We recently held a session on linking communities to markets during the Development Marketplace 2008 with about 40 finalists from all over the world. This was an excellent session and well received, but I realized one thing during the event: When you discuss how to link communities to markets, you’re assuming that the communities are mobilized, are actively participating in the project, and feel a sense of ownership. But how do you get to that point?
Welcome to the blog! Over the next several weeks I’ll be raising issues related to linking communities to markets and what some of us are doing to help them. You know, about 10 years ago, I sent out an email to a mailing list of about 200 staff asking what they were doing to link rural communities to markets. I got one response, which asked “Do you mean roads?” We’ve come a long way in our thinking and in our practice since then.