ABCD at work in Illu Aga, Ethiopia

It doesn't matter where in the world you live, if you ask people to tell you a story about a time when people from that village or neighbourhood mobilized their own resources and successfully undertook an initiative without any advice or direction from outside individuals or agencies, you will always find lots of great stories. If you look closely at these stories, you will almost always find examples of local leadership that focused on opportunities rather than problems, and informal associations of people at the centre of activity motivated by a sense of civic duty. There is much that government and non government organizations can learn from these stories about how to stimulate community members to act as citizens rather than clients, and about how to respond to community initiatives that come from the inside-out, rather than trying to drive the development process from the outside-in.

Click here to begin a virtual tour of Illu Aga, a small, rural community in Ethiopia, with which the Coady Institute, Oxfam Canada and HUNDEE have been working for the past seven years. See and hear about how citizens, even in one of the poorest countries in the world, have managed, in the words of our founder Moses Coady, to "use what they have to secure what they have not."