Skip to content
Winrock International

Program Area

Locally Led Development 

Winrock International is committed to and advances locally led development through cultivating trusting and lasting partnerships with individuals, communities, civil society, the private sector, and governments worldwide. Our values guide our collective approaches to addressing complex challenges to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources.

We recognize that transformational change does not happen in isolation. Through mutually beneficial partnerships, we continuously learn together, align shared goals, and co-create solutions. We strive for outcomes that are true to local contexts, incorporate cultural understanding, and are grown from lived experience that result in locally valued systems change. We understand that relationships contribute to the development of skills, knowledge, and practice and therefore act to facilitate and foster connections that support local systems change.

We invest in locally led development through using diverse and multiple approaches to shift decision making, power and resources to local partners and actors who understand the contexts of the development challenges we aim to address, together. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach but multiple ways using different processes and tools, or to use multiple approaches within one project– whether it is mutually agreed upon transitions through organizational capacity strengthening, broad multi-stakeholder collaboration through collective action and impact, or joint work planning with partners, or sub-granting for local partners direct implementation, Winrock is committed to ensure we use contextually appropriate approaches that support local actors to lead in their own development. 

Capacity strengthening and partnerships are key practices that we use to drive more locally led development. Winrock utilizes a best fit approach to capacity strengthening with our partners that are responsive to their expressed needs, priorities, and broader vision, with an emphasis on self-determination in growth, resilience, and sustainability. Given the diverse range of partnerships we engage with around the globe and our integrated sectoral programming, approaches to capacity strengthening vary from individual to systems strengthening. Each level utilizes distinct methodologies that are accompanied by tools codeveloped with our partners, ensuring milestones, metrics, and action plans are jointly agreed upon that demonstrate enhanced performance and effectiveness. Our equitable partnerships ensure engagement beginning with co-design and through all levels of the project cycle, jointly learning through  culturally appropriate processes and contextually driven adaptation.  

We recognize that the impact of our work is more sustained through collaborative partnerships that listen to and act upon local priorities, knowledge, and leadership. We always begin our work with the end in mind to ensure project transitions and ownership, outlining actionable steps that support and expand long lasting investments.   

Winrock has strengthened local capacity with partners since our establishment in 1985. Our partners serve at the core of how we achieve outcomes that advance locally driven development, whether it is increasing crop yields with farmers, strengthening protection systems for survivors of trafficking, or creating innovative solutions for climate change. Capacity strengthening with our partners is a critical component to ensure lasting impact.