The word itself contains all the necessary tips to do a correct job according DBA. Let's use it to remind us what to do, how to do and why…
Look down at the most marginalized and start from the push.
The process starts from the bottom. We want to go down and start from there, both in the individual process as well in the community one.
That means starting from the real actors of the dream, not from who is controlling them, or managing their livelihood or moving their lives. If we talk about social transformation we want to apply DBA with the actors-level human base. It means that – according the framework we are watching the picture through in this moment – we should start from the most marginalized. Usually into this category falls an important portion of humanity and the labels are various (widows, orphans, poor, differently able, alcohol/drug addicted….). Now the point is to see them not as labeled target groups but as real first actors of the process. Actually calling them “first actors” or “dreamers” gives again a label, but that can help in removing the previous ones and it’s just functional to free.
Marginalization here is not seen as an economic category but in relation with power and not with wealth.
Remove lenses of “needs, missing things and shortcomings” and wear the glasses of resources to look at the reality.
The starting point where to look at the person/community from, it is the resource. There is no other option. Starting from the problems, the needs or missing aspects doesn’t help. What can we do with something we do not have? Each one of us could spend days of life listing things he/she has not or he/she is not able to do and find out at the end that those things are always more than what we have or we can do. It doesn’t help in terms of success. That’s why the base for DBA are resources, personal or communal. Also in this case, rarely resources fall into the category of economic, more than that they are skills and relationships. This approach switches immediately, and this is absolutely needed, from the question (common in many societies and individuals):
DBA starts from the assumption that each one of us has something, some resource to be used for himself first and, in case he joins a groups, with the others. That is why all the research we can put in place, social or personal, must start and be based on resources. No more social research on needs and lacking elements, at least in the initial stage of the process.
Give up with your power and give it to people.
The word by itself is enough. It doesn’t mean anything more than that, give power. Once again, reading the power as economic only is the mistake that misleads the full process.
The preponderance of the economic side of the power is just a side effect of the power itself. Power is usually read as force, as aggressive or anyway as something to impose to others.
Our point of view is the opposite and the power we want to find, share and talk about it’s another one. It’s a real force, a constructing force for change.
Be there with competence.
Usually when we go to the doctor for a good or a bad diagnosis we ask relatives or friends, one or two very close, to come with us. They do not do anything, their presence does not add anything in terms of technical expertise, in terms of diagnosis or prognosis and doesn’t not prolong or shorten our life expectancy of a single second. But their role is vital. They are with us in that particular moment. That’s all, nothing more and nothing less.
“Being there” means to be physically, emotionally and deeply there.
It means to be close, sometimes sharing joys and sorrows, sometimes stimulating, sometimes sleeping, but being there during the times of success and during the times of failures.
This role requires maturity of life from the accompanier and specific professional skills. Be there with competence.
Leave attachment and set people free. Move.
Once the action is over, once the accompaniment has reached a sufficient level the only thing to do is to leave. Never get attached to people and community a day more than the sufficient time. Never create dependency on you. Just dream with the people, just guide, accompany and move. Once again the maturity of the facilitator will help in defining the right time to leave. “Move” seems to be just the last step, easy or quite natural but it is as crucial as the other ones. This is actually another step of the empowerment, another step in setting people free, another step in approaching changes through dreams.