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How We Work Determined to Develop Malawi

At Determined to Develop (D2D), we take a collaborative approach to our work, and believe that those who live in the area are best able to assess needs and create solutions for the community. We do not impose what we think should be solutions from the top-down, but rather work with community members from the ground-up. Our commitment to collaboration allows us to maximize impact and assist in the development of Chilumba in a responsible and positive way.

All our projects have community ownership, which is demonstrated in two ways:

First, communities are enlisted to identify their needs and solutions, which becomes the basis of our work. We participate in regular village needs assessment meetings attended by Village Headmen (chiefs), local village development committees, women’s groups, civil society leaders, and other community members. It is from these meetings that the concept, planning, and implementation stages of any of our projects begin. Furthermore, all work is vetted by community stakeholders.

Second, communities contribute to the running of each project. Our approach emphasizes the personal responsibility and accountability of all partners involved. This grassroots model for development utilizes local knowledge and ensures that we work in collaboration with traditional leaders and community-based networks, respecting cultural values and traditions. This process is assisted by the community liaison officer, who ensures that we stay fully engaged with everything taking place in the villages and vice versa.

We have expanded our programming, but maintain our focus on a relatively small geographic area of Chilumba, Malawi. Remaining a local organization has a number of benefits. We have developed a strong rapport with stakeholders in the area, which helps us to run our many projects effectively. Working on the ground also allows us to have close and on-going monitoring of all projects, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt projects where necessary and learn through evaluation. This approach also ensures that all money donated is used in the most cost-effective way, as we have minimal overhead costs.

As a development organization, it is important to us that our initiatives are in-line with those of broader development strategies, both in the national and international context. These strategies include the Karonga District Development Plan, Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III, and the United Nation’s Standard Development Goals. Each of these strategies includes specific actions for improved youth education. By aligning our programs with the initiatives in these development strategies, we ensure that our programs are following the best fit for the development of Malawi.

Learn more about how D2D works by clicking below:

Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 2
Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 2
Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 1
Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 3
Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 4
Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 2Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 1Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 3Determined to Devlop Global Undergraduate Leadership Program 4

Determined to Develop hosts Global Undergraduate Leadership Program

Determined to Develop has recently hosted our first group of the year, 18 students and three team leaders from the Global Undergraduate Leadership Program (GULP). GULP aims to teach students about sustainable development practices, leadership skills and cross-cultural communication, and is a joint programme with students from the University of Minnesota and Australian National University. The programme is run for a year before culminating in this experience in Malawi- students spent the year researching Malawi, including different facets of gender.

The team arrived on the 2nd January and spent an intensive fortnight here at Maji Zuwa. The itinerary included cultural activities; panel discussions with local experts; visiting Determined to Develop projects; and plenty of healthy debates and discussion! The students focused on gender and education throughout their program and developed presentations to be delivered to girls and boys in local high schools. The presentations were devised with the help of Malawian students and staff and focused on challenges for young women in education in Malawi – encouraging the girls group to pursue education, and getting the boys to consider ways they can support girls and women.

We are very excited to have hosted such an interesting, diverse and engaged group of young people. The positive attitude and background knowledge they brought with them ensured the trip was a success, for both the students, the staff here at Determined to Develop, and for the local community.

Tawonga chomene (We thank you)