Our rules for sustainable development

SOPAR-Bala Vikasa’s rules are the result of experience gained over 40 years and are at the heart of its development approach. These rules are embedded in SOPAR-Bala Vikasa’s motto: “Helping communities help themselves”

Our 10 rules


Development is people

People are the cornerstone of development. Programs and infrastructure are not the goals of development. Development activities must be brought into action by and for the people they benefit.


Development is women first

Women are the true heart of development efforts. They mustn’t be belittled, taken for granted, or ignored. They must be treated as essential actors in the development process of their community and society.


Development is change of attitude

Development is a change of mentality. People’s self-esteem and self-confidence are prerequisites for their self-help. Marginalized people must reject the idea they are dependent on others in order to take charge of their own future.


Development is solidarity

Unity is strength! People feel confidence when they are part of a larger unit. Group support encourages people to invest back into their community.


Development is iterative

Development work is an arduous process and should be broken down into attainable steps. At each step, people must reflect on whether they are pursuing the goal they set out for. Consistent reflection keeps people on track!


Development is participatory

Development cannot be achieved when dictated from above without real commitment and participation from the beneficiaries. People must participate and take ownership in all stages of their development, from needs assessment to finding solutions for their own problems.


Development is intra-cultural

Organizations must be immersed in the culture and sub-cultures of populations they work with. Culture has to be understood and integrated into all facets of development.


Development is long term

It is unrealistic to think that a significant, lasting development impact can be obtained after a few years. Authentic change of attitude takes time.


Development is not free

Beneficiaries must contribute to their own development in order to feel ownership of their ability to contribute to their own well-being.

RULE 10.

Development builds on results and credibility

The credibility of agents of change and of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) build on the results achieved. They have to “walk the talk” to be accepted and believed by the community.

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