“Stopping As Success: planning for success from start to exit” (SAS) is a three-year USAID-funded collaborative learning project that is looking at responsible exits and transitions of INGOs from a variety of different contexts. It is being implemented by a consortium consisting of Peace Direct, Search for Common Ground and CDA Collaborative Learning.
The primary goal of the project is to bring greater awareness to the international community of the multiple dynamics at play when ending a development programme and provide guidelines on how to ensure locally-led development.
Since 2017, the SAS consortium has looked at 18 case studies of INGOs exits and transitions in support of locally-led development from 13 various contexts: Bosnia, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Morocco, the Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Bangladesh, Burundi, India, Guatemala, and Timor-Leste.
The SAS project draws on the assumption that in the development sector, the international community works on programmes until the relevant development problem(s) is resolved, and that once this happens the local communities and local actors no longer require the support of international development actors on that issue. If this assumption is correct, the ultimate success is the end of a program because it is no longer needed. In this case, stopping is seen as success. Ultimately, the SAS project aims to identify alternative definitions of ‘success’ within the context of international assistance.
For the second year of the project (April 2018 – March 2019), the consortium focused on external engagements as well as field work. Whilst conducting in-country research, SAS consortium members engaged in learning exchanges with international NGOs, local CSOs, donors and government representatives. The SAS team has also participated in a number of external events in London, Washington D.C. and New York, including a workshop titled “Improving Peacebuilding Partnerships: Local Works and USAID reform”, the Unconference, a roundtable discussion with peacebuilding organisations in the UK (Conciliation Resources, International Alert and Saferworld), and a brown bag lunch with InterAction members. In March 2019, the SAS team convened 17 participants across 8 countries in Asia for a regional review meeting that focused on collecting feedback on current cross-case analysis and gathering input on practical tool and resource development in the third year of the project.
Advocacy and influencing will be a key focus in the third and final year of the project (April 2019 – March 2020). The SAS team will continue to engage with external actors at our regional review meetings and learning exchanges that will be held in Washington D.C., London, Nairobi and Bogota. The SAS team will be co-presenting at a panel in the InterAction forum in June 2019 in partnership with Local Works, World Vision and Plan International. We will also be engaging with other strategic partners in the coming months.
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If you have any questions or would like to be in touch with the consortium directly, please contact us below.