Challenge 5: Local Ownership
Intensive cooperation with local organisations will contribute to achieving a more sustainable – longer life cycle – project. When dealing with development activities, it is key to address local needs and requirements rather than deciding from outside what is best for communities.
Through your “investigation goggles”, as one migrant association leader once put it, it is possible to identify existing needs and demands in communities in your country of origin. Based on this local exploration, projects will be more fitted to the local situation and could then stimulate a longer life cycle of the project. In contrast, when projects are developed in communities for which no need was present, the funds in some cases might just go to waste.
Some projects have decided to create and/or cooperate with local associations or co-operations to strengthen the project’s sustainability and stimulate local engagement for the project. By involving local organized groups, a sense of ownership is stimulated, and entrusting local actors directly with implementation and monitoring tasks generates a form of social control in the community.
Tip! Include your local stakeholders and beneficiaries in decision-making processes. This will make them more aware of their responsibilities, while also creating a sense of ownership over the project.
The organization was confronted during the implementation phase with a patriarchal society, which was not used to see the women of the community taking on entrepreneurial responsibilities as well having a stronger decision-making power because of their larger portion of income for the household. After the project was vandalized for a first time, the organization made sure to act swiftly and to tackle the gender issue at hand. They encouraged the men and women from the society to attend gender-sensitivity trainings in order to make them more aware of the potentials and obstacles that might lie ahead and how they could overcome them by taking a different approach. For more information on the gender sensitivity training, please contact the organization directly.
Local Co-Development Projects
National development priorities
The challenge in implementing a development project often lies in coordinating the efforts in line with existing projects. If new development projects are started that do not fit into existing plans, such as national government development plans, this might mean that the project has a counter-productive effect on development. Because of the character of the project, in which government departments are involved in the selection and streamlining of migrant funds, the remittances projects implemented are in line with the national development priorities of the government. This counters the potential challenge that development efforts introduced by migrant communities might conflict with national efforts. Now, because of the co-development set-up, the projects are in line with the development aims of the national government and can support and complement existing projects.