Partners: key to recovery
One of our aims in working with local organisations is to help them to sustain their work in the long term without Concern.
Concern empowers local groups to take action and apply for eligible funding. We then monitor the projects and provide support and training.
Dorothy Blane, Concern’s country director, says that working with local organisations is "a powerful way to build up civil society."
Importance of partnerships
Local organisations have local wisdom and local experience. This gives international agencies like Concern valuable knowledge and skills.
It often makes no sense for us or other international NGOs to set up and staff local offices when so many committed and capable civil society organisations are already in place.
The history of aid organisations in Pakistan is a relatively short one. It wasn't until the 2005 earthquake that organisations like Concern built up a significant and lasting presence in Pakistan, when the crisis highlighted the country's widespread poverty. This is why the collaboration with local partners is so important, as it helps us tap in to a knowledge base they otherwise would not have had access to.
The long-term needs of Sindh and Punjab – both suffering from extreme poverty – were not on the radar until the devastating floods. There was momentum after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake to help re-build. That call to action applies even more powerfully today, as Concern is helping with the long-term recovery for millions whose homes were destroyed.
Read more of my experiences in Pakistan in The Huffington Post.