We love to share our research findings through these blogs. This is the 1st out of 3.
In the aid sector we love jargon, and then assume we mean the same. Like when we talk about Shift the Power. From our research findings (see text box) two major definitions appeared:
This was incredibly insightful to get to understand the approaches of different organisations and the thinking behind it.
As from our data, we could clearly see that these two definitions, come with a totally different approach. Examples given run from working on the awareness of power differences between northern and southern partners (i.e. a start for organisational change within the organisation), to having participants to decide over budgets (i.e. bottom-up participatory approaches), and everything in between.
What’s more, the second definition came with so many advantages – according to 6 out of 14 interviewees. Engaging participants in decision-making over projects and its budget, results in:
Looking at our strategies, it is not our role to engage project participants, since we are dealing with locally-led NGOs as our direct partners – so we do everything from what we know and within our capacity to work towards equal relationships (see next blog on sharing insights from our research about Trust-Based Partnerships).
When it comes to engaging project participants in decision-making (on design, implementation and evaluation) is has been one of our criteria to start a partnership with locally-led NGOs. So yes, they all do.
But I was wondering: Are our partners up for letting participants decide about their project budgets? So, this was something to check: How did our partnering NGOs look to our research results? We discussed it last Friday in our joint Partnership Meeting – discussing how we want to partnership to look like in 2023. And this is what they said:
And although we will start sharing much more within our network of partnering locally-led NGOs, to enable learning from each other (highly valued by our partners), the question came to me: Are we not spending our time having theoretical discussions on how Development Aid should work best, while the experts on the ground already know very well what gives the best results?
Inemarie Dekker, Chair & coordinator iMPACT direct
This is blog 1 out of 3 – sharing our research results.
See our entire renewed Theory of Change here: https://impactdirect.eu/toc/