GROWTH Project: For strong Partners Worldwide

GROWTH - Grassroots Organizational Development – Working Towards Humanity

Berlin, 18 January 2021

Our local partner organisations play the most important role in the implementation of our projects worldwide. However, the independence of civil society actors and their development is undermined and restricted in many countries. This is where our GROWTH project, which started in 2018, comes in: independent civil society organisations can and shall play a vital role in realizing the 2030 Agenda, including localising the Sustainable Development Goals , protecting rights and promoting accountability, and providing valuable monitoring functions

The cross-border GROWTH project supports ten grassroots civil society organisations from Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines in their organisational development. The focus lies on strengthening the organisations' capacities and providing them with the tools to develop according to their needs and aspirations. The aim is to build up local capacities, promote leadership and ownership, and enhance organizational structures and processes. Thereby, the philosophy and values of each organisation are recognised and integrated into the activities. "Instead of simply transferring our own expectations and demands – and those of our institutional donors – onto others, we need to reconfigure the balance of power and levels of decision-making. In essence, it has to be about supporting local actors, recognising their capacities and resources, and facilitating their access to international funding", says Wiebke Kessens, Head of Strategy and Quality at Johanniter International Assistance.

After the first two years of the project, we have already achieved a lot.


In Myanmar, our partner organisations Meikswe Myanmar (MM) and Hualgno Land Development Organization (HLDO)are working to strengthen their human and financial resources. They are supported in their individual growth. Thereby, networking with other local actors plays a key role, to expand their scope of work and to achieve possible government support.

Kinder spielen vor einem Banner der Johanniter
Celebration of our partner Meikswe Myanmar on the World Children's Day 2020.


In Cambodia, two of our partner organisations are part of the GROWTH project: Khmer Community Development (KCD)and Women Peace Makers (WPM)They are supported in generating their own income and thus expanding their activities.

Employees of our partner KCD in a GROWTH workshop.


In the Philippines, the GROWTH project supports an alliance of six organisations on Mindano: EcoWEB BALAOD KAABAY PASAKK KASILAK and HIPPEThese are primarily committed to resilience and disaster risk reduction. In the project, they have the opportunity to exchange ideas in workshops and learn from each other through peer learning. The focus lies on the development of guidelines on topics such as safety or self-assessment of with the help of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS).

In the Philippines, our partners learn from each other through peer learning.

What happens next?

The Corona pandemic brings new challenges to both the partner organisations and the GROWTH project. Many of the events are now taking place virtually due to travel restrictions and extra-curricular Corona activities are being integrated into the various projects. Despite the current difficulties caused by Corona, the organisations will continue to receive capacity building measures to improve their important work. The pandemic also created the opportunity to strengthen virtual networking among the organisations, including across borders. This has enabled new forms of peer support and exchange.

The project is financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

With Strong Partners at Local Level

Our local partners play a major role in the implementation of our projects. We are emphasising the importance and capacities of local partners to donors and the public, and advocating for their direct support.