MADERA supports peace-building, is acting towards sustainable economic development, fights against inequalities and endeavours to accompany the renewal of an Afghan democratic society founded on justice, tolerance, and respect of human rights.
MADERA works in Afghanistan for the rehabilitation and the development of rural societies and economies. MADERA implements projects with rural populations to meet their basic needs and particularly those of the poorest.
Its action is turned towards:
- Preservation and sustainable development of livelihoods
- Preservation and sustainable development of local economies
- Agricultural and rural development which integrates diversity of needs (essential, social, economic or governance) on defined territories (villages, valleys)
- The reinforcement of capacity of Afghan civil society actors: this is supported through transfer of competencies, sharing of best practices, and strengthening the resilience of populations in situations of crisis or post crisis.
MADERA operates with political impartiality, without discrimination regarding gender, religion or ethnicity –and in the respect of the environment. It puts its technical skills at the service of the populations while respecting a humanist ethic. MADERA supports community initiatives or Afghan civil society initiatives which allow local actors to conduct and master the development of their own territories with an increasing autonomy. Its role is to support and guide communities, not to impose any external development. It coordinates naturally its actions with public authorities and other development actors. MADERA promotes a participatory approach and wishes to implement (with others partners) an approach towards sustainable development. MADERA works towards sustainable community development through giving means and tools to manage it on their own. This does manifest itself through an effort to claim ownership over projects, a reinforcement of technical capacities which are deemed necessary to ensure an autonomous functioning and a disengaging tactic from MADERA for each project through handing over to the locals. In order to do so, MADERA has a long-term commitment towards rural communities.
A few definitions
Some terms, widely used in the field of International Aid can be understood in different ways. The proposed definitions clarify what these words mean in the context of MADERA's actions.
Based on one suggested topic (participation of communities for instance), the approach can be linked with the concept or the theory whereas the process refers to operational methodology. In this example, the participatory approach designates and demonstrates our willingness to involve communities. A participatory process will present the methodology and actions undertaken to ensure the communities’ participation.
An approach of one agency (government, NGOs) which proposes a development project which puts in place several attitudes and techniques as a whole to encourage one community to take over its own development.
A value-chain approach aims at taking into account the environment of a same product (agricultural, husbandry, and others) all along the steps from production to commercialisation including transformation and valorisation. A value chain mobilises economic actors whose actions impact the structure in which society evolves.
Reinforcement of local capacities
Local capacity building aims to improve a partner in terms of individual skills, organizational functioning and components of the environment. Tools which support this strengthening can be: training (initial or professional), transfer of competencies, participatory involvement, knowledge-sharing, exchange of good practices and experiences.
Integrated participatory development
Development could be defined as the constant movement in which one population (linked with one territory and sharing a common culture) is conducting a collective project which aims at reaching a better well-being of ‘every single man and all men’. This project can be strengthened (or not) by programmes which are known as ‘development schemes’, often qualified as ‘sectorials’ and from exogenous origins. Conducting its own project by one local population implies that its development will be integrated: it means that it will address in an interactive manner all aspects of collective life (infrastructures, education, culture, health, production etc.) even if it is more convenient at one stage or another to collectively give opinions on priority actions. This way integrated development can only be participatory, with external actors respecting and facilitating expression and decision of all local actors which will help them to carry out the necessary monitoring and evaluation of all the successive steps which will help realise this collective project.
Sustainable development is a development which involves in all its phases (from evaluation of the needs to its preparation, from implementation to its evolution) a notion of sustainability.
In order to reach it, several steps it:
- Is based on current and/or future needs;
- Is part of a substantial economy which aims at not exploiting any resources (whether human, financial, environmental);
- Allows the renewal of used resources; Anticipates impact;
- Is based on the autonomy of developed systems (economic, human, environ-mental, financial);
- Aims at transmitting to future generations one ‘environment’ (in the larger sense: human, social, environmental, economical), at best enriched, a mini-mum preserved.
‘Sustainable development is a modality of development responding to the needs of the present without compromising the capacities of future generations to res-pond to theirs’. Brundtland Report
Agro ecology is an alternative for sustainable development and a phase of ecology which particularly emphasises interaction between Men and their environment. Its aims is to minimise negative effects of some human activities. The goal is to preserve the environment, and allow the sustainable regeneration of natural resources which are deemed necessary for more production (water, soil, and biodiversity) and saving non-renewable resources. Through reducing the use of chemical products until there is no use anymore: this tends to biological agriculture and contributes to improving health of farmers and consumers.
Agro ecological practices combine technical responses which conciliate productivity, low pressure on the environment and sustainable management of natural resources. Overall, this is a question of balance between men, their agricultural activities and nature. Agroecology is a sustainable agriculture which respects the environment, economically performant, which also carries out a form of human development linked with food security and health of the population. Agroecology is an effective answer to conciliate food security, preservation of agro systems and economic and social development.