Does your organization unleash demand-driven development?

Thankfully, the “expertise infusion” aid model is currently being transformed. Aid funders tend to think too much about the supply side of development, and very little about where the demand is coming from. More and more international actors are focusing on building their own skills to accompany, support, and relate more effectively to local institutions and organizations, rather than overpower or co-opt them.

Not only must we “build groups up,” we must lower the glass ceiling that currently blocks community leaders and activists from participating in and benefiting from local aid funding and accountability mechanisms. Effective funding and capacity development initiatives, such as the one featured in this video from Results for Development Institute, are needed to support a wider number of local leaders, enabling grassroots movements to emerge and gain strength, and in the process increasing the demand for human rights and development at local and international levels.

If unable to load the video, click here.

I believe the ability and penchant to understand and work with organizations of any size or type can and should become a core capacity of donors, governments, and all key stakeholders in international development. And if provided a better story, the public can come along on this journey as well.

We can and should remain hopeful about the ability of humans to change their own situations, challenge power asymmetries, and unleash social change. In the video, Results for Development has shown us how.


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Comment by Jennifer Lentfer on June 26, 2012 at 8:33pm

Couldn't agree more @Roselyn! A wise professor once told me that in international aid, if you're not working yourself out of a job, you're doing a bad job. 

Comment by Roselyn Mungai on June 26, 2012 at 9:00am

I agree!

I think that the "glass ceiling lowering" strategies must be carefully thought out, so that they are sustainable.  I think that they must include the very basic tenets of development- such buzz words as participation, empowerment and ownership.  For this to be meaningful however, the bed rock has to be capacity development.  Organisations implementing donor funded programs must seek to work with the most basic of structures, even where these structures lack the requisite policies and institutional frameworks.  If our intention is to build and sustain, then we must start with these basic baselines and work our way up. But capacity development has also got to be funded, and implemented alongside technical service delivery.  So if a Health donor is working with Organisation A who are mandated to work with local partners, then organization A must give support to partner Z both for ,the implementation of health initiatives ( technical) and for the development of Zs institutional capacities.  That way, in a couple of years, Z is able to compete with the best of them to implement development directly- minus the middle man:)

Roselyn Mungai

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