I went to a rural part of the country, to work for a local organisation. I took on the role of a Development Officer, and the organisation and the community looked to me to initiate ideas and projects. When I did they supported me whole heartedly. But none of the projects that I initiated survived after I left. The only initiatives which proved sustainable, were those which were initiated by the community themselves.

The difference was the initiatives in which I identified the problem, and devised the solution; against those where the community identified the problem, and asked me to help them to devise a solution. Sometime the solution they proposed was not practical or sustainable, and then I would advise them and guide them to help them to find a sustainable and practical solution

The demand for help was overwhelming,and it became important to be critical in ones evaluation of the ideas presented.

Unfortunately the mass of aid to the developing countries can breed an attitude of "dependency", where in conditions of extreme poverty, the prospect of aid and support from rich donors is perceived as a solution to ones personal poverty. Ultimately development is about solving the problem of individuals personal poverty, but to be able to create a sustainable and long term solution, one must find individuals who are committed to providing transparent ventures with a view to long term growth.