Engaged Communities

For development to be truly sustainable, communities must be at the helm, leading and owning their own development.

Engaged Communities

For decades, organizations like Pact have been working to tackle big issues in the world—poverty, economic development, peace and security, infectious diseases, climate change and more. Since our founding in 1971, one thing has remained constant at Pact and that is community engagement—building solutions for human development in true partnership with those we serve. 

For more than 50 years, our staff, partners and communities around the world have worked in tandem to support strong local organizations, networks and actorso that they can achieve their goals and provide the support and services that their communities need to thrive and be resilient.

We call this engaged communities and it is embedded in everything we do.

An engaged community is one that leads and owns its own development. Communities can be geographic. They can be based on shared characteristics, such as age or gender, or shared interests. They can also be institutional.

On the right, a local Pact partner in Yolombo, Colombia. Credit: Brian Clark/Pact

Working across the project life cycle, our vision of engaged communities guides how we think about partnerships, write proposals, implement projects and measure our results. We utilize a suite of tested tools and evidence-based approaches at each stage to facilitate and support active community leadership and participation. We collect and synthesize knowledge and learnings from across projects and apply them back into our programming for continuous improvement. We also build the capacity of our staff, partners and community members to enable true community leadership and participation.

Most importantly, we hold ourselves accountable by evaluating projects across a continuum, from extractive to community led and owned. Projects are rated through a self-assessment, while a handful take a more intensive approach that includes rating by the communities we serve.

If we are committed to sustainable development, then we must also be committed to communities leading their own development. We are dedicated to building on the local promise that already exists in communities around the world so that they can thrive, be resilient and lead their own development.