We all strive for sustainability – seeking permanent impact from our short-term projects. Yet sustainability often feels like a chimera, beyond the power of project teams once the project ends. Why? Because sustainability doesn’t rest on new capabilities or technologies or markets alone. Instead, its long-term success rests on local relationships, trust, mutual understanding and mutual benefit.
At Counterpart, building trust is at the core of our success. It can be time-consuming, but it pays back for years into the future as local partners continue to work together to improve citizens’ lives and strengthen their communities.
We see the dividends of community cohesion in Cameroon, where a common vision for healthy children has launched a local volunteer corps. We see the stabilizing influence of trust in Yemen, where ministries worked hard through a turbulent 2011 to deliver on their promises to citizens.
We are celebrating growing trust in Afghanistan as well. In 2011, Counterpart facilitated town meetings between citizens and leaders, identifying community priorities and potential. In September, these communities sent representatives to Kabul to share ideas – building bridges between communities across language and ethnic barriers.
“Building Trust, Building Partnerships” was selected as this year’s theme not only because it captures how Counterpart operates around the globe, but also because it shows that the permanent power of development is local.
This annual report provides six stories of how Counterpart has helped people build partnerships and trust, in different parts of the world and also in Counterpart’s different areas of practice. We hope you enjoy them and see in them our point-of-difference - what we call the Counterpart Way.
Within Counterpart, 2011 was a year for new relationships as well. In September, Counterpart welcomed three new board members: Jennifer Rose, Corporate Controller, Summit Materials, Washington, D.C.; Marcia Silverman, Chair, Ogilvy PR, Washington, D.C.; and Judith H. Whittlesey, Executive Vice President, Susan Davis International (SDI), Washington, D.C. In May, we welcomed Tim Ogborn as Senior Vice President for Programs. We are thrilled to have our family growing!
Finally, the 2011 fiscal year also marked a period of programmatic growth for Counterpart. We were strengthened by new donors and contributors. And with the support of our partners, we were able to reach more communities, helping them to establish a brighter future.
From all of us at Counterpart, we wish you a year of exploration, success and the satisfaction that strong partnerships bring.
Joan Parker and Jeffrey T. LaRiche