Collaborative approaches are possible without computers


A good example of a collaborative approach which do not rely on computers is given by “Article 4”, a Cambodian pilot project aiming at helping prostitutes, victim of violence and victim of trafficking, to reinsert in the society.

The project ran from 2010 to 2012, and reached a sustainable reinsertion rate of 35% (vs usually 5% for similar project).

Based on “user based processes”, it allowed women to name their difficulty, and to select a process adapted to solve it. In the end, the project included about 20 processes and psychosocial work modules (such as psychological assessment, social work, family mediation, mother-child relationship reconstruction, healthcare facilities, etc.) The methodology and the modules have then been spread throughout communities of women and transferred to other social work department of NGO (such as PSE – Pour un Sourire d’Enfant).

The methodology relies on three pillars: usage of peer workers (former prostitutes, willing to help others and trained in psychosocial basics), help of psychologists and social workers, importance of mother-child link (to empower and motivate for sustainable reinsertion).


Beside peer-to-peer approach, it is of key importance to point that the common on which the project is based (knowledge common) has been built by the users themselves and spread within communities of such users. The project has been built according to action-research methodology and evaluated working in academic international collaboration (including economists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, legal experts, etc. mostly working pro bono as an open community coming from various part of the world).

Author: Olivier Lebel

Olivier Lebel's main interest is about collaborative approaches and humanitarian. OL is a specialist of non profit organisations, having spent 15 years serving them, for the French Red Cross (as deputy ED and ED), for the Catholic Church (as USG for the French Bishops Conference), and for Doctors of the World (as ED). He has also spent 15 years as manager in various private corporations, in building and security, water supply, or medical imaging. Olivier Lebel holds an MBA from INSEAD, and is engineer of Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Télécommunications.

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