With the help of excellent presentations by John Coonrod, vice president of the Hunger Project, and Dayna Brown, director of the Listening Projects participants in this Learning Event were able synthesize and take-away the following development effectiveness concepts:
1. Ensure gender is at the center of what we do. Free and empower women who often prove to be the responsible family members who will push for change.
2. Use bottom-up approaches, working people-to-people, to achieve self-reliance. Increase dialogue between local development efforts and national level efforts. This includes listening among donors and collaborating together. Consider development as a means to create freedom of action and being as an important concept.
3. Do local level empowerment, starting from the bottom up: local governments, groups and others. Work with local systems and cultures.
4. Emphasize effectiveness of development efforts over efficiency (fast mobilization, quick hits, etc.). Effective development efforts take more time, slowing down the process to achieve greater buy-in and participation. Starting slowly, first empower people and give them ownership of the activities. Spend time with people to build trust.
5. Highlight social transformation in development efforts to achieve the people’s self-reliance. Assist developing the person’s whole life and destiny.
6. During project implementation, build in communication mechanisms to achieve feedback. Follow up on the feedback.
7. Re-invent the current aid model; build in more adaptability.
8. Include systematic feedback mechanisms, which go beyond the project. At the end of an aid effort, aid providers should do a client (aid recipient) survey to determine, “How’d we do?” In impact analysis, include local client feedback.
9. Develop cost-effective methods for doing M&E, such as developing a local capacity to do M&E.
10. Ensure accountability in development programs, which is largely absent now.