A few months ago we announced that we had awarded a grant to Plan Cameroon towards some digital mapping work involving young people from several different communities, as well as local decision makers. Here’s how the team have been getting on:

The activities which have taken place to date on the project have largely been around project set-up and sensitisation meetings within the communities, which have ensured that all key stakeholders are aware of the project aims and objectives, and have a strong understanding of the intended outcomes and activities, as well as their responsibilities in achieving these:

  • Project staff in Okola, Ndop and Pitoa have been working with youth groups from six schools. In total, 432 girls and boys have participated in meetings organised at community and local council level. The groups are very engaged in the project objectives, as the project will enable them to continue with some of the activities tested in the earlier pilot phase of the project. These groups have shown a basic knowledge on good governance from the pilot phase, and are looking forward to building their skills in social accountability, as well as of course digital mapping itself.
  • Project staff have also run some community mobilisation sessions within six communities, involving community leaders. The communities have demonstrated commitment to the project and are ready to support the youth groups where necessary to ensure the project’s success.
  • Youth groups have led sensitisation sessions with the three local councils (Okola, Ndop and Pitoa) to share project objectives, activities and outcomes. The councils’ support of the project so far has been very encouraging.
  • Judith and the team in Cameroon reported that they consider communities’ and local councils’ buy-in of the project – as a result of the awareness-raising activities for community members and local councils conducted by the youth – to be a key achievement of the project so far, as it has laid the foundations for the upcoming work over the next few months.
  • As far as plans for 2013 are concerned: data collection will start in the New Year, and we’ll also be able to report back on progress with Development Seed for the mapping tools. The Plan UK governance team will be running some governance sessions with Judith’s team in the New Year, focusing on social accountability tools – including community scorecards – and how these can be best used within the project.

With thanks to Tamara Nelson and everyone else at Plan who have been involved in the project and for providing the text for this blog entry.