Rural Advocacy Project (RAP)
Rural peoples and places, worldwide, are being threatened by the adverse policies and practices of wealthy and powerful special interest groups seeking gains at the expense of others. As a general rule, charities such as NPI, are prohibited from engaging in any type of lobby activity. However, these are no restrictions on many types of advocacy. For this reason, NPI plans to support such an effort as planned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. NPI’s application to participate, in the Kellogg project, is shown below. We do so in the firm belief that, “When liberties or survival are threatened, diverse peoples who somehow understand these threat, and those persons who may be injured by the threats, must soon act together to find solutions.”
Needful Provision, Inc. (NPI)
P.O. Box 1595, Tahlequah, OK 74465 USA
23 January 2006
To: Caroline M. Carpenter/ W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Re: Rural People, Rural Policy Grant Application, by Needful Provision, Inc.
Contact Information: David A. Nuttle, President
P.O. Box 1595, Tahlequah, OK 74465 USA
Tel. 1-918-868-5710 Fax 1-918-868-5709
1) Organization Type: Non-profit
2) Organization Name: Needful Provision, Inc. (NPI)
3) Tax Status: 501(c)(3)
4) EIN: 85-0433956
5) Year Established: 1995
6) Staff Size: 5 (five)
7) Number of Locations: 4 (four)
8) Scope of Work: NPI is engaged in the research, development, demonstration, and teaching of innovative self-help technologies designed
to assist rural and tribal peoples achieve self-sufficiency
while conserving resources and protecting the environment.
As may be necessary, NPI has also worked to help create
rural policies more favorable to rural populations.
9) Previous Support: No (as regards W.K. Kellogg Foundation)
10) Source of Info: We heard about the RPRP Initiative from the Rural
Refugee Initiative (RRI)
Regional Rural Policy Network Questions
w/ NPI Responses:
1a. Question: What is NPI’s overall stated mission?
1b. Answer : To seek security for all.
2a. Question: How is your mission important to rural people
2b. Answer : Rural people and communities are often the most insecure.
3a. Question: What is NPI’s primary service(s) or project(s)?
3b. Answer : NPI engages in the research, development, demonstration, and teaching (as well as distance education) of innovative self-help technologies
designed and intended to assist rural populations, and others.
4a. Question: What are NPI’s primary areas of topic
4b. Answer : NPI is focused on providing self-help technologies in the areas of health, community food security, microenterprise development, zero net energy
housing, alternative energy, carbon sequestration, and homeland security.
5a. Question: What are the three to five most important policy
issues that are of critical importance to the rural people you
5b. Answer : Rural health and community food security programs often receive little funding, so NPI has worked with politicians to encourage adding more funds for these programs. Microenterprise programs have lacked adequate support, so NPI has lobbied to increase this support.
Development of zero net energy housing, and alternative energy
projects, have long been opposed by lobbyists from the petroleum
industry. NPI has worked to help increase public support for these
programs. In the areas of carbon sequestration and homeland security,
NPI has created innovative models that will benefit rural populations.
The objective is to use the models to demonstrate benefits, and gain the
public support needed to obtain more federal funds for these programs.
6a. Question: What are the challenges your organization has
confronted in addressing policy issues important to rural people.
6b. Answer : Far too many Congressmen “sell” their votes to the highest bidder, and typically these high-bidders have little concern for the welfare of rural populations. Moreover, the petroleum industry has worked to “slow” the development and production of energy crops ---crops that would benefit rural populations most. Federal agencies are under political
pressure to create regulations that favor the wealthiest special interests,
and such regulations tend to work to the disadvantage of rural and tribal
populations. Many refugee populations, in the U.S., have a history of
farming, and they would like to farm in the U.S. NPI had to pressure
USDA to provide training funds to give these refugees sufficient types
of modern agricultural instruction to increase their chances of success.
7a. Question: What three to five capacities do you think NPI
needs to become a more effective rural policy actor?
7b. Answer : NPI needs to perfect these three programs: 1) Know Your Opponent,to identify those typically working to damage rural programs and/or rural populations; 2) Know Your Opponents M.O. (methods of
operation), to determine usual actions taken to cause damage to rural
programs/ populations; and 3) Identification of “Choke Points,” to find
the actions, and timing of actions, needed to counter opponent damage.
8a. Question: What specific communications skills/ capacities
would most help NPI to enhance its rural policy effectiveness?
8b. Answer : NPI needs to develop the capacity to inform the public in advance of a proposed legislative action potentially damaging to rural programs/ populations. The pressure of public opinion can then be activated prior to damaging votes being taken. In addition, NPI needs to develop a good capacity to participate in regulatory processes to prevent implementation of various regulations damaging to rural programs/ populations.
9a. Question: In your opinion, what networks/ partnerships
need to be created for rural people and places to have better
9b. Answer : Rural populations are now too few in number to have really significant political impact. To be effective, rural populations must create strategic alliances with non-rural groups that have a common interest; e.g. non-rural groups wanting to reduce energy costs with rural groups seeking
support for new energy crops.
10a. Question: What important networks/ partnerships has NPI
participated in, and what made it work well (or not well)?
10b. Answer : NPI has, and is, participating with the Rural Refugee Initiative (RRI), and it has worked well in meeting the needs of refugees due to active participation from government agencies, charities, foundations, corporations, refugee groups, and others.
11a. Question: How does (or how has) NPI’s work included
a wide range of voices in NPI’s geographic service area?
11b. Answer : NPI’s primary service area, in the U.S., is the Ozarks (NE Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, & SW Missouri) where large numbers of poor, rural
refugees and minority populations reside. NPI has no restrictions on
who is served, but most programs are designed to provide impoverished
populations with self-help solutions for obtaining self-sufficiency. In
the Ozarks, NPI primarily serves Native Americans, Hmongs (Asians),
and Mexicans (Latins) who represent over 95 percent of the rural poor.
However, NPI makes it known that all persons may obtain services.
12a. Question: What one or two inclusive practices do you think
NPI must strengthen to be more effective in the policy process?
12b. Answer : On every critical rural policy issue, NPI needs to help formulate a very solid coalition of rural and non-rural partners who can work together to achieve common objectives as regards creating viable policy positions.
13a. Question: What two policy changes would you consider as
priorities for NPI to work on in this Initiative, and why?
13b. Answer : NPI would first like to see a restriction on the appointment of current or past lobbyists to positions in government. Secondly, NPI would like to see legislation approved to require fair representation by all
interested parties during any regulatory process.
14a. Question: What one or two organizational outcomes do you
want to see from NPI’s participation in RPRP, and why?
14b Answer : NPI would like to develop an effective capability to help “block” very negative, policy decisions potentially harmful to rural populations or places. The reason for seeking this outcome is to prevent national harm starting with attacks on rural populations lacking sufficient political influence to protect themselves.
15a. Question: What are the five things that must be true 20
years from now if rural people/ communities are to have a healthier
15b. Answer : The five things are: 1) Adequate consideration of interests; 2) Full avoidance of abuses by powerful special interests; 3) Adequate
resources to sustain economic viability for small farmers/ ranchers; 4)
Entrepreneurship sufficient to sustain economic growth in rural areas;
and 5) Microlending at levels to support small business development
in rural areas.
16a. Question: How will NPI sustain said policy work after
Kellogg Foundation funding ends?
16b. Answer : As a matter of policy and practice, NPI plans to continue subject work, and NPI is “growing” its funding support to sustain this effort.
17a. Question: What do you think NPI can contribute to building
a Regional Rural Policy Network or Coalition?
17b. Answer : NPI has considerable experience in building similar coalitions, and is now participating in an effective rural coalition, the Rural Refugee
Initiative (RRI). All of this experience will contribute to this effort.
18a. Question: What is NPI’s current geographic target(s) for present rural projects?
18b. Answer : Overseas, NPI is working with poor rural and tribal populations in Mexico, Kenya, and India. In the U.S., NPI’s focus is Arkansas.
19a. Question: Who are the two lead representatives, for NPI,
most likely to participate in this initiative (if NPI is selected),
and what are their titles?
19b. Answer : David A. Nuttle, President, and Lao Xiong, COO.
Please advise if NPI is accepted for the RPRP Initiative. Your consideration is well appreciated. Thank you.
David A. Nuttle