The shifting aid landscape: how civil-society investments strengthen local ownership of development

Written by Randall Tift and William Langley, World Vision on the Development Progress blog.

World Vision and other international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) are sharpening their focus on mobilising both international and domestic resources for development. US-based INGOs channel around $20 billion per year in private funding for overseas relief and development, according to the Hudson Institute. That is comparable to USAID’s 2014 foreign assistance account budget of $20.4 billion and there is no doubt that it has done a great deal of good.

Aid flows channeled from INGOs through local organisations and communities help to reduce child mortality, facilitate collective action at community level, and support the development efforts and capacities of local and national governments in partner countries.

In addition to these resource investments, INGO programs also emphasize the importance of building other forms of local ‘capital’.  In fact, INGOs often mobilize or help create, financial, institutional, human, and social capital to spur progress towards development goals. They also help to regenerate natural capital, which underpins the productivity of agriculture. By building long term partnerships with local communities and civil society organizations, INGOs help to ensure that critical local assets contribute to the effectiveness and sustainability of development interventions.

Increasingly, INGOs are building social accountability mechanisms into their development work to make service delivery more relevant, responsive, effective and efficient. Such programmes generate benefits beyond the goods or services provided by foreign assistance. The result is development from the ground up: citizens themselves hold their governments – and each other – accountable for their performance, thus improving local service delivery.”

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