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How we work

Boosting local ownership

Local ownership is both in our DNA and a vital strategy to achieve real and lasting change. Hivos will boost local ownership at all levels: in our programs, within our organization, and among donors and the development sector.

Hivos designs, implements and evaluates its programs jointly with rights holders and local organizations. They are included in the highest program governance structures, while we ensure equal decision-making and mutually address power imbalances. Hivos shares its knowledge, skills, and networks, and facilitates direct engagement of local partners with decision-makers. When advocating at international forums, our messaging will be “joined up.”

We prefer to provide long-term, strategic, core funding to organizations instead of short-term, earmarked project funding. Grant making will be participatory to shift decision-making about grants to rightsholders and local organizations. We will experiment with alternative financing mechanisms that promote local ownership. Overall, Hivos strives to allocate 80 percent of funding obtained to the development of local partners.

Within our own organization, we will further redistribute power and decentralize even more of our work to our regional hubs. We will have decentralized budgets and decision-making power by 2025, adhering to upward and downward transparency and accountability principles. Together with (regional) staff and partners, we will explore and design inclusive and participatory governance structures, including all leadership positions. All Hivos programs will have a built-in exit strategy.

To increase (support for) local ownership within the donor community and the development sector, Hivos will actively lobby to promote its vision, use concrete examples as evidence, and share lessons on how to best adapt organizations, processes and programs. We will support donor efforts to directly fund local entities.