EDGE PERFORMANCE

Company Profile

Company :EDGE PERFORMANCE
City :Nairobi
Country :
Kenya
Industries :
Research and development
Social, public and human services
Website : http://sparkmicrogrants.org
Company Description

Spark MicroGrants believes in a world where everyone lives with dignity and determines their own positive future. Decades of prescriptive aid programs however have sidelined the poor from the very programs meant to uplift them. For nearly ten years, Spark MicroGrants has been pioneering a new approach to international aid. We believe in local solutions and catalyzing rural villages facing poverty into action. After years of implementing and tweaking this model ourselves on the ground, we are now going a step further: training and enabling governments, civil society organizations and NGO partners to integrate it into their work - using our community driven model to improve civic engagement, social cohesion and livelihoods in their constituencies and ultimately make development more community driven.

At the heart of Spark’s model, the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), are ‘town-hall’ style weekly meetings, in which women and men, young and old, plan together for their community’s future. Each village democratically elects a leadership committee, establishes a village savings account, and launches a project of their choice. Members receive weekly trainings on financial management and transparency, leadership, village planning, and advocacy. Each village then receives US$8,000 in seed funds to turn project ideas into reality and receives an additional two years of management support.

With our partners, we are working hard to adapt and scale our work around the globe: In Ghana and Liberia, Advocates for Community Alternatives and Village Development Fund are piloting the process to protect communities from extractive mining companies and provide alternative sources of financing for village development initiatives. In Uganda, Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD) is piloting the FCAP to increase the self-reliance of South Sudanese refugee communities amidst the largest refugee crisis on the continent as they prepare for the withdrawal of emergency aid. In Burundi, FVS-AMADE is using the FCAP to establish inclusive, village level governance across every province in the country. And, in Rwanda, Spark is working with government partners to embed the process into the village governance model across the country. Together, 260+ villages have used the Spark process to collectively launch nearly 300 local impact projects, benefiting over 190,000 lives.

In the next years, we aim to prove the success of our approach and work with governments and civil society organizations around the world to change the conversation around and practice of how development is achieved - with communities in the driver’s seat of their own development.

Our team of 50+ people is spread across 4 countries in East Africa and the US, sharing a common vision and value system: Facilitation is at the core of everything we do: from supporting our communities to take their own decisions to working with our partners to adapt the model to their context to leading internal discussions. We are authentic - what we do is what we say and what we say is what we mean. We believe in being process-centered and that the how of what we do is just as important as the what. Our team is dynamic in seeking opportunities - from testing our model with a partner in a new country to taking it to national scale with a government - and we are not afraid to take risks. And above all we are community-driven: putting our communities’ needs at the forefront of all our work.