After independence, the state administration pursued and advocated the “Trickle Down” Model for socio-economic development. However, there was very little evidence of the model’s success, of anything trickling down to the common masses. This caused concern, with activists starting to consider viable strategies to resolve this urgent matter. Meanwhile, there was rising awareness among a number of people that mass poverty and socio-economic handicap should be and could be alleviated. It was also observed that there was a need for new and innovative approaches for a more equal and just development. Those would be set according to the real needs and wishes of the poor population, and would be monitored to ensure not only the successful implementation of the proposed development projects but also for their lasting effects. With this background, the organization Alternative for Rural Movement (ARM) was christened.
ARM believes that large-scale developments with “top-down” planning rarely achieve the “trickle down” effect, and that they should be superseded by poverty-oriented, participatory developments through small-scale programmes and “bottom-up” strategy. This has been done by projecting and implementing a people-centred development vision based on justice, sustainability and inclusiveness for a more authentic effect.
We also view development as a people’s movement, rather than as a foreign funded, government projects, and as the self-development of people with minimum available resources and by incorporating administrative opportunities and existing infrastructures .Thus the three basic ingredients of popular participation as identified by ARM’s team of development harbingers for a sustainable social order are
- Mass involvement in decision making
- Mass contribution to development
- Mass sharing of benefits of development
In accordance with relevant United Nations’ resolutions
The concept of ‘mass participation in decision making and implementation’ is viewed at ARM as a system of interlocking relationships between villagers & the village institutions that mobilize this participation and strengthen the level of institution further up to the national level. Therefore, our “bottom-up” participatory long term approach seeks to channel the social energy of the people towards the self-defined goals of development and ratifies the principles of micro planning for the villagers with micro planning achievements based on relevant principles of poverty alternation to contribute & complement this innovative paradigm