Everyone who is somehow involved in development issues knows that education is one of the basics to build a real sustainable progress in a personal life, a village, a region. Women are those who generally are known to be keen to learn. Women Are Social multiplicators of change: As women feel more responsible for the entire surroundings where they live they will bring back knowledge into their families, their children and their future. There is much of truth in it.
Education, change, better future – a provocation for the societal system
But there is still another fact that counts and often is neglected: pushing a part of the society forward automatically leads to an societal imbalance of a system that – even if not right and sometimes very bad – had worked and developed its own rules of how to live together, how to manage the daily life and attributed roles and rules to an entire society. Change means therefore also a provocation. It leads to a lot of fears and therefore to resistance by those who were “leading” before. Like innovative approaches that follow the early adopter curve and have huge ‘crisis moments’ of resistance even women themselves who suffered their whole life sometimes feel to loose power and the own status when younger generations of women discover new “life horizons’ by learning and exploring.
The impact of education is positive, isn’t it?
An old lady told me that women due to their social strength should rather be like water: “Independent from the size and format of a vessel – be it big, deep or rather small- just fill water into it and it will adapt and find the right balance. This is how women should be. But too much education makes it very difficult.”
Educate, put not just your main target group
On one of the conferences I visited a few weeks ago in India a very interesting workhop took place: how to integrate the local government/authorities when it comes to educational measurements and developing programs in general. Most of the participants stated that it was difficult to get the local panchayat (local government bodies) on board, esp. if there was a request for an innovative approach. Many projects simply failed or nerd blocked right from the beginning.
Solve the win win question first
In business one of the driving questions: How can I create a benefit to the customer? How can I make him or her make feel a winner. A winner of values, status and influence – besides the pure acquisition of a product or service.
We should start to define local influencers more as our ‘customers’, too – rather than opponents who we have to “fight”. No doubt, ‘paying for getting’ is spread all over the world. Corruption is one of the worst habits, one of the oldest ones and probably one of the “easiest” ones to as it is a transfer of money only.
Sustainable change needs real convinced influencers
If we want them to become supporters of education and change we have to invest in them, too. Parallely or even a little bit earlier than we deliver to our main target groups. Why not offering trainings on certain topics such as computer technologies, hygiene, marketing, communications, efficiency …to those who otherwise would become resistant? Make them part of your development parts, offer them to become ‘positive impact supporters’ themselves. We do not need short term solutions based on corruption – however it might look – but real supporters to make change happen.