Environmental Change Through Community Empowerment

By:
Darren Flynn,
Amy Hubbard
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Community Development (CD) is recognised as an essential element of overseas development projects. Not only does it assist in enabling community members to understand how a specific project or policy decision will impact on livelihoods, it also provides them with the tools and techniques to input into decision-making processes. It involves the implementation of a range of techniques to assist the community to think strategically and participate in developing plans for the future This involvement can lead to greater ownership of project or policy outcomes and empowerment of community members. This report examines the role of GHD's Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) engaged on the Three Delta Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project (3DT) and their experiences implementing the project's Community Development (CD) program. The 3DT Project focuses on the provision of water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the towns of Bac Lieu, Ha Tien and Sa Dec, Vietnam. The project was implemented in 2001 by Australia’s Aid Program, AusAID and will be completed in late 2007.

While the 3DT Project primarily concentrates on infrastructure, the integrated Community Development aims to, “improve the overall welfare, living conditions and health of the communities by increasing their awareness of water, sanitation and health linkages, enhance gender equity and improving neighbourhood environments.” The report examines how the range of CD programs including the School Sanitation Programs; Information, Education and Communication Program; Bio Gas Credit Scheme; and Environmental Health and Micro Activities; have enhanced the project outcomes. This is due to local community members being provided with the skills, confidence and knowledge to interact with their environment in a more informed and sustainable manner.


Keywords: Community Development, Environmental Change, Information, Education, Communication, Sanitation
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Environmental Change through Community Empowerment


Darren Flynn

Community Infrastructure Engineer, GHD Pty Ltd
Viet Nam

I have been working as Australian Youth Ambassador on the Three Delta Towns Project in Vietnam, as a Community Infrastructure Engineer for 6 months. In this role I have facilitated linkages between Engineering and Community components of project, and thereby providing an interface between engineering and people, with the objective of enhancing overall project outcomes and sustainability. Previously I have worked as an Environmental Engineer at private and public organisations in Australia working on Environmental Impact Assessment, Management and auditing to ensure environmental compliance. Also working as a Tutor, Lecturer and Coordinator of Technology Assessment, which is a fifth year core engineering subject at The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). My interest in community development, environmental management and small scale sanitation projects has meant a focus on the developing world, particularly South-East Asia.

Amy Hubbard

Manager, Community Consultations, GHD Pty Ltd
Australia

I have been working as Australian Youth Ambassador on the Three Delta Towns Project in Vietnam, as a Community Infrastructure Engineer for 6 months. In this role I have facilitated linkages between Engineering and Community components of project, and thereby providing an interface between engineering and people, with the objective of enhancing overall project outcomes and sustainability. Previously I have worked as an Environmental Engineer at private and public organisations in Australia working on Environmental Impact Assessment, Management and auditing to ensure environmental compliance. Also working as a Tutor, Lecturer and Coordinator of Technology Assessment, which is a fifth year core engineering subject at The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). My interest in community development, environmental management and small scale sanitation projects has meant a focus on the developing world, particularly South-East Asia.

Ref: S06P0255