Civic Engagement, Leadership, and Education Matter
At IAF, empowerment, engagement and consensus with community partners and beneficiaries are central elements of our vision and values. Accordingly, participatory development has been core to our mission since our founding.
We carry out our mandate of identifying, supporting and partnering with disadvantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean by responding with grant support for the most creative ideas for self-help from community organizations. We call upon these marginalized communities to create and lead their own projects, and we help mobilize matching resources.
We work with local leaders to address challenges on behalf of their communities and to promote accountability and transparency within their own governments. This approach allows community leaders to innovate and gain experience that will continue to serve them as they fulfill their roles. In this way, we also support growth within the next generation of private, public and civil society actors in the region.
We also practice adaptive management, which allows our core constituency — community organizations at the beginning stages of development — the time needed to use their resources responsibly. Education matters in our programs, and our investments often focus on building the skills, organizational strength and capacity needed to sustain our partners’ efforts beyond our support.
Talk about community-led development!
Recent News and Stories
Looking for scenes of beauty and strength during these challenging times? In early March 2020, several IAF staff members traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia to visit potential grantee partners. Get a peek into community-led innovations in the Caribbean through their photos.
We are living through a historic, global crisis and many wonder how we—especially the most vulnerable among us—will recover and rebuild afterwards. We recently spoke with Steve Vetter, a former IAF leader, who recalled another time in the IAF's history when grantees displayed resilience in the face of disaster.