Alliance and Localization: Two sides of the same coin
Local leadership and ownership in development work are critical for sustainable outcomes. By allowing local actors to frame their developmental agenda, we create the space to develop solutions that are contextually relevant, sustainable and locally responsive. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s recent policy on localization is a step in the right direction.
Locally led development is more than just pushing funds to local organizations; it is about ensuring the sustainability of development programs. It requires that host governments and other local stakeholders drive the process, and all investments or interventions align with host governments’ development policy and priorities.
The approach must be responsive to community needs and be led by a cadre of local experts. It is essential to ensure that systems and procedures are in place to sustain the program interventions and that there is strong community and stakeholder support for programming.
Supporting locally led development with the Dev-Alliance
The Development Alliance (Dev-Alliance) is a strategic alliance between five companies to support local and regional efforts to address economic, social and educational challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. The new Dev-Alliance leverages talents, skills, cultural knowledge and geographic expertise of the companies — including one in the United States, three in Jordan and one in West Bank and Gaza — to improve locally conceived, designed and led programs.
The Dev-Alliance seeks to break the traditional mold that often treats local partner relationships as transactional and extractive. The members are treated as equals, their voices are heard, and they are encouraged to take the lead on their unique capabilities to enhance their countries’ development initiatives.
The Dev-Alliance is working to extend relationships beyond a single project and to band members together behind a common set of development principles and goals in the region. It serves as a regional platform for growth, strengthens local capacity and helps to operationalize Administrator Power’s localization agenda.
Dev-Alliance members will support USAID to address underlying factors of fragility, bolster local humanitarian response systems and enhance resilience to shocks and stresses.
The power of working together locally
The Dev-Alliance members see themselves not only as program implementers but also as key players in instigating new approaches and ideas that can ensure sustainable development. They see this as a platform that provides an opportunity to come up with evidence-based solutions to local problems through their expertise, network and experience. It also allows them to bring community needs to the forefront and serve as honest brokers between government and the private sector, as well as between the host government and local communities.
We believe in working with like-minded organizations to give space to locally rooted solutions with global best practices. It is an opportunity to connect locally and internationally with other organizations and have access to a platform that brings attention to key issues and local solutions.