Development Initiatives Strategies for Self-Sustainability is a project of Via Interaxion in collaboration with the Center for Complexity Sciences and the Coordination of Humanities at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning (IELL) and the UNESCO Chair in Regional Education Development and Lifelong Learning at The Education University of Hong Kong (EDUHk).
The study on which this site is based has been exploring since 2012, how development initiatives from a variety of areas deal with their dependence or subordination to external factors, actors, and resources with a view to achieving more sustainable interventions.
Development initiatives investigated: click here
Through qualitative interviews with key agents, field observations, and documentary research, the study examines how these strategies occur in the practice of several development initiatives.
This site, is a product of such research, which aims to disseminate these strategies among development agents who might share similar experiences and challenges.
The analysis of the experiences of the initiatives studied is carried out in the light of:
• The normative, economic and political power relations that frame their decision-making processes
For example, funders’ terms of reference, accountability pressures, national legislation, groups interests, etc.
• The means through which they deal with the above and build the sustainability of their interventions.
We use three indicators. All have been agreed in the literature and debates in development cooperation and political economy, as correlated with development initiatives’ degree of sustainability:
• their level of comprehensiveness and integration.
• the extent to which they are relevant to the interests and needs of the different populations affected, global and local, present and future.
• the degree of equitable ownership of all these populations during their design, implementation, and evaluation (their control, influence, appropriation of the initiatives).
We have explored the experiences of development initiatives in Colombia, India, Mexico, China, Costa Rica and Brazil. We have looked at non-profit civic organizations, academic institutions, social enterprises working in fields as various as health, education, socio-economic development.
The study conceives these initiatives as complex systems that operate at different scales of social organization and in multiple dimensions of development. This condition requires the strengthening of their current capacity to decide how to become effective in terms of sustainability.
The study is also based on the capability approach developed by Amartya Sen, in which development is conceived as a process that must seek to expand the freedom of each and every person to live the life they want, as they want it.
It is on the basis of these ideas that the site seeks to disseminate ways to strengthen the capacity of each individual and his initiatives to define what development means and how they want to build it, and negotiate with others in conditions of equity and cooperation.