A Tree and its Branches... The Eye of a Storm Reflecting Nature in Project Design and Implementation

"Development work all over the world is plagued by two main challenges, that of ensuring the sustainability of a project beyond the funding life span, and transferring ownership of a project from the implementing agency to the communities with whom the project is being carried out. While working in the area of peace building in Zimbabwe, the Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation (CCMT) has struggled with these same challenges. This paper describes the reflection and thinking that resulted in the organisation developing a new approach to its project design and implementation in response to the challenges of sustainability and ownership. This new approach saw CCMT offering conflict intervention services to communities and implementing community conflict interventions only in response to community requests. The learning that emerged from the work inspired CCMT to reflect not only on the organisation’s own work but on project design and implementation for development work in general. The description of this approach, which CCMT has named ‘The Eye’, may seem rather idyllic, this is due to the fact that the paper does not dwell on the step by step details of project implementation, but seeks to capture the reflective thinking that inspired the approach."