AKFC facilitates the creation of new social and economic opportunities for women and men living in vulnerable communities throughout Asia and Africa. This objective is achieved through programs that are based on a number of fundamental principles:
Local Ownership: Local ownership means that programs are designed, implemented and managed by local people, responding to local priorities. Central to every AKFC-supported program is the strengthening of local institutions. These institutions can vary in size, scope and purpose, but always aim to enhance the capacity of vulnerable communities to direct and sustain the process of development.
Geographic Focus: AKFC supports programs grounded in local realities and focused on a specific geographic area. Once an area is selected, financial and technical resources are devoted to the development of the region, as prioritized by local communities. In many cases, lessons learned from this focused intervention are shared with a wider audience, influencing national and even international development strategies.
Long-Term Commitment: Much of international development work over the past 50 years has relied on short-term projects that often have little chance of long term sustainability. AKFC has always supported "program-based" development, investing resources in a variety of sectors in a concentrated area over a long period of time.
Partnerships: AKFC works toward program sustainability by fostering a strong network of local institutions that work cooperatively to achieve shared goals and objectives. AKFC encourages partnerships between communities, governments, the private sector, NGOs, donors and other institutions, such as universities. Through these partnerships, vulnerable communities develop new opportunities and the capacity to access needed services and produce mutually beneficial relationships.
Integrated Development: The complexity of poverty demands multifaceted solutions. Inadequate access to education, for example, will not necessarily be improved by building more classrooms and hiring more teachers as long as poor parents cannot afford to send their children to school. Similarly, health problems demand not only medicines and vaccinations, but also education programs aimed at health awareness, as well as economic and social programs that improve overall living standards. AKFC programs seek to address the diverse and related causes of poverty faced by these communities.
Results-Oriented: AKFC supports cost-effective programs that achieve a tangible impact. All programs incorporate a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation component, which allows AKFC and its partners to continually adapt to emerging conditions. AKFC-supported programs are also highly accountable to donors and provide transparent quarterly reports on all expenditures.
Learning and Innovation: All AKFC-supported programs include a component of active learning, allowing the experience of one program to be shared with a wider audience and replicated elsewhere. For AKFC, research and learning are essential in the pursuit of innovative approaches to the problems of poverty and isolation.