Neighborhood Development Activity– (Sharqia & Gharbia) Al-Radwan Neighborhood
The Sharqia Neighborhood mobilization benefited from the unique past experience with its active NET and collaboration with the local government. Starting from February 2008, the partners (the ACED Program, LCDD and JRF) raised awareness for the program in Sharqia, conducted a needs assessment survey of 120 Sharqia families, and held the first Neighborhood Wide Meeting – hosted by ASEZA/LCDD. At the Neighborhood Wide Meeting, the survey results were presented to over 130 participants (including 40 women). Then the participants selected 11 community members (5 men, 5 women, and 1 youth) to represent them on a NET, and voted to identify the top three priorities for the neighborhood from a “pool” of needs revealed from the survey.
The NET members have held regular weekly meetings facilitated by the NDA partners in order to analyze the situation and needs of the neighborhood; they conducted a priority project verification survey in the Neighborhood to determine which of the top three projects citizens felt was most urgent. Of the 586 citizens participating in the survey, 242 (41%) voted for the highest scoring project: Creating Safe Access for Students to Public Schools. Since determining the first priority project, the NET has continued their weekly meetings and worked with ASEZA engineers, their community and private sector companies in order to move toward successful mobilization of community resources to support project implementation.
The ACED Program and LCDD agreed with JRF and the Sharqia NET to expand the second mobilization of Sharqia to include the Gharbia neighborhood. These adjacent areas as combined are known as Al-Radwan.
Al-Radwan Neighborhood Mobilization Activities starting from October 25 to date:
- NDA partners and NET worked together to evaluate the NET’s work and the first Neighborhood’s mobilization. Then the NET selected 25% percent or 3 members of the Sharqia NET to continue with a newly selected Al-Radwan NET.
- Held initial informative visits with key stakeholders, including school directors, NGOs, religious leaders, other known community leaders.
- Recruited and provided basic awareness of the program to 5 Neighborhood volunteers to support the planned initiative.
- Raised awareness of the program and the Neighborhood Wide Meeting throughout the Al-Radwan Neighborhood by having volunteers as well as ACED Program, LCDD and JRF staff hang posters, distribute brochures, and talk to individuals and community leaders in their residences, workplaces, and meeting places.
- Through a simple door-to-door survey, collected initial information from 210 families in Al-Radwan on priority needs and to get their informal nomination of potential leaders for the NET.
- Conducted 3 focus groups (2 for women and 1 for men) with 30 participants to verify the survey results, collect additional needs, and explore additional potential leaders to be nominated for the NET.
- Contact nominated Neighborhood leaders about participating in the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) and the Neighborhood Wide Meeting (NWM).
- Held the NWM to discuss the priority needs of the community and to introduce the new members of the Al-Radwan NET. Over 65 meeting participants signed the attendance sheets.
Details and Outcomes of the Al-Radwan Neighborhood Wide Meeting:
- LCDD and ACED Program representatives introduced this Neighborhood Development Activity as an innovative partnership between ASEZA and the citizens of Aqaba, which was actually piloted with Sharqia and expanded in the second mobilization of Sharqia to include the Gharbia Neighborhood.
- Sharqia NET representatives presented their experience with the Sharqia, the vision they created for the Neighborhood, and the work they accomplished.
- The NWM facilitator explained the step-by-step process for the Neighborhood, including:
o What had been completed already (survey, focus groups, awareness building);
o What would be accomplished at this NWM (discussion of local priorities, formal selection of the Al-Radwan NET members, etc.).
o What the next steps were (NET translates needs to potential projects and verifies these with community, applies to ASEZA and ACED Program for evaluation for potential funding support or other technical assistance, identifies/raises community contribution, oversees implementation of project, repeats the process starting with identifying priorities).
- The NWM facilitator presented the results of the survey and asked smaller groups to discuss these priorities with co-facilitators in order to choose their three highest priorities.
- At the meeting, attendees ranked their three highest priorities as:
o Poor conditions/services for neighborhood cleaning and waste management,
o Lack of security presence in the Neighborhood, and
o Streets, sidewalks and street lighting maintenance.
- The NWM facilitator explained the roles and responsibilities of the volunteers selected by the citizens for the NET.
- The NWM facilitator explained that 12 volunteers (3 from the previous Sharqia NET, plus 9 nominated in focus groups and Survey) had accepted to be on the Al-Radwan NET and that more volunteers could be added at this NWM. 1 man was added.
- The Al-Radwan NET was formed with 13 members (4 women, 6 men, 2 female youth, and 1 male youth) and presented to the Al-Radwan citizens at the NWM.
- The new Al-Radwan NET members signed the commitment sheet in the presence of their fellow citizens.