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International development can be empowering and sustainable for local communities. But, it can also be disempowering and lead to dependency on external aid, potentially leaving communities worse-off when the aid is withdrawn.

Dependency results when a local community starts to rely on foreign intervention at the cost of being able to support themselves if the intervention is removed. GVI actively works against creating a dependency on our support by local partners. We do this by building in-country capacity so that they become self-sustaining. We also ensure to keep conversations open and keep reflecting and adjusting as needed.

In all of our projects, GVI works within the ambit of our empowerment principles, one of them being sustainable development. We collaborate with local communities and organisations to develop their economic and social welfare and prosperity in such a way that local resources are not depleted and that they can continue to develop and prosper permanently. We do this by playing the role of facilitator and organiser for our collaborative projects, and by providing resources and funding where necessary to achieve those objectives.

Any and all projects are prefaced by setting measurable short, mid, and long-term goals in collaboration with the local partner. Exit strategies are also put in place upfront, so that all parties involved understand that there is an end-date. Once objectives are set, GVI works to build local capacity through education and infrastructure development.

If there ever is a situation where we recognise that a dependency might be arising, we are quick to assess the situation and enter into conversation with the partner. This process of assessment and conversation serves to realign everyone involved, address the areas where dependencies are arising, and create an action plan to increase empowerment and resolve the dependency.

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