Conducting due diligence on local partners: Why and how

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As development goes local, foreign aid donors are slowly pivoting away from some familiar partners and taking chances on new ones. Prime international contractors are also being urged, through donor policy and specific contract provisions, to subcontract project components to local groups. This is in many ways very exciting as local organizations bring a unique set of competencies and qualifications such as the ability to understand local development challenges, connect with local communities and influence project design early on.

While donors and global implementers are already reporting success in forming trusted partnerships with local organizations, there are also some horror stories. Fraudulent or bogus nongovernmental and civil society organizations and underperforming or unethical private sector partners are a reality in most emerging markets, threatening international development projects all over the world.

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About the author

  • Sharmila parmanand

    Sharmila Parmanand

    Sharmila is currently an instructor at the University of Vermont. She has a master’s degree in gender and development and has supervised and conducted research projects on human trafficking and related issues. She has also worked as a debate and public-speaking consultant in more than 20 countries.