ZOA is convinced that partnerships are needed in order to achieve sustainable changes at community level. ZOA cannot achieve the programme objectives on its own, but needs to cooperate with other partners (CBOs, NGOs, local government, private sector etc.) because each actor has its specific role, mandate and expertise. ZOA is working in conflict affected areas where civil society (including NGOs) and governments are often weak. The strategic choice of ZOA to work in fragile contexts implies that ZOA is ready to invest in motivated and relevant, but still weak partners.
ZOA is not making the choice of working exclusively through partners; ZOA has the option (thanks to its local presence) to combine partnership arrangements with own implementation by ZOA. The decision to work with partners or not, with which partners and how is based on a thorough programmatic analysis. Our local presence and operational capacity, enables ZOA to work with relatively small and weak local organisations and governments. We can strengthen these, thereby increasing the capacities at the local level, while at the same time learning from their insights and experiences. The enhancement of community capacity by strengthening local actors is an important aspect of our approach.
ZOA considers strong civil society organisations important since they can defend the interest of specific groups, provide innovative and alternative views and hold governments and the private sector accountable. At the same time, due to ZOA’s supporting role in realizing lasting change at community levels, we consider it crucial to strengthen the capacity of local governments so they can fulfil their roles and responsibilities in a more effective and efficient manner and reduce dependence on external aid. e therefore actively collaborate with local actors in order to significantly maximize the impact, and increase the sustainability of our support.
Where possible, we enter into various partnerships with a diverse range of actors such as community based organisations, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, farmer cooperatives, the private sector and knowledge networks.