Development Cooperation Handbook/Introduction
This Handbook is:
- a reference book for social communicators on the scopes and challenges of development cooperation;
- an instruction manual for development workers on managing the design, implementation and evaluation of development cooperation projects.
The knowledge resources and tools, prepared and shared by development cooperation actors, participating in the Vrinda Project are organised in a format that facilitates consultation and utilisation.
The Vrinda Project
The Vrinda Project is a knowledge sharing action: it creates a peer-to-peer cooperative environment where development actors share their experiences, expose their views and enable each other to better tackle development cooperation issues. The Vrinda Project builds on a previously implemented project called the "European Citizens working for the Global Development Agenda" (EUGAD) that received financial support from EuropeAid and was completed in June 2011.
The Kautilya Society, a non government organization, based in India, leads the team of experts that are developing the Vrinda Project (⇒ Kautilya Society for Intercultural Dialogue). All contributions coherent with the Wikimedia founding principles are welcome.
Development Cooperation and Knowledge Sharing
Knowledge sharing is an activity through which information, skills and expertise are exchanged among people or the members of a community or within an organization. Development actors recognize that knowledge constitutes an essential resource for development and that knowledge sharing is indispensable for networking and advocacy. Nevertheless, information sharing continues to be a major challenge since many organizations consider their know-how to be a personal strategic asset for keeping a competitive advantage in fund-raising activities.
This handbook, along with the linked audiovisual media, is:
- a testimony of the beauty and power of knowledge sharing,
- an action that contrasts the ideologies of the clash of civilizations,
- a meeting ground for different experiences of social responsibility,
- a workshop for the renewal of faith, hope and commitment.
The partners that help in collecting and distributing the resources of this handbook share a sense of "world citizenship", a positive-sum-game approach to inter-community relationships and a vision of our "Earth as a Common Home".
For those who accept this invitation, welcome on board!
Who is our audience
Since this is a knowledge sharing platform, the target of this handbook are the same ones who are asked to contribute, i.e. the international development cooperation actors.
But we have structured the work as to prioritize the use of the knowledge resources by the activists of small organizations, especially in the developing countries, who are increasingly asked to take a direct role in designing and managing development cooperation actions.
There is now a language gap between those who do the work on the ground and those who write and evaluate the projects. Most donors and sponsors ask for very elaborated documentation on all aspects of the project design and implementation methodology. This is a good thing, as it promotes professionalism and transparency. However this also tend to alienate from international cooperation many sincere and charismatic social workers, who very good in promoting inclusion of the poor and marginalized sections of society, but dislike the technicalities of “project management” and dislike the pedantry of the politically correct jargon. Some big international NGOs exploit this knowledge gap and they carve a niche for themselves acting as intermediators between those who provide the money for cooperation projects (the donors) and those who execute the projects (the local organizations). As local actors want to have a say in planning and evaluation, they need to learn the “project grammar” and the “project terminology”. Here is where we decided to step in. And with the contribution of "older" experts we want to open the way to the "inexpert" to take charge and become equal partners.
So we tried to reduce language technicalities and at the same time enable the audience to learn the specialized jargon that is used in grants applications and in progress reports.
Please write to our e-mail address if you'd like to send us your feedback, criticism, correction, suggestions etc. regarding this wikibook or share a resource or tool that can be linked to it.
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