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Our Understanding of Development

The following concepts are central to our understanding of development:

Participation - the involvement of people in all aspects of their own development from analysing their situation, identifying their own needs and assets and the planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of development endeavours.

Developing Capacity - sustainable development empowers communities to determine their own future and to increase the utilization of available local financial and human resources. Development which is imposed or remains dependent upon outside support is not sustainable.

Non-discrimination - it protects the God-given dignity of each person and does not discriminate on any basis. 

Gender Equality - all development work has a gender impact and does not affect women and men equally. Sustainable development requires a gender analysis of the roles of both men and women within the family and broader community. It also requires the active participation of both men and women in decision making and implementation of development activities to ensure that the activities benefit the whole community. 

Cultural and Spiritual Sensitivity - although cultural and religious practices can both support and inhibit development, development can not be sustainable unless the cultural and spiritual practices of persons and communities are recognised, enhanced and incorporated into the development process.

Protecting Human Rights - human dignity and well-being are enhanced through ensuring that governments fulfill their responsibility to protect people’s economic, social, cultural, civil, political, religious and communication rights.

Advocacy - mobilising public opinion regarding the root causes of poverty and injustice to influence those in positions of power and influence.

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation – development planning, particularly for communities that have experienced recent conflict, must incorporate effective prevention and reconciliation strategies.

Effective Communication - appropriate communication methodologies are essential to ensure effective participation by communities in all stages of the development process.

Environmental Sustainability - sustainable development is environmentally aware, preserving, maintaining and regenerating the natural resource base. Particular attention is paid to the knowledge and practices of Indigenous peoples as they relate to the environment.

More ways to take action

You can help prevent children like Maala being born with chronic illnesses by helping pregnant women stay healthy and nourished in the first place.

Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (19-26 June 2016). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.

Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.