Testimonial: Wilde Ganzen (NL) on power relations

We added a new inspirational testimonial to our website. Wilde Ganzen is a Dutch NGO that supports community-led organizations in the Global South. They do so with a strong philosophy on equal power relations and forms of capacity building which leaves the international partner in charge as much as possible. We have been in touch with Esther Meester and Corine Aartman of Wilde Ganzen, who were so kind to provide us with a testimonial on their work:

“Within the sector of international cooperation, the call for radically changing funding and partnership practices to strengthen local ownership of development agendas is getting ever louder. Flexible and long-term funding is an important strategy to achieve this power shift, as the funder lets go of decision-making power which is all too often attached to money. As Wilde Ganzen, we want to practice just that in our role of lead of the Giving for Change Alliance*. Even though Wilde Ganzen disburses the donor funding, the alliance wants other organizations, especially those who are closest to the envisioned change, to decide on the allocation. This implies different accountability mechanisms: not only upward, but also downward and horizontal, focused on learning. It is a journey of learning and un-learning to move away from top-down mechanisms and strengthen Southern ownership.

In addition, we believe it is equally important that donors invest in their partners’ capacity to raise resources domestically and build local constituencies. This not only enhances their financial sustainability; it also strengthens their ownership and legitimacy. With diversified income streams and a local support base, organizations are much better placed to base their work on local priorities and local solutions and to make claims to power holders, such as government and donors. We support this, together with partners from twelve countries, through Change the Game Academy: a capacity strengthening programme on local fundraising and lobby and advocacy. We invite all donors in the field of international cooperation to join us on this journey as we are convinced that domestic resource mobilization is a real game changer!”

*The Giving for Change Alliance is a partnership between the Global Fund for Community Foundations, Kenya Community Development Foundation, Africa Philanthropy Network, Wilde Ganzen Foundation and partners from eight countries, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Join the conversation