Southern leadership

Policy decisions of Woord en Daad about partnership are and were always strongly fed by a continuous dialogue with our southern partners. From the very beginning in the 1970s Woord en Daad  has had the philosophy of working through local partners. Reasons for this were the conviction that local people know and shape their context best, and the low-cost philosophy of Woord en Daad. Coming from one-to-one relations with partners, from the ‘90s Woord en Daad started working in alliances of partners and implementing projects in consortia with (local) civil society actors, companies and knowledge institutes which brought southern stakes  and voices explicitly on a shared table.

From 2015 on Woord en Daad also started working on public private partnerships (PPPs), in which we sought to align more explicitly with southern public policies and -actors. Key words in our current policy plan (2021-2025) ‘reach far, be near’ are co-creation, added value and adaptive programming. We feel an urge to work ‘horizontally’, seeking complementarity (rather than hierarchy) and effectiveness for a joint mission. This most recent step led us in 2021 to work on multi-actor partnerships for system change. In this move we are seeking to support southern ‘drivers at the steering wheel’ as we move from projects to partnerships. from a primary focus on project progress, to a focus on how an intervention can influence system behaviour.