By Adina Navon, Director of Overseas Resource Development at The Abraham Fund Initiatives. With the help of an ROI Micro Grant Adina was able to participate in the 2013 ID2 conference.
An ROI Go Network- Conference Participation Micro Grant allowed me to participate in the ID2 conference held in Mitzpe Ramon in January. In my capacity as director of overseas resource development at The Abraham Fund Initiatives I am responsible for enlisting and maintaining the funds needed to implement our important work, something that every NGO, local or international, is familiar with. In addition, The Abraham Fund runs projects that are closely related to issues that effect communities throughout the developing world such as equality, shared society, education and female empowerment.
However, at ID2, I found that what is truly unique about The Abraham Fund and what makes it extremely relevant to organizations around the world, is our unique “advocacy through action” approach through which we utilize our successful programs as models for what true equality and a shared society could look like. This model is based on the belief that in order to convince decision makers of the importance of a project we must first present an example which shows that the project is realistic and efficient; meaning that advocacy must first and foremost be based on results on the ground. This allows not only for legitimization and a professional basis for our work but also allows us to have a much wider reach that is not limited to those actually participating in our programs. This allows for maximum influence and with minimum resources.
At ID2 I met representatives from many wonderful organizations and businesses and I found that in the field of international development (as in other fields as well) there is much to be gained by employing a similar approach- partnering with local government to ensure “buy in” of your model and utilizing this power to take your model from the “start up” phase into the “full capacity” phase.
This approach has shown us strong results at The Abraham Fund. Our Language as a Cultural Bridge program was declared mandatory by the Ministry of Education in the Northern and Haifa Districts and the model of our Sharikat Haya, Arab Women’s Employment initiative has recently been adopted by the Ministry of Welfare for implementation in over 50 communities. This buy-in and scaling of programs is only possible when a strong public education and advocacy component accompanies an initiative. So many NGOs struggle to meet their funding needs, with no long-term plan as to how to achieve sustainability. At ID2, I was able to share The Abraham Fund’s best practices in this area while also taking in many new and exciting lessons from my counterparts who are working on various, exciting projects.