Accepted paper:

Becoming more together

Authors:

Nana Kwadwo Owusu (Viatores Christi, Rwanda)

Paper short abstract:

NGOs work in local communities to achieve their project goals and to be able to have an impact on the beneficiaries. However in most cases in Ghana, NGOs spend a greater percentage of their time and efforts in achieving their set goals and targets as against the intended benefits for the community.

Paper long abstract:

As much as the work of International NGOs contribute immensely to local communities and their problems, the people in the community have the right to determine what works for them and what doesn't. It is a fact that external funding plays a large part of the work of international NGOs and thus are expected to report back in line with the goals and impacts that were intended to be achieved. NGOs submit funding proposals that are in line with priority areas of funders. This could sometimes be opposite to the area of need for the intended local community When this happens, NGOs become much concerned about achieving their intended goals and created value for the funds received to the detriment of the needs of the community. This paper is bringing to light the cries and concerns of local communities who are asking, 'How can we be more together' instead of the unbalanced benefits that accrue to both the NGOs and the community. Engaging local communities first and prioritizing their concerns, even if the potential funder is not prioritizing the area of need of the community is a way to go. With varied potential funding opportunities, the area of needs of communities can be fine-tuned to suit a particular interest area of a funder. Gradually, both the funder, the implementer (NGO) and the community can be on the same page and the development benefits will be mutual.

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Stream:
Interrogating development through stories and experiences
The development storyteller [experimental: interactive story-producing workshop]