We all deserve respect and trust that we can self-determine our lives. Yet too often projects are designed in the US and Europe based on what we want to solve without participants and partners informing what needs they most want our help to address.
Respectful design includes input early on by partners and participants, and feedback throughout implementation and after close-out. 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:
* What do you feel is the return on investment? What can donors learn from what you could self-sustain? More funding is needed – and transparency
* What is Sustained Excellent Development for them? We need to ask during projects and after they close. What inputs and capacities need to be built?
* How can we best build national capacity to help local stakeholders evaluate us? We have methods for accountability
* Engaging stakeholders in design and M&E for them to continue makes our hard work shine!
* We can help with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) learning, by helping design projects for investment that are impactful and sustained by the communities we want to help be self-sufficient.