Our Mission and Vision
Working with residents in economically poor communities, DIR builds knowledge and skills to help all citizens achieve a level of health that empowers them to participate fully in social and economic development.
To deliver the highest level of long-term impact, DIR targets its efforts on healthy development of infants and children, and works most closely with women of child-bearing age. Ultimately, results are achieved not by DIR, but by the men, women and children in the community.
The DIR model is built on evidence that sustainable solutions evolve when local people are empowered to tackle their own problems. To promote better health and support personal development, DIR focuses action along a pathway that fosters high levels of community engagement and personal interaction.
Recognizing that communities in which it operates have many needs, DIR also engages in efforts to provide high-quality schools to prepare young students for further education and to enable individuals, particularly women, to generate income through the provision of training, equipment and micro-credit.
DIR’s development plan includes nine main steps that support a cycle of continuous progress:
- Train local residents to serve as Health Promoters (HPs), thus building a network of experts within the community.
- Survey the entire community to establish the baseline for health indicators such as childhood malnutrition, infant mortality rates, immunization rates and birthing practices.
- Identify the most urgent problems that are undermining health within the community.
- Educate HPs about the root causes of health problems and teach them to recognize symptoms.
- Through HPs, engage residents in developing solutions, encouraging low-cost, straightforward action that values traditional knowledge while addressing knowledge gaps.
- Set clear, measurable targets for the end goal and milestones along the way, thereby ensuring that proposed solutions are effective or can be adapted as necessary.
- Create learning opportunities for all community members, using diverse methods to reach different ages or cultural groups.
- Monitor the level of learning achieved, including the adoption of healthier practices in daily life and at the community level.
- Evaluate if whether the original problem has been solved:
- If no, revise strategy to achieve the established goals;
- If yes, identify the next most urgent problem.
Each time DIR works with the community to cycle through this process, the knowledge base for tackling the next problem is strengthened, and individuals gain confidence in their ability to work together to address multiple challenges.