What's the Problem with "Help" in International Development?

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The Power of Participation



What’s the problem with “Help” in International Development? Many well-meaning people want to help the poor in the developing world. However, it is not uncommon for implemented projects to fail once the leaders have left, leaving locals on the ground awaiting the next hand-out.

Successful projects depend on local participation. Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert write in their seminal book, When Helping Hurts, “Participation is not just a means to an end, but rather a legitimate end in its own right.” 

ARDF embraces this approach! Let’s work together in recognizing the dignity of everyone no matter how poor or marginalized. 

The best way for you to have a lasting impact is to work through trusted partners who belong to the community on the ground. We want you to participate in the relationships that we’ve developed over the years.

In Burundi, a recent clean water project engaged the community from the onset. Bernard Ndihoreye is a local leader of Giteranyi village, one of 28 communities participating. He reports, 

"The Anglican Church has been a great help in my locality through this project. My people have taken the implementation as their own, and their eyes have been opened even towards other development works, I testify it because when we call them to the community works held each Saturday, they come in great number and with obedience."

These villagers know the value they bring to the project as well as the value the completed project will have on their daily lives. 

All ARDF projects are implemented through trusted partners on the ground, leaders who are part of the local community. These partnerships are based on deep, trusted, relationships. The Christian worldview means we recognize the dignity of everyone no matter how poor or marginalized.

Utilizing local assets ends the cycle of dependency. Through ARDF, you partner with our brothers and sisters around the globe, knowing that every dollar, whether for relief aid or development work, will have a lasting impact.

Thank you!


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