Learning Why Community-Driven Development is Most Effective in Bringing Sustainable Impact in Developing Countries

Speaker: Spark Microgrants

Spark MicroGrants supports poor, remote communities in East Africa to design, implement and manage their own social impact projects through a six-month facilitation process, seed grant, and two years of follow-up. The organization’s approach is a village-strengthening model that shifts focus away from large institutions and, instead, emphasizes that communities should be the drivers of their own development.

The villagers of Malungi, in Eastern Uganda, hold a meeting to brainstorm a communal goal and develop objectives for reaching it. Malungi is one of the communities supported by Spark MicroGrants in Central Africa. © 2013 Perry Bindelglass / Spark MicroGrants.

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About This Speaker

Key Info about the Speaker

Name: Spark Microgrants
Type: Nonprofit
Founded in: 2010
Headquarters: New York City, USA
Operates in: Uganda; Rwanda; Burundi; Democratic Republic of Congo

Watch This Video

Fisher, Sasha (Co-Founder and Executive Director of Spark MicroGrants). "Do Something Video – Sasha Fisher." Interview for the 2013 Do Something Awards broadcast on VH1. Vimeo video. Posted by Spark MicroGrants, November 2013.

Who Will Be Your Interlocutor?

Name: Greer Howell
Title: Development Lead at Spark Microgrants
More: B.A., Latin American Studies, Boston University, 2007; worked for several humanitarian organizations (Save the Children, Field Experiments, Builders Beyond Borders…).


Learning Goals of the Videoconference

  • Explain the concept of community-driven development (CDD) through the example of Spark MicroGrants’ work with local communities in Central Africa.
  • Examine why shifting decision-making power from large institutions to communities helps ensure long-term sustainability at a local level.
  • Explain how community-driven development is becoming today one of the fastest-growing investments by nonprofits, NGOs, and development banks.
  • Identify the role of international actors in supporting sustainable development in developing countries through the example of an international development nonprofit.
  • Identify skills and strategies required to create effective change for an international development issue.

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