29 May 2012

Seasonal Change

My days in April and May have been filled with operational activities based upon methodological analysis of very complex realities, as they exist in cross cultural interactions and rural Africa. These months I came into play to provide for crisis management due to a whole array of challenges following two unprecedented delays in release of projects funding. These delays effectively took the wind out of the sails of Macha Works. However, after two months of purposeful and focused interventions, the organisation is alive and back in local hands. It has been a rare privilege to provide guidance in such challenging situations, ably supported by backstopping through discussions with experts in fields of accountancy, diplomacy, economy, management, ethnography, development, engineering, etc.

Of course, not everyone has access to such high quality soundboards, nor access to experts or an ability to take an extra-personal perspective. In rural Africa, the affects of these voids add significantly to the workload and social strains. Such is exasperated by the pressure cooker situation in which crisis management takes place, which severely limits one's ability to interact with most stakeholders, or anybody else in that manner.

Without a doubt, in the specific context and culture of resource limited environments in rural Africa - with highly oral and relational communities - the strenuous work of a crisis manager is little understood. This gives multiple views on realities in the relational web of local, national and international relationships. Actually, crisis management involves work that goes against the grain of the individual whom is confronted with individual loss and hurt, and as such seemingly feeds a collective atrophy and self-destructiveness of hurting groups in society. In rural Africa this all is further amplified due to a limited knowledge base in management techniques and organisational concepts, and by gossip run wild.

The relational society links challenges and achievements to people, with little recognition of existence or benefit of institutional entities. Thus management actions are primarily related to the manager' person with little regards for the (legal) entity being managed (for).

With the aim for Macha Works for the locally embedded empowerment of the local person, and having gone through a challenging, interesting, but also depleting, chapter of crisis management, it now feels that I have reached the end of my season at Macha. The dream has shown capability of being reality, and the entity has proven structurally sound to respond to the circumstances and environment in an appropriate manner. It is time for me to move on. However, with all onlookers I look forward to sharing opportunities of continuous learning on how local talent will grow and augment Macha Works' social model of implementation, and act according to the situation and the culture of the society they operate in, in rural Macha.