Challenge 4: Distance

‘Remittances for Community Development’ projects always have an international dimension. Organizing or financing a project in a different country, without being present, is challenging indeed. You have limited overview of what is actually happening on the ground. While you have seen pictures of a school being constructed, you still feel some apprehension when going to look at the project site yourself. Or, you receive regular updates on how your remittances are being spent and you have no other option than to trust others that they are truthful.

Two issues can help you in bridging the distance:

(i) build trust
(ii) establish communication channels

To reduce such uncertainties as much as possible, make sure to build trust relations with your partners early on.

Communication channels
Also establish good communication from the start: make arrangements of how you will communicate. Will this be once every week, or bi-monthly? Will this be via email, including pictures of the progress, or by phone? Who will pay for the communication costs? The more clear you and your partners are from the start, the less effort it will require over time.

Tip! Involve ‘neutral’ third parties to oversee the project locally and/or to help in the implementation of the project.