Talking localization, local partnerships with RTI's Aaron Williams

    Donors are increasingly localizing its efforts. They are channeling more funds through local groups, as a way to ensure project sustainability.

    In this Devex video interview, Kelli Rogers, assistant editor of recruitment and careers at Devex, sits down with Aaron Williams, executive vice president of RTI’s International Development Group, to discuss his organization’s presence in East Africa and how the organization is keeping up with localization of aid as well as local capacity building.

    As a premier sponsor of the Devex Partnerships Forum, RTI will have a presence at the forum in Nairobi next week to present their experience and network with local organizations.

    “It is important to build local capacity,” Williams said. “We want to see Kenyans, Ugandans, citizens of Tanzania involved in the programs that are so important to the economic well-being and the development of their countries. It’s a very logical thing to do.”

    For international organizations looking to forge local partnerships, Williams stressed the importance of identifying local leaders who can be key players and providing a rich array of training opportunities and platforms to share project management responsibilities.

    And for local organizations looking to reach out, he said it’s most important to understand a partner’s mission and ensure that the types of programs being implemented are consistent with their own values.

    Check out the video to learn more of Aaron Williams’ views on localization as well as advice for young people looking to get into the field.

    Read more about the trend of aid “going local” as well as the Devex Partnerships Forum & Career Fair in Nairobi.

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    About the author

    • Kelli Rogers

      Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.