Creative turns 38—what’s changed in development?


April 22, 2015

From a new gender perspective to the emergence of non-traditional donors, the international aid industry has undergone some big changes in the last few decades.

On April 25, in celebration of Creative’s 38th year supporting people around the world to realize the positive change they seek, its experts weighed in on the single biggest changes they have seen in development assistance over their careers.


In the 38 years since I helped found Creative, I’ve noticed a big shift in the aspirations of people in the developing world. They are getting more focused on the common good, instead of the individual gain.

Here is an example from when I started: Parents who had sent their children to madrassas told us they were there to be safe and get out of poverty. Today, I hear parents talk about the goal of education as bettering the community, not just the child. In turn, the madrassas are changing with more community support.

I’ve seen the same kind of change in our work with gang-affected youth in Central America. It used to be “how can I save myself from violence?” Now, these kid and families understand the value of workforce development and life skills, and kids want to participate to help their neighborhoods and become leaders.

Part of this shift in development could be explained by our success. We’ve largely moved people out of extreme poverty. Now, people are still living in poverty, but they know they can make it through.

Charito Kruvant, Creative Co-founder and CEO

Click below to see what our experts said.

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