That’s why CIPE’s approach is to survey what local groups want to do and assess their needs before designing a program to build their capacity. This model has proven successful, as evidenced by CIPE’s 111 exceptional and high impact projects between 1999 and 2008.
This approach is particularly relevant to programs with women’s groups, which are frequently underrepresented in the policymaking and economic arenas. That’s why CIPE works with women’s business associations to empower them by growing their capacity to make their concerns known as well as to advocate policies that will benefit members’ livelihoods. That empowerment comes from developing their know-how, which is the goal of all CIPE’s work with all business associations.
Capacity-building programs are also advantageous for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and volunteers looking to make a difference. By building an association’s capacity CSR volunteers ensure that their impact is lasting. Furthermore, by working with associations rather than individuals, the effects of a project multiply across an association’s membership.
KnowHowExchange.org provides volunteers a way to search for groups according to their own areas of technical expertise, such as financial management or event-planning. Then, CIPE provides the introductory steps so that local associations can communicate what they need to learn and how the volunteers can help. That ensures the experience will be beneficial to all partners as associations gain know-how and volunteers contribute to institutional development.
As CIPE prepares for its conference Democracy that Delivers for Women in June, we are looking forward to sharing successful approaches to women’s democratic and economic empowerment efforts. Join us in sharing your own success stories, or help build women’s associations’ know-how yourself!