Why Community Partnering? Guiding Ideas of Community Partnering Community Partnering in Indonesia and the Philippines

Why Do We Need Community Partnering?

People and localities are looking for innovative ways of acting to strengthen livelihoods and build resilient communities in the face of rapid changes and what seem to be insurmountable problems. Each place has its own challenges and questions for development. Below are some that many localities share.

Use these topics to stimulate debate in your local community.

The Challenges .... and Questions for Development

Rural Poverty

  • Low incomes from farming and off-farm business activities
  • Fluctuating prices for agricultural commodities and insecure income flow
  • Unemployment
  • Low standards of living
  • Inadequate roads, sewerage, water supply

Question: How can local people take charge of increasing their incomes and improving their standard of living?


In many rural areas people leave their home communities to find work elsewhere. Some leave for the new experiences offered by life in a bigger city. Many leave because there are no opportunities for making an adequate living at home. Some migrate to the nearest metropolis, others save up their resources and apply for contract work overseas.

Out migration leaves communities with fewer young and qualified people and more single-parent households and families facing fragmentation. Those who are left behind come to see their local community as valuable only as a source of labour. There are many who are questioning the promotion of migration as a sustainable development option.

Question: What can be done to stem the tide of out migration?


Most families with migrant members use remittances for daily needs and the repayment of debts incurred by migration. After a number of years of sending, some families are able to improve their housing and pay for better educational opportunities for their children. In general remittances are consumed by individual households.

Question: How can migrant remittances be used in ways that best benefit the locality? 


In many countries around the world responsibility for local development is now in the hands of local authorities. Central governments have decentralized powers to local areas but the  fiscal support for development is often lacking. Some experts say that local economies have no option but to join the global economy by selling their resources  or labour to the lowest bidder. Not all localities can or want to do this.

Local governments and non-government  organizations  need new and innovative ways of harnessing local resources and accessing regional and national support for initiatives that will improve well-being at the local level. Local development does not have to be a fight to the bottom. Localities can be pro-active about promoting people friendly development.

Question: What alternative pathways are there for local development?

Options For Local Development

Given the challenges confronting local communities, they  are faced with a number of options

Stay with the mainstream

  1. Do nothing and allow out-migration and rural poverty to grow
  2. Try to attract big projects by offering incentives that drain the local coffers
  3. Improve infrastructure and hope that business will follow 

Think outside the box

  1. Assess local strengths and build on them
  2. Develop new partnerships to facilitate change
  3. Experiment with community business development

The Community Partnering process is a step-by-step method that helps communities of think outside the box to develop their local economy in a people-centered way