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Deep Democracy in NGOs
Deep Democracy by seeing the No as a source of wisdom rather than a threat opens up new possibilities. Through this it is able to create space where inner wisdom can surface and provide long lasting solutions to deeply embedded issues. Such an approach is particularly vital while working with marginalised people and the poor. By acknowledging their inner wisdom DD can be a significant way of empowering such people to become active participants. - Gomathy Balasbramanian Tata Institute of Social Sciences India
In society it can be hard to maintain stability and cooperation while juggling the multifaceted activities of a non-profit organisation. In the crucible of funding pressures, volunteer supervision, philosophical variances and regulatory compliance, even the most motivated players can lose heart and focus. Group dynamics are ironically harder to manage in NGO settings where the level of passion and idealism tends to be high.
Deep Democracy is especially effective in helping NGOs, their staff, trustees and volunteers to make genuinely collaborative decisions reflecting their shared interests and commitment. It provides toolkit, skills and methodology required for:
- Visioning and strategic planning
- Campaign co-design and implementation
- Improving decision making and efficiency
- Improving board-staff relationships
- Multi stakeholder Interventions and meetings
- Promoting and enabling cross cultural programs
- Empowering minority groups
- Working with youth and running youth-driven organizations
The following are some examples of where the method has been used within the non-profit sector:
- In SA the methodology was used to assist lay counsellors carry out a medical Anti-Retroviral Program. It was the task of the counsellors to help educate the patients on how to take the complicated regimen of medication, support them through the side effects and ensure sustainability on the medication. The success of the program rested heavily on the counsellors. Their training in Deep Democracy helped them cope with the challenges of their important task.
- In Kenya Deep Democracy was used by directors of an NGO tasked with peace keeping and preventing violence prior to the recent elections. The director a trained DD instructor and practitioner taught the method to community leaders and workers. Through using their skills in these rural communities there was limited conflict and it was noted that there were no fatalities in these regions. Whilst violence and fatalities occurred in other areas. Instead of tribal war these communities began peaceful trading with one another. Most acknowledged the Deep Democracy tools as being key to this successful outcome.
- In Canada the method was used as a means to empower and knit the community of a group First Nations people in Victoria island
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