Country-led development is key to sustainability. We need to know what lasts to do more of it after we leave. What worked best? What should we never do more of? We don't know. 

$1.5 trillion of international development assistance by just the US and EU since 2000 alone is unevaluated for sustainability! Without knowing this, we design based on what we want to give rather than on what people can self-sustain.

We founded Valuing Voices to listen to stakeholders and build an evidence base around sustainability of project outcomes and impacts. Fieldwork (always co-led by national evaluators) explores what communities and their partners could self-sustain and how we can:

Shift the development model from what we donors/ implementers think is best to what communities think is best for them

Document what communities have sustained themselves or even revised differently– and designing that way from now on

Become an advocate for the communities we serve – by seeing ourselves as them, Prioritizing country-led 'development' and learning policies

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We all want people to be able to feed themselves, be healthy and for communities to thrive. Most development projects help people – but how sustainably? 

Valuing Voices of those at the center of development means creating opportunities to listen to what our 'participants' – the women, men, youth and elders we serve – feel they could self-sustain after projects closed.  It means learning from the past successes and failures to design anew for sustainability, in a transparent and accountable way that builds country-led development.Valuing Voices was founded to advocate for and provide data around the sustainability of project results. 99% of the time, donors and implementers do not return to international development projects after they close to assess and learn from what partners and participants could sustain themselves. 

$5 trillion has been spent on foreign aid since 1945 and  $137 billion was spent in 2014 on development projects yet shockingly, hundreds of thousands of projects are unevaluated for what 'development' has been 'sustainable'. New policies, partnerships and funding are needed to learn about what we did right to do more of it and for country-led development leadership and sustainability to grow.

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Services: Stakeholder Engagement

Respectful development includes input early on by partners and participants, and 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.  We need to ask community and local NGO, government, private partners:

Evaluation and Advocacy Network Services:

Our team is ready to advise you as your organization tackles these questions:


* What does sustainable development look like in your organization? How can we build it?

* How can we track our projects' return on investment for donor and private funders through participatory feedback?  What data exists is missing, or we don't know we need?


* What is Sustained Excellent Development for our participants? We need to ask during projects and after they close. What inputs and capacities need to be built? How do we measure, monitor and evaluate?


* Advocating to clients and donors about the benefits of tracking sustained impact and calculating actual Return on Investment of sustained development, including learning what emerged that we did not expect…

* Advocating together for more funding for longer project cycles with greater participant feedback… for country-led development!

National partners in evaluation, impact and advocacy

* How can we best build national capacity to help local stakeholders evaluate us? What methods for accountability do we need to create? Using our country-national network a great start.


This is how to help our work and our world shine with sustained development. 


We can help your work shine with Monitoring & Evaluation, Learning and Accountability (MEAL), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) learning, by helping design projects for investment that are impactful and sustained by our stakeholders in partnerships for results.

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Our Mission:

* Magnify all stakeholders’ voices, including participants, implementers, local partners, and local government;

* Mobilize donors and national governments to learn from the most self-sustained programming;

* Manifest great programming for country-led development.

Contact us:, +1-202-848-4783 (US) or +42-731-106-296 (Czech Rep)

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