Country-led development based on sustainability data is key to success

Valuing Voices means listening to stakeholders and collaboratively identifying what actual impact measures are. What we can learn together to improve our projects and for country-led development? We need to build an evidence base of sustained outcomes and impacts. Our projects catalyze change in-country but we need to learn what works over the long-term, what doesn’t and how to fund, design, implement, track and maintain sustained results right.

Without sustained impact results, we don’t know what to invest in that could be self-sustained. What worked best? What should we never fund and implement again? 

Now, we don’t know what has been sustained. Why? Because we have spent decades out in the field in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. Through Valuing Voices’ research we know that currently, global development aid evaluates only 1% of all projects after they close for what is still standing or emerged$1.5 trillion of international development assistance by just the US and EU since 2000 alone is unevaluated for sustainability; we have spent $5 trillion in resource investments over the last 30 years without knowing what is standing. But Valuing Voices has spent 5 years analyzing the 1% of what has been evaluated and we have a market edge on this learning.

We need to:

* Shift the development model to learning from sustained impacts and funding what lasts and designing anew

* Learn from what communities and countries have financially sustained themselves while bringing lessons from SDGs and public donor (e.g. USAID) M&E

* Prioritizing funding and design of what has excellent, locally-sustained impacts

We need to Value Voices of all stakeholders for global well-being based on local growth to really take off.  Read the blog and hire us to help you technically, advocate for change, invite us to speak, let’s collaborate on putting our true clients, our participants, front and center in ‘development’.

What can we do together to keep the change going?



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Respectful development includes input early on by partners and participants, feedback throughout implementation and after closeout from projects. Designing for local self-sustainability involves learning what works best with them to inform future project content and funding. Information such as sustained return on investments from our projects for country nationals as well as donors is real accountability.


  • Most global development projects help people – but for how long?


  • Are we funding, designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating with input from our participants and partners’ so they can sustain results and lead their own development after we leave?


  • Are we selecting projects well to foster those that can self-sustain global and local Social Returns on Investments (SROI)? What about Sustained ROI?


  • What indicators are we monitoring? Who are we listening to in our evaluations? How are we learning and investing for more sustained impacts?


  • New policies, partnerships and collaborative funding are needed and for country-led development leadership and sustainability to grow.


At Valuing Voices, we value knowledge from real people for sustainable solutions, let us help you!

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Based on decades of experience in funding, designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating and advocating for non-profit, for-profit, public and foundation clients in global development, plus 5 years of research on sustainability, the Valuing Voices team offers:


  1. Funding, Design and Advocacy Expertise
  • Review of project design and indicators and collection methods to foster sustainability and measurable social and environmental impacts


  • Review of projects for evaluability


  • Speaking engagements/ presentations and articles drawing on evidence about and advocating for sustained impacts


  1. Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Expertise


  • Creating a Theory of Sustainability (ToS) for project and program investments


  • Ground-truthing actual outcomes and impacts of project investments at midterm and final evaluations


  • Exploring positive and negative unintended and emerging results


  • Accompanying local partners and participants to evaluate projected sustainability alongside final evaluations, which assist with the next funding and design



We are happy to support your organization’s learning through our Networks.

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