At UN side panel, NCBA CLUSA's Amy Coughenour Betancourt makes the case for community-led development

CLD pic 500 b875eCLD pic 500 b875eSpeaking on a panel hosted by the Movement for Community-led Development during the United Nations General Assembly last week, Amy Coughenour Betancourt, COO of International Development for NCBA CLUSA, explained why working at the community level first is critical to sustainability.

“Putting People First: Community-led Development” featured leaders from the UN and civil society describing the growing momentum for community-led development as the best pathway to achieving the integrated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Speaking specifically about NCBA CLUSA's USAID-funded Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Enhanced Resilience (REGIS-ER) project, Coughenour Betancourt discussed how community-led development gets integrated into a very large project.

“From the beginning, our project staff and facilitators at the community level and from the community and vetted by the community,” said Coughenour Betancourt. Beyond the project staff, community-based solution providers and mother-to-mother groups are additional strategies that expand the impact from the community for the community.

Beyond the household level, NCBA CLUSA facilitates local conventions, which bring the community and local government together to decide how they are going to manage local natural resources. Out of these conventions come concrete governance terms and actions to address pressing issues like climate change and resource scarcity. 

The focus of the panel and interactive discussion was to share the progress being made in the global expansion of community-led development. The large-scale initiatives to expand it were discussed, and the panelists shared their experiences to empower attendees to champion their own efforts in community-led development.

“Our DNA has to do with cooperative businesses, and member-controlled decision making at the most basic level, and so for 62 years we’ve been working with market-based principles with communities leading their own development,” Coughenour Betancourt said. “And that’s always how we have worked.”

To watch a video of the entire panel, click here. To watch a short video on the power of community-led development across organizations, including NCBA CLUSA, click here

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