What is Development without Dependency®?
Development without Dependency® is more than our tagline–it’s a philosophy. Because of poor practices in international development and aid work throughout the last several decades, many communities around the world have become dependent on aid handouts. We believe in practicing development that makes communities more self-sustaining and independent, so they can lead their own development.
How do we pursue Development without Dependency®?
Research and experience have proven that Community-Led Development (CLD) is one of the strongest approaches to development. Both because it creates sustainable change on the ground and long-term change in the mindset of those who participate, breaking the cycle of aid dependency.
There are already thousands of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) around the world, leading community efforts and implementing effective development solutions, but they often lack the exposure they need to grow and expand their work. We help these organizations connect to potential funders and supporters, share best practices with other community-based organizations, and access resources and expertise to build their internal capacities.
What is Community-Led Development?
Definition from the Movement for Community-Led Development (MCLD): Community-Led Development (CLD) is a development approach in which local community members work together to identify goals that are important to them, develop and implement plans to achieve those goals, and create collaborative relationships internally and with external actors—all while building on community strengths and local leadership.
Roots of Development has been a member of MCLD since 2016.
Other Important Definitions
Community-Based Organization (CBO)
A CBO is a non-profit, non-governmental, or charitable organization whose membership and leadership are comprised of community members and whose work serves the community.
Traditionally, international development has been a field of economics that sought to raise the GDPs and economic productivity of so-called “developing” countries. However, for us and many others, international development is now a field of its own, which seeks to end poverty, raise standards of living, and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Often, aid dependency refers to a government relying too heavily on foreign aid. When we use it, we mean the dependency of people and communities. Because of international development and aid work, many are no longer self-sufficient people looking internally for resources to collectively solve problems, but those who look outward for aid and expertise before acting.
Capacity building activities improve an organization or a person’s abilities. In our context, this means helping CBOs do what they do better by strengthening their skills in financial management, community-led development, internal operations, fundraising, communications, project impact, and more.
Sustainable development has many definitions, depending on the context. Generally, it means development that ensures change is long-term and permanent, lasting beyond the term of the project.
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
Per the UN, an NGO is a not-for profit, voluntary citizen’s group that is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good. This can refer to organizations from the local neighborhood association to the Red Cross. Generally, when we use it, we are referring to larger nonprofit humanitarian aid and development organizations.