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Local aid works

Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste, director of Haiti’s Civil Protection Division, and her colleague explain the community-led creation of disaster preparedness maps. The map was created by the Caradeux community as part of a disaster risk reduction program supported by international donors that worked with Madame Jean-Baptiste and her team. Anna Fawcus/Oxfam America

Aid is not the solution to poverty, people are.

The most effective aid programs support leaders in developing countries as they take action to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty. But too often certain kinds of US foreign aid are slow, bureaucratic, politically-driven, and implemented from the top down. And as a result, US aid is not building local systems that tap into the existing capacity and potential of developing countries to solve their own challenges. With citizens and governments in the driver’s seat, development finance can be effectively deployed to strengthen local systems and end the injustice of poverty.

Business pioneer: Fabio Lavelanet

Fabio Lavelanet is the co-founder and CEO of Fabrar Rice, Inc., a new 24-employee start-up that buys rice from local growers, parboils it, and mills it for sale on the local market. This is no ordinary development in Liberia, where two civil wars and Ebola have crippled progress and left its subsistence farmers among the poorest in the world.

Meet Fabio

Community leader: Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo

As the deadly Ebola virus gripped Monrovia, Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo turned to local leaders to marshal support for a community-wide awareness campaign. Armed with knowledge, residents faced their fears, confronted the disease, and beat it back.

Meet Mayor Mvogo

Women's advocate: Phạm Thị Hậu

For Pham Thi Hau, a street vendor in Hanoi, work goes well beyond selling brooms. She helps migrant workers learn about their rights, social and health benefits that are their due, gender equity, and how to raise their voices to help others.

Meet Phạm

Learn more

  1. Brief

    Accountability and ownership: The role of aid in a post-2015 world

    Despite substantial development progress globally since 1996, hundreds of millions of people still live in extreme poverty.

Local leaders' stories

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