Each year billions of dollars worth of skills and resources are invested into bringing viable solutions to the many issues struggling communities face around the world. And each year an alarming number of resulting development methods, programs, and projects fail before they even begin.
Although they’re grounded in good intentions, most of the unsuccessful attempts at international development work are accredited to factors such as lack of community-driven leadership, community member accountability, and community-based ownership. The unfortunate reality is that oftentimes the approach is one with a focus of “let’s help by doing for them what they cannot do for themselves” rather than one of “let’s walk alongside them and help them help themselves.”
When the primary focus becomes less about the actual solution that needs to be implemented and more about the people doing the implementation, that’s when development methods, programs, and projects have a very good chance of becoming successful. When we start focusing on people – we start focusing on RELATIONSHIPS.