructure, health and community services are very limited and underdeveloped. Approximately 41% of the population is under 14 years of age, so creating employment opportunities is essential for the nation’s future.

Project J443 aims to relieve poverty and empower local communities to improve their lifestyle, education and future by creating social entrepreneurs. This is being achieved by the training and equipping of local leaders with the skills, knowledge and resources to instigate change/development in their communities at a grass-roots level, adding value to their local region and developing commercial interests simultaneously.