Book Review -‘Social Mobilization’-Co-Authors: A.P.Dainis and Cyril Pallegedara
Posted on October 1st, 2011

S. Akurugoda

Although, much is spoken on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”social mobilization practicesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, it is very rare to see the locations where this concept is being practiced on a sustainable basis.

The book titled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Samaja Sajeewee KaranayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (Social Mobilization) authored by two retired senior public servants (SLAS) A.P.Dainis and Cyril Pallegedara with extensive experience in planning and implementation of community development projects and programs in various parts of the country provides interesting case studies of villages in Sri Lanka where the concepts on social mobilization are put into practice on sustainable basis.

The book includes ten chapters which are interconnected. The first two chapters of the book are devoted in conceptualizing the process of social mobilization and provide the history and the background of the concept. The chapters also highlight the challenges one may face in implementing the participatory concepts.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The three case studies in the book provides exemplary examples of how theseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  concepts of social mobilization based on community participation and self reliance put into practice successfully.

The Balawattala case study in chapter three has highlighted how the poor in a rural community mobilized their own resources especially through a group fund and developed it as a revolving fund over the years which helped them to meet their day to day credit needs without depending on external agencies.

The case study of Attanakadawala provides an account of meeting their drinking water needs with external assistance using the Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) approach. It continues to explain how the community harnessed the process towards a holistic development, meeting with other social and economic needs. One significant feature is that these two case studies of Balawattala and Attanakadawala are projects initiated and facilitated by the authors themselves and documented using first hand information.

The book highlights the success stories of different participatory approaches especially Participatory Rural Appraisals as practiced in the Gemidiriya program, and the Samurdhi movement. The book also provides extremely useful guidelines on adult training on participatory development which provide a significant deviation from traditional training methods used. Authors also have developed participatory training modules for the use of trainers/facilitators involved in participatory development.

The authors of the book draws our attention on the need of institutional credit as a basic need for the poor in meeting with their production costs and marketing arrangements and the role that could be played by the NGO sector in this regard.

The book is richly embellished with facts and figures, and as a whole, provides an essential resource for those who are involved in planning and implementation of community development projects and programs, especially in the implementation of poverty alleviation programs at national, regional, divisional or village level.

S. Akurugoda

One Response to “Book Review -‘Social Mobilization’-Co-Authors: A.P.Dainis and Cyril Pallegedara”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    A very useful book. Thanks to Mr Akurugoda for writing about it. I have heard of communities in the west that have used the barter system (rice for carpentry work or fruits for baby sitting, and so on), to overcome having to use actual money for services.

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