Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Power of Local Stakeholders

In the book Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson leveraged local support and committment to the schools he was building. One man in particular is a great example of the impact of dedicated local contacts:
Zaman, a local contractor, turned down a construction job for the army and led the effort to build a beautiful U-shaped stone school... Zaman did an incredible job. In one of the most remote villages of northern Pakistan, he built a school in twelve weeks that was vastly superior to anything the Pakistani government could have built, and at half the cost of the project that would have taken the government years to finish.

While this can be interpreted as a private V. public sector argument- it seems pretty clear that governments (as well-intentioned as they may be) can often slow the process of implementation. By hiring a local stakeholder that believed in the program, Greg was able to build schools in record time in one of the most challenging environments in the world...

... just think what you can do- you ARE the local stakeholders...

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