Principles of SAED Etiopia

Our engagement grounds in the “Chart of principles and objectives of FOSIT” and the recommendations of “Alliance Sud.” The latter is a working community of major Swiss ONG for cooperation and development. While SAED Etiopia draws inspiration from these guidelines, it takes into account the local circumstances in its area of operation as well as the suggestions and experiences of our project partners.

Pro-active participation and partnership:
All our projects originate in explicit requests of the local community. It is important to dialogue, from the very beginning, with all involved stakeholders and beneficiaries i.e., the local population, the communal and district Authorities and local partners, to define the objectives to which the project intervention is intended to contribute. The success and sustainability of a project depend on our capacity to mobilize the local community to achieve together the mutually agreed objectives of social and economic development in their interest. All the same, to build a sustainable partnership takes time and endurance. Mutual respect and trust, readiness to carry out a dialogue, shared objectives and motivation to work in a transparent fashion are the main ingredients for a successful partnership.




Social justice, empowerment, and equal opportunities for women and men:
SAED works in a very remote and neglected area of the Kaffa Highlands, where even minimal infrastructures are missing. We can only improve conditions in a limited way, but we are trying to motivate the local community collectively to take up a pro-active stance and seize opportunities in health and education in a sustainable way. “Empowerment” is self-sustaining action by the community toward goals it perceives as worthwhile. It is both a social and personal process of change, which strengthens identity and self-respect all-round. This process is most relevant to women. By coming together, sharing experiences and ideas, acquiring knowledge, joining in worthwhile projects, they strengthen their sense of personal worth and their role in the family and the community.

Sustainable development:
We regularly follow and evaluate the two long-haul projects Warwara Day Care Center WDCC and Agaro Bushi Primary Clinic ABPC. Besides that we continue keeping an eye on the projects, which have been handed over to the local communities or to small cooperatives. To run autonomously an income-generating project needs practice and experience. We encourage the beneficiaries to insist in that learning process. Responsible ownership is basic for the sustainability of a project after the start-up phase.

taglio nastro

Gruppo acquedotto

Transparency, accountability and integrity:
SAED is fully engaged in securing the continuity of its projects. It husbands donations responsibly and with great care. Administration costs are minimal (3,5 – 4% of our annual budget) and all SAED board members and supporters provide their work voluntarily and cover their own expenses. Once a year, some of the Committee’s members travel to Ethiopia at their own expense for visiting the projects in order to obtain a hands-on view of developments. Our project partners are contractually bound to inform us regularly of any developments and to report on the running of the projects

Do not harm:
We are aware that any intervention into the social fabric, despite its well-meant intentions, changes power relations within the community. There can be unintended consequences. SAED targets the least favored members – women and children – hoping thus to contribute to a harmonious process of social change within the community. At the same time, we monitor the local partners lest the project become an instrument of social control, which would undermine empowerment. Division and conflict are poor ways of bringing about our goals.