Our Guiding Principles and how we work with communities
We have four guiding principles which describe how we aim to work with communities: community ownership, sustainability, transparency and equity.
We commit ourselves to follow these four principles in our work. In turn, we ask that all the communities we work with abide by these principles. We will work with communities to ensure these principles are upheld. If a community cannot follow these principles, we will cease working with that community.
1. Community Ownership
We believe community ownership is vital to the success of community development activities. It is the individuals who live in the communities we work within that are best placed to generate and implement their own development solutions. For that reason, project activities (like design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation) are done jointly with community representatives. We ensure representatives of the most vulnerable groups are given the opportunity to actively participate in project activities, however we only support projects where participation is voluntary.
We aim to support projects that have a long-term sustainable impact. The design of projects should be flexible to allow them to change if community needs’ change. Local skills and knowledge will always be used as the first option for solving problems.
Projects must operate in a transparent manner. This is particularly important for decision-making; and financial management. Trust and open communication are essential.
Our projects must operate in an equitable manner. This is particularly important to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and gender equity. We believe women and men should have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, community development activities.