One of the most important aspects of the Global Autism Project's mission is to build local capacity to supply services in a way that is locally sustainable, such that the authority and power to improve and innovate is in the hands of our partner organization and not our own. When we at the Global Autism Project leave a partner site to return to the U.S., we do so with the knowledge that our departure will not affect quality delivery or practice of services because we have given our support and expertise in way that is sustainable and able to be locally disseminated.
How does the Global Autism Project achieve this creation of local capacity and sustainability?
Honoring our Partnerships through Collaboration
We do so by firmly adhering to all the term "partnership" truly means. In our visits to our partner sites, our work is always collaborative and built upon exchange. We work diligently not to usurp or question the authority of our international partner's staff in our partner's community and in the eyes of their clients. Training and advising is always supplied in a way that builds communication and a sense of community among our partner's staff, and in such a way that adheres to the already in-place organizational model. Workshops and presentations always incorporate our partner's staff members and peer-teachers and demonstrators, and staff are frequently given the opportunity to present what they have recently been trained in to other groups of teachers.
In this way, the learning and training of staff members of our international partner organizations is influenced for the most part internally, as opposed to via a hit-and-run model from us, making continued use of new information more sustainable in the time between service trips. Conducting training in this way also works to imbue greater confidence and sense of authority in our partners, enabling to move forward with training of other staff and organizations in our absence, thereby working to expand local capacity.
Cultivating Connections to Promote Awareness and Compassion
We also work to build local capacity and sustainability by harnessing the influence of our partner organization's various connections in their community and government. Helping our partner organization to gain greater influence in media and government often assists in the promotion of awareness for the cause, as well as in the promotion of services and training to build capacity. Each influential contact earned for our partner organization increases capacity in and of itself, as it opens a new door to greater possibilities for fundraising, campaigning for policy change, and simply accessing the attention of the general public.
The Global Autism Project also provides to our international partner organizations advising on fundraising techniques and the grant application process. Through assisting our partners in accessing more and higher level grants, we are able to enable the improvement of local capacity via the improvement and increase of material resources. One way to ensure the development of a sustainable local capacity is to provide our partner organization with all of the materials and technologies they need to perform their services in a way that is up-to-date and qualites.