Vetting partners is about more than just checking bank statements and ticking a few boxes. When foreign aid groups team up with local counterparts, things usually aren’t that easy.
“It requires a lot of time and trust building, and making them feel secure that you’re going to use information responsibly,” said Nicole Barnes, senior director of business strategy and communications at RTI International’s International Development Group.
That process has become even more important as donors nudge their implementing partners — most of them large, international organizations — to better engage smaller groups in the countries they operate in. Local organizations bring a unique set of knowledge and skills to the table, including the ability to better connect with communities, grasp their development challenges and find homegrown solutions.
But meeting donor expectations can be a challenge. How can you make it work?