At the IAF, empowerment, engagement, and consensus with community partners and beneficiaries are central elements of our vision and values. 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. Our investments often focus on building the skills and capacity leaders need to sustain their efforts beyond our support.
Talk about community-led development!
Recent News and Stories
By sustainably harvesting forests, Mexican community organizations are stemming deforestation and ensuring opportunities for all people to thrive in their home communities.
Few would have imagined in the early days that former IAF grantee partner Fundación Defensores del Chaco would become a youth-led powerhouse mobilizing entire towns to advocate for themselves. But what started as a street soccer team became a space where young people and their communities could bring their problems and find solutions together.
"Government is not separate from the people. “Government” is us. But the government doesn’t necessarily automatically carry out the will of the people. It responds to scrutiny. It is the responsibility of every citizen to know what leaders are doing," said Ramón Daubón, former IAF Vice President for Programs, in our recent conversation.