Indigenous Knowledge Systems as our framework
In a globalized world, the dominant model of development is which is one which according to Arturo Escobar has turned local people in the south into objects of knowledge and targets of power under the gaze of western experts. Indeed, the language, tools, and knowledge through which this development is framed is out of touch with reality on the ground.
Most interventions fail to meaningfully engage with communities because of their over reliance on foreign funding and expertise. This hampers their autonomy and increases the likelihood of their becoming mere implementers of donor policies/government policies. More importantly, this exclusive focus on external economic resources ignores the wealth of local resources and inhibits sustainability as evidenced by the fact that most interventions fold-up at the end of the project cycle.
Against this backdrop, the vision of Nascent RDO is engagement which appreciates the wealth of local resources and knowledge and synergizing these with local interventions. We also work with organizations to promote and support new ways of engagement with the communities through interfacing local and external resources and thereby shifting the locus of to the community who must be the key implementers in order to ensure gains that endure and enhance sustainability of interventions.
The philosophy underlying our activities departs from the dominant deficit-focused approaches that are premised on the erroneous definition of needs where the ‘powerful’, mainly outsiders including donors, have tended to define social needs.
We firmly believe that individuals within communities are active agents who can articulate their needs and have a wealth of knowledge and internal resources that when acknowledged have the potential to provide the much needed synergies with current interventions.
A key agenda of Nascent RDO is thus to facilitate a more meaningful engagement between interventions and communities and enable development interventions and practice that are respectful and inclusive of local perspectives and knowledge. Community members including women and young people participate as both users of, and active contributors to knowledge thereby promoting inclusive interventions and practice and enhancing sustainability.
Nascent RDO is registered both in Kenya and Uganda (still in the process of registering in Tanzania) and has accumulated international experience and local expertise as well as solid local and international affiliations.