Sustainability Issues

ACDI/VOCA strives to promote positive economic and social change worldwide. It is distinguished by commitment to its overseas beneficiaries, wise stewardship of development resources and a knowledgeable, experienced, diverse and effective team. ACDI/VOCA is dedicated to poverty alleviation and broad-based economic growth. Their respect for host societies and commitment to the involvement of beneficiaries as true partners in development projects result in improved local capacities, enhanced opportunities, and vibrant, sustainable communities, cooperatives and enterprises. ACDI/VOCA’s business model of development is designed to increase incomes and wealth, permitting beneficiaries to fully participate in the global economy.

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA’s effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers worldwide.

Builders Without Borders is an international network of ecological builders who advocate the use of natural, local, and affordable materials in construction. They believe that the solution to homelessness is not merely housing, but people who know how to house themselves. To this end, BWB creates educational materials and opportunities to empower communities, organizations and owner-builders.

The Center for Global Development is an independent, nonprofit policy research organization that is dedicated to reducing global poverty and inequality and to making globalization work for the poor. Through a combination of research and strategic outreach, the Center actively engages policy makers and the public to influence the policies of the United States, other rich countries, and such institutions as the World Bank, the IMF, and the World Trade Organization to improve the economic and social development prospects in poor countries.

Choike is a portal dedicated to improving the visibility of the work done by NGOs and social movements from the South. It serves as a platform where citizen groups can disseminate their work and at the same time enrich it with information from diverse sources, which is presented from the perspective of Southern civil society.

Founded in 1965, Counterpart International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a just world through service and partnership. CI gives people a voice in their own future through smart partnerships, offering options and access to tools for sustained social, economic and environmental development. They have forged strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors to help people improve the quality of their lives and revitalize their communities in more than 60 nations. CI provides people access to the tools they need for a life of dignity for themselves, their communities and their countries.

The directory of development organizations, listing 53,750 development organizations, has been prepared to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge sharing in development work, both among civil society organizations, research institutions, governments and the private sector. The directory is intended to provide a comprehensive source of reference for development practitioners, researchers, donor employees, and policy makers who are committed to good governance, sustainable development and poverty reduction, through: the financial sector and micro-finance, trade and business development services, rural development and appropriate technology, private sector development and policy reforms, legislation and rule of law and good governance, community development and social protection, gender equality and participation, environment and health, research, training and education.

End poverty by 2015. This is the historic promise 189 world leaders made at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 when they signed onto the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are an eight-point road map with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. World leaders have agreed to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

Engineers Without Borders is an international, humanitarian engineering group that serves our global neighbors in the developing world; those who need it most. They provide the basics of life such as water and shelter, using appropriate and sustainable technology. More importantly though, they help people help themselves. Their unique model includes a rigorous technical and cultural assessment, community involvement, and a five-year commitment to each community they are privileged to serve. Dedicated professionals and aspiring college students form the backbone of EWB, with invaluable help from corporations, non-government organizations, and other supporters.

The long-term objective of the FAO Organic Agriculture Program is to enhance food security, rural development, sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of member countries in organic production, processing, certification and marketing. The web site offers information on organic agriculture available at FAO. It also functions as a road map whereby users are directed to other relevant web sites.

The Foundation for Sustainable Development works with seven overlapping development subjects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Each of the ten program locations provide a range of opportunities to intern or volunteer abroad in micro-finance, health, environment, youth and education, women’s empowerment, community development and human rights. These development subjects make up the prominent social, health, environmental, and economic obstacles that prevent communities from rising out of poverty. By understanding how these issues and their related solutions build upon each other, FSD is able to facilitate development in a sustainable and culturally appropriate manner. They work with over 200 community-based organizations whose programs reflect a comprehensive understanding of these development subjects.

The Global Environment & Technology Foundation, established in 1988, is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote sustainable development through action. GETF views sustainable development as an opportunity to shape a better environmental future by introducing new technologies and creating new alliances that can have a lasting and positive impact on our world. A key GETF strength is their ability to form these alliances in support of national and international sustainability goals.

Global Stewards provides environmental tips for sustainable living and information about exciting sustainable solutions that are speeding the shift toward a sustainable way of life. Hundreds of links, especially to Wikipedia, are found under the Sustainable Solutions box on the main page.

HI works with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Their strategy is to “pass on the gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others—along with their knowledge, resources, and skills—an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe. This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 60 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope.

Hope International is a Christian faith-based, nonprofit organization focused on alleviating physical and spiritual poverty through micro-enterprise development. Hope believes that micro-finance can be a powerful force in changing the world for the better, and that loving people as Christ loved others means caring for both physical and spiritual needs. Hope ministers to the poor in over a dozen countries, working in the hard places and thriving there.

Established in 1975, Hope International Development Agency’s mission is to enable people in the developed world to connect with people in the poorest communities on earth through compassionate giving and other opportunities to help. Their work creates long-term, self-sustaining benefits for people by teaching them income-generating skills and further developing family and community infrastructures, like clean water, education, vocational training, sustainable agriculture practices, disease prevention, revolving loan funds and community planning methods.

IFPRI’s 2020 Vision is a world where every person has access to sufficient food to sustain a healthy and productive life, where malnutrition is absent, and where food originates from efficient, effective, and low-cost food systems that are compatible with sustainable use of natural resources. This is a downloadable document entitled, Appropriate Technology for Sustainable Food Security.

IISD is promoting change towards sustainable development. As a policy research institute dedicated to effective communication of their findings, they engage decision-makers in government, business, NGOs and other sectors in the development and implementation of policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being.

This site aims to provide a practical resource for those who work with communities (in the wider sense of the term) to help them identify and adopt more sustainable practices. It provides an annotated guide to a range of on-line resources providing papers, handbooks, tips, theory and techniques in a number of related, skill fields. It also shows how the application of these different skills is interlinked in practice to contribute towards social learning and constructive practice change.

Legacy Foundation provides training, technology and media services for bio-mass fuel briquette production, environmental conservation and income generation throughout the world. The foundation has released 8 technical/training manuals and two devices on all known aspects of briquette making.

This web site provides many details on composting; including types of compost, why to compost, how to build various bins, how to use compost, etc.

Oregon Tilth is a nonprofit organization supporting and promoting biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture through education, research, advocacy, and certification. OT advocates sustainable approaches to agricultural production systems and processing, handling and marketing. OT’s purpose is to educate gardeners, farmers, legislators, and the general public about the need to develop and use sustainable growing practices that promote soil health, conserve natural resources, and prevent environmental degradation while producing a clean and healthful food supply for humanity.

Since 1979, Outreach International has been working with the world’s poor to help them build better lives for themselves. Their mission is simple—to help the poor help themselves. Their purpose is equally straightforward—to help men and women in poor communities overcome the effects of poverty and create new futures for themselves and their communities.

Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. They work directly with communities and seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

Founded in 1980, the mission of the Schumacher Society is to promote the building of strong local economies that link people, land, and community. To accomplish this they develop model programs, including local currencies, community land trusts, and micro-lending; host lectures and other educational events; publish papers; and maintain a library to engage scholars and inspire citizen-activists.

The SD Gateway integrates the on-line information developed by members of the Sustainable Development Communications Network. In addition to over 1,200 documents available on SD Topics, services such as a calendar of events, a job bank, the Sustainability Web Ring, and news sites dealing with sustainable development are provided.

SCM provides a rich menu of information and services on how a community can adopt sustainable development as a strategy for well-being.

These links provide a gateway to sustainable farming information on the Internet.

This link provides access to the Footsteps newsletter, produced quarterly for health and development workers. Through it, Tearfund hopes to provide encouragement, inspiration and practical ideas for Christians often working with little access to funding, training or resources. It aims to share information, ideas, contacts and experience in a Christian context at grassroots level. Footsteps encourages a holistic approach to development and seeks to build up local capacity. It is produced in seven languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Bangla and Hindi.

Trickle Up empowers people living on less than $1 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build micro-enterprises for a better quality of life. In partnership with local agencies, they provide business training and seed capital to launch or expand a micro-enterprise, and savings support to build assets. Trickle Up believes in people and their capacity to make a difference. They empower the world’s poorest people to develop their potential and strengthen their communities. They pursue this goal in a way that encourages innovation and leadership, maximizes resources, and promotes communication and cooperation among all Trickle Up constituencies.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. They are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and their wide range of partners. World leaders have pledged to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015.

This searchable database contains over 3,800 proven solutions from more than 140 countries to the common social, economic and environmental problems of an urbanizing world. It demonstrates the practical ways in which public, private and civil society sectors are working together to improve governance, eradicate poverty, provide access to shelter, land and basic services, protect the environment and support economic development.

The United States African Development Foundation is an independent Federal agency established to support African-designed and African-driven solutions that address grassroots economic and social problems. USADF provides grants of up to $250,000 directly to under-served and marginalized community groups and enterprises. The grants help organizations create tangible benefits such as increasing or sustaining the number of jobs in a community, improving income levels, and addressing social development needs.

USAID’s history goes back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War II and the Truman Administration’s Point Four Program. In 1961, the Foreign Assistance Act was signed into law and USAID was created by executive order. Since that time, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID is an independent, federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Their work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, and democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity, and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.