Samdhana prioritizes building strong community leaders and institutions and/or their service providers. Samdhana staff, fellows, associates are committed to longer term partnerships with local community groups directly or indirectly receiving their services. With the Samdhana areas of expertise as starting point, staff and fellows provide direct assistance, facilitation, training upon request. These trainings are generally not one-off events and would require the mutual commitment with partners/trainees to use the skills learned to resolve issues and provide solutions. The follow through activities are as important as the main activities themselves.
The scope of Capacity Development can be broadly be explained in terms of 3 focus areas – individual capabilities; effectiveness and efficiencies of local institutions; and transformation of enabling environment in terms of policies and systems supportive of opportunities and open to providing space for communities and organisations to participate in decision making in their sustainable development. Samdhana Institute attempts to meet the challenges in each of these focal areas in different ways.
Exploring and unleashing individual potentials
Samdhana has been supporting innovative mechanisms for development of capabilities and potentials of individuals these past years. To date, Samdhana has supported initiatives to develop local leaders in Indonesia and the Philippines under a Local Leadership Support Programme (LLSP) (with Yayasan Para Perintis in Indonesia and a Samdhana Fellow in the Philippines) and support for the translation of “Plan de Vida” initiative from South America and youth development initiative to support the AMAN youth in partnership with Life Mosaic and AMAN (a national organization of indigenous peoples in Indonesia) in Indonesia.
Samdhana Institute supports the following to strengthen institutional capacities for increased sustainability.
Transforming the Enabling Environment
Harnessing the changes and inputs from individuals and institutions for transformation of societies for sustainable development is the focus of this area of capacity development. This involves bringing together different sectors or players to broaden the enabling environment or the societal and economic space towards a meaningful participation of local communities and indigenous peoples in sustainable development. As an example, Samdhana Institute in 2011 supported the Tenure Coalition in Indonesia to organize the Lombok conference to develop a road map for securing tenure of masyarakat adat across Indonesia. In 2016, Samdhana Institute also supported the Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao to engage in the development of the draft Bangsa Moro Basic Law that the then National government in the Philippines was negotiating with the Islamic groups in Mindanao.