ODP’s role in the development process is that of a catalyst, who will animate and motivate people to :
- Analyze their situation.
- Discover their capabilities and potential.
- Identify root problems which are detrimental to their growth and development.
- Unite and join together to collectively discuss and solve problems and issues.
- Make their own rational decisions which are suited to the local situation and act accordingly for a better civil society – “So as to live in dignity – with love, peace and justice”.
Over the last 25 years there has been a lot of reflection about the response to social development and different development approaches have been tried out, i.e. –
- The Relief and Welfare Approach.
- The Change Structure Approach.
- The Self – Help Approach
- The People’s Movement Approach.
In the beginning ODP’s development approach was more Charity oriented – through food aid programs – which made people dependant and did not develop their self esteem and self confidence.
On analysis it was found that this approach was not suited to a real and holistic development of the poor. After much critical thinking the approach was changed to a Welfare approach – with a focus to address people’s individual / collective needs.
However again it was found that this approach did not involve people in development work and also did not enable people to address grass root level problems and poverty symptoms which are detrimental to their growth.
Hence there was again a shift in our philosophy and approach – to a more People Oriented approach – with emphasis on working WITH the poor and not FOR them.