3. Creating and promoting integrative responses

Integral solutions are more likely to be sustainable, and self-sustainable, than isolated interventions:

• People’s lives are integral. Many factors influence their capacity to take advantage of an intervention. These factors are affected by how developmental dimensions of their lives interact; their geographical context, political situation, economic capacity, culture, etc.

If one of these factors is left unattended it can impede people’s ability to enjoy the services provided by the initiative, for example, providing education to children who cannot go to school because of malnutrition. Tackling problems together helps to mutually reinforce solutions.

• Often the same people are involved when different programs are addressed towards improving their quality of life. As such, different areas support each other.

• All ages, races, and ethnicities in a community must be attended to so that they can support each other.

• Donors typically have their own aims, and use established criteria when allocating funds and assessing interventions. These lead strict funding guidelines and the expectation of specific results from the programs they fund.

As a consequence, initiatives must plan their funding, institutional responsibilities and their development programs in a fragmentary fashion. This runs contrary to the integrated nature of the environment they work in. This can be counteracted by strengthening the transversality of the institutional responsibilities of Initiatives and the interrelations of their programs.

Integration reinforces each program’s potential for sustainability. It allows a more flexible distribution of funds, and for the benefits of funding in one area of the strategy to overlap with others.

Moreover, an integrated service delivery often attracts more funding to benefit other areas of activity. Although donors generally target funding to specific areas, when they are shown that their investment can contribute to positive outcomes in other areas they are often willing to support those areas too.

Integration thus not only helps to broaden the sources of financial support, (and diminish with that the reliance on a single one of them). It also helps to share financial, infrastructural, human and a variety of resources across different areas. This is important; some development areas have more difficulties than others in producing or attracting financial support.

As such, many initiatives have attempted to enhance the comprehensiveness of their interventions and strengthen the interconnections between different components of their programs (health, education, water facilities, etc.).

These include:

♣ Different forms of integration

♣ Creating and promoting integrative responses

Systemic interventions

Integrated service delivery

Institutional integration

Intra and trans-sectoral partnerships

“Bridge” agents 

Structures and techniques for local participation, organization and negotiation 

Alternative Barter Systems

Other related strategies:

Human capital

Demonstrate scaled effect

Diversifying the sources of financial and political support