Institute for International Cooperation and Development

IICD Michigan was incorporated in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization in the state of Michigan. IICD Michigan is an independent research non-profit. The Internal Revenue Service has determined that IICD Michigan is an organization as described in the revenue code 501(c) 3. This means that IICD is exempt from federal taxation of its activities and that donors can deduct donations to IICD from the income declared in their tax return. The organization will not discriminate by race, ethnicity, national origins, religious belief, gender or orientation.




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IICD Michigan

Executive Summary

The IICD staff from 2011 to 2013 gathered data from all 58 participating Development Instructors working in Africa in their service period.

The data consists of 100 Narrative Reports with qualitative and quantitative data and of 25 Action Forms summarizing statistical information.

My main findings from analyzing the material:

• The participants carried out a great number of different activities

• The participants carried out more than 7,000 actions ranging from training sessions at schools or in communities to larger treeplanting action, construction of preschools and opening of second hand clothes shops.

• The actions were carried out together with more than 25,000 community members.

• Indirectly the actions touched many more people. An estimate sets the total number of indirectly affected in positive manner at 250,000 people.

• The Development Instructors in their Narrative Reports stress and are aware of the personal transformation they have been going through and the importance they expect this to have on their future life and career.

• The Development Instructors are also formulated about the positive effects of their work for the local communities.

It is my conclusion that the data strengthen (verify) the base hypothesis that"it is possible, by a training program that includes extensive international and national practice to transform the participant, in essence making him a better and more capable person while at the same time improving the world we live in".

1. Introduction

This document presents and concludes on data collected as part of the Social Development Research carried out at IICD, MI from 2011 to 2013.

The base hypothesis of this research was that It is possible, by a training program that includes extensive international and national practice to transform the participant, in essense making him a better and more capable person while at the same time improving the world we live in.

2. Data from participant reports

58 participating Development Instructors started their training between July 2010 and February 2013. This group served in Africa 2011-2013, most in trios, but some in pairs or individually. The activities of each grouping is described by, 1) Action Form listing number of activities, actions and people involved in the activities, and 2) Narrative Report on activities, observations and learning.

The reports were discussed in the team of participants and reviewed by staff at IICD. Within the scope of the report format they provide fairly reliable qualitative and quantitative data on results of the work carried out. (See attachment 1 for description and evaluation of the material).

3.Presentation of quantitative data

Below are overviews of activities, actions and people involved over the three-year period 2011 to 2013, as summarized in Action Forms.

Number of activities, number of actions and number of people directly involved in the actions carried out by participants during service in Africa for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013






Average per participant

# of participants






# of activities






# of actions






# of people directly involved in the actions






The participants carried out 7,300 actions, some smaller such as an instruction class in hygiene for a group of families and some larger such as construction of a preschool. The actions directly involved more than 25,000 local people. The total number of people indirectly involved in the communities has not been estimated by the participants but it is, in my view, most likely that it in the order of 10 times greater, which would translate into 250,000 people in some ways benefitting from the actions.

List of major activity areas carried out by participants in Africa 2011-2013 with number of activities, number of actions and number of people directly involved.

Activity areas:

Number of activities:

Number of Actions:

No. of People directly involved:

Community work:

Hygiene and health classes




Youth clubs




Food and nutrition clubs




Clubs for children




Women’s clubs




Install and introduce hand washing systems




Building latrines




Starting garden farms




Libraries in communities




Tree planting projects




Sustainability projects




Run and start preschools




Build and renovate preschools




Other projects




Teacher training colleges / vocational schools:

Study clubs and classes




School libraries




Assistance to Teachers




Pedagogical workshops




School gardens




Other projects




Income generation:

Improve clothes sales in shops




Start new shops




Other projects




Grand total




This list shows that the participating Development Instructors engaged in a wide range of activities aimed at training and capacitating local communities and individuals, in building local infrastructures such as latrines, libraries and gardens as well as raising funds for social projects by expanding income generation.

The Narrative Reports, which were presented by and discussed among the participants, have been used by the staff at IICD, MI to establish the numbers of the Action Forms.

4. Presentation of qualitative data

Below is a selection of quotes from the 100 Narrative Reports produced by the participating Development Instructors during their service period in Africa. The quotes illustrate how the participants themselves are aware of their personal transformation:

Dinorah Vences Alvarez, who worked in an HIV/AIDS project in Mozambique in 2013, writes in her final report:

"Africa changed me in a way that I could never imagine. The people taught me how people can be happy all the time, and how the problems they have are not only theirs, but on the contrary are the problems of the world. At the end I think all these people will always be on my mind, reminding me how lucky I am... and I will always keep their faces in my mind reminding me of the responsibility that I have not to watch only, but to do the things that I can. "

Some Ryu, who worked at a teacher training college in Malawi in 2012, writes:

"At first, it was so difficult to control our thinking about the way of helping. I want to help them so I try to do everything by myself (e.g. prepare material and make things), but now I know that is not a good (sustainable) way of help. When I was in U.S.A, I remember what you told us "If they are hungry then first we need to give them fish and also teach how to catch." While I'm in here I feel balance between two are really important. I hope I can control well these two elements."

Johan Arroyo Lopez, who worked at a teacher training college in Mozambique in 2012, writes:

"Mozambique has totally changed me in a positive way, every night under my mosquito net was the time to reflect, to think, to miss, to dream.

I learned to know myself, to deal with my fears, to take advantage of my skills and to improve what I have to do. I will remember Mozambique like the hardest, and most wonderful experience I ever had, six months where I learnt many things, things that I would not be able to learn anywhere else."

Dayvid Soroldani, who worked at a teacher training college in Malawi in 2012, writes:

"In the development of this project I realized that I learned more than what I taught to the people in the communities where I worked. Often during meetings and work we were doing together, I realized how important it is to work together; we perform many actions that would not be possible if we had not performed together and with a common goal.

Work for six months fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poor made me grow a lot as a perso... After this time in Malawi I feel more responsible for my actions and how my actions may contribute to decrease poverty in the world."

Selim Kim, who worked at One World University in Mozambique in 2012, writes:

"To be frank, I am here to help people yet I feel I learn so much from them. Since I came here, a lesson came to my mind and it is that travel is the best way to be educated. I've learned many and various things that I never learned at my desk and in my university. Everything is a new challenge here, which is totally different from what we used to face."

In Kun, Yuma Sayama and Ririko Hirota, who worked at an HIV/AIDS project in Botswana in 2011, writes:

"In this period, we have learned many, many new things not only positives but also conflicts. We used our brain every day; thinking, thinking, thinking. We have never had such a valuable opportunity before. We are all young enough to do something more, and we want to share with people around us what we have experienced in Botswana"

Below is a selection of quotes from Narrative Reports, where participants stress the importance of the work carried out to do good:

Farley Yorley Jimenez, who worked at a teacher training college in Mozambique in 2013, writes:

"This work was very rewarding because people began to take classes. I could see that one volunteer can mobilize the community and improve living conditions of people in different aspects such as health, education, food, personal care, recreation and behavior change among others."

Luciane Lima, who worked at a vocational school in Mozambique in 2013, writes:

"I feel pretty good about the projects that I developed in school. I arrived without much perspective. I went through many difficulties to carry out a project that I could add to the community. But realized! Today I was awakened by a desire to continue working with disadvantaged people and helping them to generate income. Both the CCDC and the recycling project I helped them develop businesses that can turn into informal employment and generating income for the livelihood of families."

Evelyn Nacimento, Gabriel Ramirez and Jenny Galindo, who worked in the Food for Knowledge project in Mozambique in 2013, writes:

"We conclude our project with the biggest satisfaction, not just because the children of the primary school of Xirindza now have a new classroom where the sun, the wind and the rain will no longer interrupt their learning, but also because we witnessed the goodwill, partnership and trust of the people of Mozambique. May this small structure be a proof of the achievements that we can produce if we work together for the benefit of others. Is this not a proof that we can do more, live better, go further and reach more people if we work as partners and think on those who surround us? If we made a difference here, today, it is only because of the many people who decided to do something to help. With this project we chose to improve the conditions of many actual students and many more to come. With this structure the children will have a motivation to assist their lessons, and the teacher a motivation to perform better at his job. In the long term this change of attitude will be translated in better educated people with more possibilities to develop themselves and improve the conditions of their families and communities."

Chae-hwa Roo, who worked at Farmers Club in Dowa, Malawi, writes:

"The Library project was the biggest project we implemented. We created more access to information and knowledge for people in rural area. It means a lot to them. People we met wanted to learn something; farming, medicine, English, about the world etc. We saw that teachers were using the books to teach their students, children and students were very interested in books.

We connected 6 libraries with Lilongwe National Library, so that National Library continues to manage those libraries and give more books. Each library has more than 2 librarians and one responsible person. Those libraries will have sustainable impact for people."

The above quotes only provide a small snap shot of the content of the 100 reports produced by the Development Instructors about their service in Africa. It is my judgment that the picture they paint is a fair representation of the overall results of the work both on a personal level of transformation of the participants themselves and on the level of improving the lives of people in Africa.

The reports show that the Development Instructors did indeed change personally and that the work they carried out did change lives for the better in communities in Africa.

The final example below shows how a trio of Development Instructors themselves applied an action research methodology in problem solving with local community members as participants in the research.

Soomi Ryu, who worked at a teacher training college in Malawi in 2012, writes:

"In May, when we were supposed to hold the second meeting, Lilambwe village gave notice to us that they were ready to hold the second meeting. We attended the meeting and were so encourage by this. They organized the meeting and brought up points to discuss by themselves. We just listened and gave advice. At the end of the meeting they came up with solutions and decide what to do. We think this is a really good example how the community can organize and take action. I believe other villages can do the same. So we used this example from Lilambwe to encourage other villages to do the same. So this week the other two villages will hold their second meetings.

The process of getting the communities involved in identifying problems, discussing the solutions, taking decisions and carrying out the actions is a very powerful way of emancipating and liberating the power of poor people to take development into their own hands, and change their living conditions for the better. This method has been used in establishing preschools, but the same method can be used in solving many other issues, which the people deal with in their everyday life."

The method of identifying problems, discussing solutions, taking decision, carrying out actions and using this collective process as a tool for social transformation is an essential element of the action research model of applied research.

5. Conclusion on the Data presented

The data show that the participating Development Instructors in their work in Africa engaged in a wide range of activities, carried out a large number of actions together with more than 25,000 people and indirectly touching the lives of many more people thus contribute to a positive development for people in disadvantaged communities in some of the poorest nations in the world.

The reports of the participants show that they themselves experienced a personal transformation and strengthened their commitment to do good. These personal evaluations were validated through group discussions, site visits in Africa by staff of IICD and one-on-one meeting between staff and participants at the institute in Dowagiac.

The reports further show that participants are aware of many important results and effects of their work among communities and that they experience that they have succeeded in doing good.

It is therefore my view that the data verify (strengthen) the two major aspects of the base hypothesis:

"that it is possible, by a training program that includes extensive international and national practice


... to transform the participant, in essence making him a better and more capable person


... while at the same time improving the world we live in."

Attachment 1: About data collection and reliability and validity of data

Data were collected from 58 participants who served in Africa during 2011 to 2013. Here they worked in 25 groups of one to three Development Instructors each. All of the 25 groups produced a Final Narrative Report about their work. Most groups furthermore produced one or several progress reports during their work in Africa so that the material all in all consists of 100 Narrative Reports. Some groupings did themselves fill in an Action Form with statistical information about activities, actions and people directly involved in the actions. Where the participants did not themselves fill in the Action Form the staff at the institute have filled in the form basing the numbers on information provided by the participant.

The Narrative Reports provide both quantitative and qualitative information that refers to the participants themselves, the latter is thus of a subjective nature. However, most reports were produced by a group thus providing some inter-personal control on the data.

Staff of IICD furthermore visited many of the participants during their stay in Africa and they discussed extensively with them upon their return to the institute, providing some outside control.

It is therefore my conclusion that the information stated in this paper is fairly reliable and valid, and can be used to draw conclusions, which may verify or falsify the hypotheses of the applied research of IICD, MI.