Local partners are the backbone of PFD’s country programs. Working in partnership with local populations has helped us ensure that programs meet local needs and are sustainable due to local involvement in and ‘ownership’ of projects.
PFD has developed a repertoire of participatory and community-based tools including community needs assessments and priority needs identification; the establishment and training of local committees; local staff training and capacity building development; and the use of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) methodology.
Partners for Development often works with local NGOs and government authorities, as well as citizen and faith-based groups, and village associations, who all benefit from technical assistance, administrative structures, and material resources provided by PFD. Capacity building of partner organizations includes training in community-based approaches to project design and implementation, in monitoring and evaluation, in reporting, and in sustainability planning.
In many cases, Partners for Development has been responsible for setting up and supporting the associations and networks within which communities can organize and more effectively meet their own needs. This has taken the form of Village Development Committees (VDCs) made up of local representatives who work to mobilize community members and assume responsibility for health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and other interventions. It has also included the formation of farmers’ associations, a network through which farmers can, with PFD’s support, access training, markets, credit, and other opportunities.
Recently, Partners for Development has partnered with private sector institutions as well, in order to capitalize on the efficiency and resources such institutions can bring to the relationship. A key requirement in this case is that the institution must be a local one in order that the skills and benefits gained will remain in the locality for which they were destined.