03 February 2009

Resource alleviation collateral

Peculiar observations can be made in an environment where resources are being added within a situation of poverty. When resources appear - and a situation with nothing changing to something - there is a significant amount of new stress added to the scene. The stress of resource allocation.

Poverty - which is the shortage of common things such as food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, all of which determine quality of life - influences everything. Rural Africa has also major shortages in electricity, transport, communications, housing, finances, education, and health care, to mention a few. When such resources become available, often those with access to such (still rather limited) resource pay a high price, both financial and intangible.

One has to get used to the availability of the resource, even if it is just emerging. Complexity is added when the resource is shared, and it all becomes even more complex when it is shared across cultural or age boundaries. Often those with access to the resource harbor implicit or even explicit distrust of the other with whom the resource is shared. Resource limitations feed distrust that the other is misusing the resource.

Resource allocation, which is the assignment of the available resource, is mostly defined - and organized - in a rational way. Challenge is blending 'resource allocation' in the relational, rural African cultural way. In such environment resources are shared and catered for quite differently, with responsibilities valued higher then rights.

Currently we are fortifying the scaffolding for the works at Macha, with Zambian management and international volunteers. When that scaffolding is gone, wholesome grown resources should be environmentally sound and sustainably embedded and available. Scaffolding goes with rules and requirements, which go with expectations. Guilt, and shame, and judgment follow suit, and thus hurt, especially in cross cultural environments with wide varieties of people and expectations. Management in poverty situation often equals management of hurt.

Engendering trust, over borders and cross cultural, turning expectations based upon regulations towards expectation based upon relationships, that is what must guide resource allocation in resource limited environments; All tests of character.