|Project:||Participatory Strategic Planning|
|Date of foundation:||2001|
|Province:||Mumbai Province (INB)|
In 2001, the Provincial Chapter of the Mumbai Province recommended that it reformulate a province plan that would have the active participation of the whole provincial community. Each confrere was invited to share his personal opinion through a series of live-ins held in various zones in the province. The urgent requirement expressed by most was to develop a clear and relevant Province Plan. A commission was created to spell out the logistics that would generate a process of study and shared reflection.
The process was called ‘Participatory Strategic Planning’ (PSP). It engaged the expertise of lay professionals who steered the province through the search for relevance in its mission to young people in the western part of India.
The process was ‘participatory’ because each member of the province was to be involved in the planning and the implementation of the main activities demanded by the following stages:
1. Awareness workshops: These consisted in a series of meetings held in community clusters. They served to sensitise all confreres on the following issues: Development Administration, Panchayati Raj (Local self-government), Poverty, Gender, Globalisation, Communalism and Participatory Rural Appraisal.
2. Environment Scan: With the information and training received the confreres returned back to their respective communities with the obligation of involving all their community members in an Environment Scan. This meant surveying and interacting with people and communities in the neighbourhood in order to discover their most urgent needs, especially those concerning their children and young people.
3. The Needs analysis: Based on the environmental scan the experts assisted the salesians in a process of reflection that would help them redefine the real needs of the people they serve. (and not just the needs that were presumed by the salesians.)
This massive exercise involving all confreres and all 50 houses took three years - the longest ‘discernment process’ the Mumbai province ever undertook !
The findings were collated and presented at the Provincial Chapter 2004, where further discussion and debate were encouraged. Finally the priorities of the province were abstracted and singled out as follows:
1. The priority of Faith and Value Formation.
The Province is now committed to the implementation of this plan in the years ahead – at the personal level, where every Salesian of the Mumbai province will have to make a personal and apostolic commitment; at the community level, where every community is to draw up a concrete plan of action to ensure that these priorities are respected; at the provincial level, where the administration of all resources (especially financial and personnel) will be directed towards the realisation of these aims.
While the process began under the provincilate of Fr. Tony D’Souza in 2001, the planning and execution was followed through under the leadership of Fr. Ivo Coelho the present provincial. At the start of the process in December 2001, Fr. Coelho said to his confreres: "The more we enter into the PSP process, the more I see it as a method of spiritual discernment, calling us, Salesians of the Mumbai province, to seek God's Will. In the approaching Season of Advent 2001, we shall discern God's Will, not so much by searching the skies for guiding stars, but by scanning the human condition of our neighbourhood, where God became incarnate two millennium Christmases ago."
List of Activities: