InterAction Forum, where leaders from the Movement for Community-led Development presented on the importance of expanding community-led initiatives industrywide. On a panel moderated by John Coonrod, president of the Hunger Project, NCBA CLUSA’s COO of International Programs Amy Coughenour Betancourt discussed the importance of community-led development in a conversation with leaders from America Solidaria and the World Bank.Last week, hundreds of international development practitioners attended the
Beyond community-based projects, the movement for community-led development is looking for systematic change, including partnering with local and national governments. In Senegal, for example, NCBA CLUSA works with Citizen Working Groups to catalyze their own development. Bringing communities together in a more formal governance role gives them a chance to integrate with local government and get issues like nutrition, healthcare, water and other community priorities into the regional development plans.
“It provides an inclusive voice for local community actors, but it also provides a real structure for action,” Coughenour Betancourt said.
“The biggest challenge is scale, moving that model into bureaucracy,” said Susan Wong, who leads a community of practice on Community Driven Development at the World Bank. As one of the larger financiers of these programs, the World Bank dedicates on average 5-10 percent of its funding to community driven programs.
The Movement for Community-led Development now has 42 NGO partners, including NCBA CLUSA, and is expanding into national chapters in four countries around the world. Development models like the Citizen Working Groups are ways to continue to provide a foundation for community voices in large scale development.
Watch a video of the full panel below: