Developing Participatory Leadership

Training an elected group of women and men to work closely with Shanta, managing village development using a model that harnesses diversity and creates shared responsibility for action.

Villagers elect 12 development team members (VDT), half of whom are women, to work together with Shanta along five agreed principles.


ZOOM INVoting for village development team members

Principles of Development Partnership

    1. Partnership – Shanta and the villagers collaborate on planning, implementation and funding to reach common goals
    2. Inclusion – All villagers are encouraged to actively participate so that decision-making is informed by diversity and collective intelligence
    3. Equality – Programs strive to benefit the greatest number of villagers fairly & equally
    4. Transparency – Actions are taken and communicated in an open way to build trust and encourage involvement
    5. Sustainability – Programs are designed to be long-lasting and to ensure that villagers have the necessary skills and resources to continue developing independently


Shanta conducts monthly development meetings to:


ZOOM INTeam building exercise in Pone Tan village

  • Provide mentoring and training in participatory leadership
  • Determine ongoing needs and new priorities
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate programs
  • Create solutions for problems and challenges




Shanta conducts multi-day trainings in:


ZOOM INPrioritizing village needs together

  • Participatory Leadership
  • Development Concepts and Principles
  •  Project Management
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Management Skills – Proposal and Report-Writing, Bookkeeping, Transparency, Facilitating Effective Meetings




• Shanta staff meet with an elected Village Development Team an average of 60 times over six years

• Four of our original partner villages are successfully independent, with their Loan Funds generating an average of $5,000 annually to spend on development