Country Ownership: Moving from Rhetoric to Action

“Country Ownership” has become a standard part of the aid reform lexicon and a key principle in the current thinking on sound and sustainable development. Although many organizations, and importantly, the Obama administration, share a commitment to support country ownership, a wide range of interpretations and differing methods for its promotion have led to disjointed discussions and approaches.

To bring clarity to this issue, InterAction, an alliance of nearly 200 U.S.-based international relief and development nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), convened the best thinkers and practitioners on country ownership to outline its core elements and develop recommendations for the U.S. government.

Over the course of five months in 2011, InterAction met with member NGOs, U.S. government officials, congressional staff, and policy experts, drawing on their extensive experience to produce this policy paper. This paper reflects the consensus position of InterAction members that participation of both citizens and government in development efforts is at the heart of country ownership, allowing for better targeting of resources, strengthened accountability, and ultimately increased sustainability and success.

Contact Filmona Hailemichael for more information about InterAction's work on this issue.

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