Traditionally, indigenous Mayan communities, who are a majority in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, have been excluded from participating in the decision-making systems that shape their lives. Their voices have not been heard and their needs remain unmet.
In a continued effort to voice communities’ most urgent needs, USAID and CRS´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project has recently concluded the first phase of the transfer for sustained use of Community Development Plan (CDP) methodology and tools with 125 delegates from the Presidential Planning and Programming Secretariat (SEGEPLAN) and the National Association of Municipalities of Guatemala (ANAM).
As part of the first phase of the methodological transfer, CLD held events with representatives from SEGEPLAN and ANAM to present the methodology and share the 203 CDPs that CLD developed jointly with communities. From July through September 2021, CLD trained 125 officials from departmental delegations, members of Municipal Planning Offices, and other actors that coordinate with SEGEPLAN in development projects in the coverage area.
The transfer of the methodology and tools used in community-led planning and design of projects through the CDPs links efforts between communities, local government, and local and national alliances, building on shared value initiatives with the private sector, ongoing efforts, and prioritized needs of communities.
“The Community Development Plan (CDP) methodology allows scaling of community planning. Planning at the community level is important because it is there where all the actions must start, with the identification and attention of their main needs. This brings development to the community level; it is where planning for development should begin.”. – Rudy Garcia, SEGEPLAN delegate in San Marcos, during the closing event.
CLD is motivating key government entities to implement the CDP methodology in additional communities to identify and voice their needs to mobilize resources for community development projects prioritized in their CDPs and make connections with local actors that can support communities to respond to these needs.
“The knowledge must be shared; this methodology provides practical tools to identify and voice the community’s needs. We need to reach more communities and present these valuable tools. – Lidia Ordoñez, Municipal Planning Committee from the municipality of Santa María Chiquimula, Totonicapán, during the closing event.