In the same boat

November 19, 2022-Reading time: < 1 minutes

Working so that one day you will no longer be needed: it sounds paradoxical, but this is the ultimate goal of development cooperation. Investing resources and creativity, implementing work, projects and programs so that one day everything can go ahead without professionals, NGO's and the like. From this determination is extracted the energy that has allowed us to grow and evolve, changing connotations to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and correspond to what reality demands.

This mentality can be seen in the history of many NGOs working with the poorest. People who, with different approaches, have not accepted the idea that national borders can separate areas of development and underdevelopment. 

Our destiny is united; either we all grow or we all fall. The evolution that has marked development cooperation is condensed in a preposition: we work "with", we only advance if we are together, in a process between equals. 

The interesting topic now is precisely that of cooperation. We are all subjects of international development cooperation: development workers, companies, universities, civil society organizations, local and national institutions, the media and the beneficiaries themselves, their families and communities, their local organizations in the countries of Africa, the Middle East, etc, 

The tools are different: co-design and co-programming, subsidiarity, localization, the systemic and integrated approach, the multi-sectoral nature of projects, performance indicators, impact measurement and monitoring. But these are tools that need men and women of "cooperation", capable of looking beyond, in time and space. In other words, they need us.

The authorMaria Laura Conte

Degree in Classical Literature and PhD in Sociology of Communication. Communications Director of the AVSI Foundation, based in Milan, dedicated to development cooperation and humanitarian aid worldwide. She has received several awards for her journalistic activity.

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