Approaches & principles

At Mlup Baitong we use four different approaches to ensure that our work is conducted in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner.

Empowerment approach

Builds people’s capacity and competence as individuals and participating members of groups and communities to achieve results for themselves.

By equipping people and local groups with knowledge, skills and attitudes that broaden their options, their confidence can be increased. Additionally, they can be empowered to take control of their lives. They can manage their own development process, including needs and rights assessment, development of vision, operational planning, resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The empowerment approach does not mean doing for people so much as facilitating their empowerment to do things for themselves. Empowerment is both a means and an end in the sustainable development process.

Community-based approach

All projects and activities are closely conducted together with the community to ensure their consent and an optimal outcome.

The undertaken development work should be for the good of the community as a whole. Peace, reconciliation, stability, and solidarity are promoted as community members are encouraged to build upon their own assets, structures, and resources. This enables them to address development challenges and fulfill their development plans. Community-based also means that staff members are working in the communities to gain a deep understanding of the structure, cultures and issues, and to build trusting relationships with the people. This enables a close and constant supportive relationship, beneficial to transformative interventions. Based on this good relationship, on mutual respect and trust, our staff members are able to start a dialog and initiate the empowerment and development process with the communities. Community Based Organisations (CBOs) are trained to use the micro-project concept to build up capacity in project development, implementation and management. This supports CBOs and individual households to improve their livelihood and community development activities.

Integrated approach

Different projects of Mlup Baitong are connected to attain synergy effects and allow tailored initiatives for communities.

All aspects and components of individual projects, such as empowerment, community-based forestry management, community-based eco-tourism and livelihood improvement are inter-linked around the needs and rights of the communities. The components complement each other and enable synergy effects. As a result, many development initiatives can be tailored for positive and simultaneous impact on multiple aspects of community life.

Rights-based approach

Involves building up human rights awareness on all levels, both among the powerless and the powerful.

The rights-based approach uses the normative frameworks of UN declarations and conventions, Sustainable Development Goals, national constitutions, pro-poor development policies and plans, and relevant international and local laws to both enable and hold duty bearers accountable to their responsibility to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all citizens. At the same time, individuals and groups (rights holders) are enabled to advocate for and claim their rights to a life with dignity. The rights-based approach is linking human rights to sustainable development processes and the environment. The environment provides natural resources for the realization of economic, social, and cultural rights. Environmental destruction is thus considered a direct or indirect threat to the right to a life with dignity. Environmental conflicts (e.g. on natural resources) can be a source of conflicts that are leading to human rights violations.

Development objectives are also human rights objectives. An emphasis on human rights, in the context of development, helps to focus the attention on the structural inequalities that cause and maintain impoverishment and exclusion. Conscious references to human rights standards and objectives help to ensure that the root causes of poverty and exclusion receive proper attention in the formulation of development programs. Furthermore, they ensure that narrow technical objectives are not becoming the reference point for development activities. This approach also reduces the risk of impoverished people being seen as needy objects of charity.