With the northern NGOs having approximately 98% of the worldwide international development budget in their hands, they also have the decision-making power over solutions in African communities. This has serious consequences: when African NGOs just have an implementing role, it means there is no local agency, credibility or legitimacy. And this rather weakens civil society than strengthen it. Yet, civil society is a vital power in protecting or creating common goods like climate and livelihood opportunities – or more generally – it’s vital for a society where people can claim their rights.
Frontline NGOs are more effective. For the global community supporting NGOs and communities – their existing solutions, manpower and resources – means quick, durable and relatively cheap results. Frontline NGOs are tasked with implementing 70% of impactful projects. Only imagine what could happen if more budget was allocated to local NGOs than the current 2%!
In addition, local NGOs can rapidly respond to changes or new problems that arise. And probably most importantly, the NGOs’ solutions are designed together with the communities. Local NGOs and communities build a durable relationship, and not just for the funding period. This in turn, allows for impact reports on community level (instead of on individual level) – which has the power to show nuanced stories on Africa (instead of the single one we usually hear in the global north).
How do we integrate these learnings in iMPACT direct?
That is why we advocate for a shift of power, for more direct donations to local NGOs, ensuring that local expertise and affected communities have a voice and seat at the decision-making table. As we believe that complex problems should be resolved with the people affected by the issues (and not in the global north).
We are building a global community to support local solutions for local communities on a basis of trust, direct relations and transparency, with the purpose to change the story of giving for NGOs ánd for donors. As together we can create so much more impact in international development. Together we can support local NGOs to thrive, solve, multiply their impact direct. One donation at time.
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