The Importance of Locally Led Development
The development community at large is working toward a new strategy of locally led development. This is crucial for many reasons, including increasing the efficacy of development programs. Read on to learn how we work to empower locally led organizations through our projects worldwide.
Increasing inclusivity, efficiency and sustainability
In recent years, there has been a push toward localization in development programs. To increase inclusivity and be more efficient with resources, it is important to work with local parties. Local people must be included in the efforts to provide aid to their country.
Locally led development is not only important for inclusivity purposes, but also for greater efficiency and sustainability. Locally led development is found to be more effective for three main reasons: (1) it allows people to feel ownership for their own development, (2) it meets the specific needs of affected communities and (3) it builds trust between local and international actors. These combine to create an impact that is more effective at the time and more likely to be continued in the future.
USAID’s new donor statement
In December 2022, USAID stated that it will be working to foster locally sustained change. USAID’s focus on supporting local partners is not new; in 2021, Administrator Samantha Power announced that USAID would channel 25 percent of its funding directly to local partners by the end of 2025. The new policy builds on previous commitments, such as the Paris Declaration (2005) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015).
There are three main actions that USAID will focus on in this change: (1) sharing power with local actors, (2) channeling funding to these actors and (3) publicly advocating for locally led development. These actions will ensure local ownership and mutual accountability. By using its substantial platform to promote locally led development, USAID can have a significant impact on the donor and development sector as a whole.
SCOPEinsight’s local efforts
At SCOPEinsight, we believe in the value of collaborating with and supporting local partners in emerging markets. In 2020, we launched the Local Expert Network (LEN) to support this goal. The LEN is a partnership program that aims to help local organizations grow their businesses by providing them with a global standard on agribusiness professionalism to strengthen their work.
Our local experts share our vision of professionalizing agribusinesses and are, therefore, reliable implementers of the SCOPE tools. By partnering with them, we support their expertise and the local infrastructure. Additionally, our local experts have the capacity to provide continuous business development support to agribusinesses beyond the scope of donor-funded initiatives, which creates a stronger exit strategy than a purely international intervention. Currently, we have local experts based in various countries throughout Africa, and we plan to expand into other regions soon.
Our work with the local expert, Velior Développement
One of our local experts is the Ivorian consultancy firm, Velior Développement (Velior Dev). We have worked with Velior Dev on multiple projects since 2019. These include the Farm & Cooperative Investment Program (FCIP) in Côte d’Ivoire, where Velior Dev conducted over 300 assessments and reassessments with the SCOPE Basic and Pro tools to increase sustainability in cooperatives, and the Projet de Développement Local Pour L’Emploi (PDLE) in Burundi, where Velior Dev has completed almost 100 assessments for agri-cooperative companies and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to promote job creation.
The LEN provides value to both SCOPEinsight and local experts like Velior Dev. The local presence in Côte d’Ivoire and other nearby countries helps to make connections with other local parties, tailor projects to local challenges and create strong exit strategies. For Velior Dev, the LEN brings value additions and new joint opportunities for business development. Both parties benefit, as do the local agribusinesses and farmers receiving the local services.
“Over the years, we have built with SCOPEinsight a successful cooperation base starting with assessments and extended to shared business development opportunities in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa. This brings appreciated reputation and professionalism value additions to our assignments in the agriculture sector.”
Désiré D. Bankole, Founder and CEO of Velior Développement
In support of working locally
Locally led development is not merely a new trend. It is the direction that the development sector is following toward greater efficiency and sustainability, and indeed a direction the sector must follow to succeed. This is understood both internationally and in the local communities themselves. To make a deeper, longer-lasting impact, it is crucial to work with and empower local actors.
Are you looking to promote locally led development in your own work? Contact us today to see how we can work together.
This post was originally published on the SCOPEinsight website.