Creating True and Lasting Development

If it’s not sustainable, it’s not development.

Building Local Capacity

Our work is never finite—we strive to create enduring change. Fixing on the long-term progress and well-being of our beneficiaries motivates us to strive for sustainable development. Our respect for host societies and commitment to their involvement as true partners result in improved local capacities and energy for advancement. When beneficiaries work with us to identify challenges and priorities and address them in elegant solutions—not merely to meet indicators for the duration of a project—they themselves change in profound ways.

Our role is to provide knowledge, opportunities and choices that unleash our beneficiaries’ self-interest and potential, so that they themselves become agents of development.

Creating and Supporting Legacy Organizations to be Self-Sustaining

A clear measure of sustainability is our success in leaving behind a legacy of effective, self-sustaining organizations that offer real-world social, business and financial solutions.

Learn about a selection of our successor groups.

Integrated Approaches

As befits an organization that started in cooperative development, we reach deeply into the local context to foster collaboration and a multiplier effect. Our strategies favor broad-based participation and holistic approaches that integrate a complex array of actors and initiatives from public and private sectors, academia, NGOs and other allies.

Strengthening Value Chains for Long-term Impact

Our pioneering work in developing a comprehensive value chain approach to economic development and poverty reduction exemplifies our commitment to technical practices that elevate and extend our impact beyond a project’s term. A strengthened value chain carries long-term benefit for all participants in a market system and lays the foundation for more comprehensive economic growth.

Involving Communities to Drive Change

We have been leaders in community-driven development that brings together participants, even across religious, ethnic and gender barriers, to discover mutuality and partner in progressive action. The results form a basic building-block of social stability and sustainability.

Improving Agricultural Systems from Farm to Market

A persistent food crisis in many parts of the world reaffirms our historical emphasis on catalyzing systemic agricultural development to achieve far-reaching and sustainable food production gains. Smallholder-oriented agricultural programs can obviate the need for emergency commodity handouts, improve nutrition and create broad-based economic growth founded on the world’s most popular livelihood—agriculture.

Promoting Climate-Smart Agriculture

Environmental shocks—including natural disasters, soil depletion, pestilence, crop failures and changing weather patterns—are keenly felt in the developing world, where citizens are often least able to deal with these challenges. We take a holistic approach to addressing climate change in our programs with a focus on minimizing vulnerability and exposure, and maximizing communities’ ability to adapt, so that interventions are sustainable in the long run.

Investing in Youth to Build Tomorrow's Future

Key to sustainability is investing directly in future generations through youth integration and capacity building. Development approaches that give youth a voice, provide leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities, and prepare them to seize those opportunities are components of many ACDI/VOCA projects.


Learn more about some our successor groups.

Learn more about ACDI/VOCA Network of Affiliated Financial Institutions.