Working With African Partners
Our vision for our work in Africa is to see Africans, particularly those vulnerable to poverty due to HIV/AIDS, benefitting from being part of a growing culture of participation supported by effective development interventions delivered by sovereign local organisations (pdf).
Our approach to achieving this vision is informed by our belief that:
- local organisations have a key role to play in leading and supporting a sustainable development process
- the programme should support African-led initiatives and ideas, and should inform decision-making rather than imposing decisions already made
- our approach should be one of partnership, based on shared goals and nurturing mutual trust and respect, as affirmed by the findings of our 2007 impact assessment (pdf)
- Our efforts should be comprehensive, across sectors, and informed by evidence from partners and target groups
Between 2002 and 2005 ICA:UK worked with ICA Tanzania on their programme with Maasai people in Monduli District. This programme was funded by the Baring Foundation, and has been featured in two recent reports, Filling Gaps, Making Spaces (2005) and Sitting on Chairs (2009)
For 2008-2011 we are focussing on developing the capacity of African partners to mobilise resources and provide comprehensive, evidence-based services more effectively, particularly in the 3 areas of participation, HIV/AIDS, and climate change.
Why these 3 areas?
- participation as a concept is at the heart of our approach and, appropriately developed and applied, leads to self-reliant, sovereign communities and organisations. A key element of this is the contribution participation can make to stronger governance.
- HIV/AIDS continues to threaten livelihoods in many African countries. ICA’s African HIV/AIDS initiatives have made great progress in this regard, but much still remains to be done.
- while recognising the wider importance of environmental issues, climate change is now recognised as a major concern, with the most vulnerable populations liable to suffer the most as a result. In addition to our established expertise in community mobilisation, we can build on the significant experience and expertise that ICAs (and others) in Africa have developed in crucial areas such as water and soil management, cropping strategies and livestock management.
Who do we work with?
Until recently we chose to work only with members of the ICA International network in Africa. Our current strategy sees a shift towards working with a broader range of organisations, in recognition of the importance of taking a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to increasingly complex issues. See map of who our partners are, where they are and what they do.
Our own capacity is limited, so in the next three years the number of new partners we will engage with will be limited. Any new partnerships will be established according to our partner criteria (pdf).
Our priorities for 2008-2011
- working with African partners to strengthen their capacity to mobilise resources and enable them to provide a similar support to others.
- developing partnership criteria (pdf) which reflect our strategy, and using these criteria to strengthen existing partners and identify new ones
- developing and expanding our Village Volunteers scheme as a UK resource for African partners to access
- partnering with other northern and southern organisations to support the work of our African partners
- facilitating and providing support for evidence-based approaches
- working with African partners to develop regional and national programmes, particularly in our focus areas (HIV/AIDS, climate change, participation)
- researching for and implementing a Climate Change programme