BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE, KOFORIDUA
|Some of the participants at the training|
A five-day training course in indigenous knowledge for the development of communities has begun in Koforidua, the Eastern regional capital of Ghana.
It is being organised by the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD), in collaboration with the Institute for Development Studies of the University of Cape Coast with support from WaterAid, Ghana and AustralianAid.
The training, which began Monday, March 11 and will end Friday, March 15, 2013, is under the theme “Local and Indigenous knowledge for water, sanitation and hygiene” and aims at introducing the concept of endogenous development, an approach to social and economic justice that “starts from within” and ensures initiatives are truly community-driven and based on their strengths that contribute to their own socio-cultural, economic and political development.
According to the course coordinator and Director of CIKOD, Mr. Bernard Guri, the 25 participants benefitting from the training, comprise heads of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes, directors and senior staff in community-based organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations and local government departments looking to ensure that their programming is respectful of, and benefits from local and indigenous knowledge.
While facilitation of the course will be done jointly by CIKOD and WaterAid Ghana partners with experience in piloting the community organisational development approach in their WASH programmes, the course content will be complimented by special guests - Professor Irene Korkoi Odotei, Institute of African Studies, Director, Institute for Research, Advocacy and Training and President, Historical Society of Ghana; Dr. Afia Zakiya, Country Representative of WaterAid Ghana and Dr. H. S. Daannaa, Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs among others, who are all playing leading roles in articulating the concept and practice of endogenous development.
The organisers of the course say its key objectives include strengthening competencies to analyse how different world views influence development and social change, gaining a critical appreciation for local and indigenous knowledge and strength based approaches, learning innovative strategies for including local and indigenous knowledge in development practice and building skills for integrating local and indigenous in one’s own practice.