The two local partners’ combined impact was 14,266 primary beneficiaries – ranging from school children to teachers to community leaders to adolescent mothers – which was 92 percent of the Initiative’s three-year goal. Considering context challenges, including a teachers strike, an H1N1 outbreak that closed schools, limited access to communities, and admittedly overly-ambitious original programme targets, this is a significant achievement.
Gaining community trust – The programmes of both local partners, Tierra de Niños (TDN) and CEDETEP, are in communities that historically have been resistant to ‘outsiders.’ Trust had to be established over time, and both programmes were ultimately fully embraced by the communities.
Focus on creating lasting, sustainable change in communities – Both Initiative programmes were committed to equipping community members to change their own lives and the future of their neighbourhoods. Acting as facilitators to train teachers, equip young mothers, and engage community members and leaders to work together to improve their community will pay dividends long after the investment in this Initiative has ended.
Long-term financial sustainability – Local partner organisations struggle to find enough funding to continue programmes without support from Strømme Foundation. Progress has been made and donors added, but to continue or expand all programmes that were part of this Initiative would require additional external financial support. The global financial crisis has made fundraising goals for local community-based organisations (CBOs) much harder to reach.
Attitudinal and community-level changes cannot be measured over three years – Programmes in this Initiative had very ambitious long-term goals, such as community transformation and long-term sustainability of programmes by local partner CBOs. Achieving these goals will take more than three years of funding and work. Limitations in time, financial resources, and local CBO capacity required the scaling back of some of the programme’s original benchmarks for the three-year programme.
Some original benchmarks were overly ambitious – Limitations in time, financial resources, and local community-based organisations’ capacity required the scaling back of some of the programmes’ original benchmarks for the three-year programme.