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Working in international development is already tough, but decolonizing it adds another layer of challenge. It requires breaking down unfair power systems.

Simply discussing concepts like sustainability, diversity, inclusion, equality, and accessibility isn’t sufficient. We must take action.

Here’s how DDW plans to make our work more respectful and equitable:

  • Incorporating Indigenous Framings
    At DDW, we believe in incorporating Indigenous perspectives into development projects as a key step towards our mission of decolonization. This means promoting Indigenous framings that focus on strengths rather than deficits, marking progress in our efforts to decolonize development.

 

  • Recognizing Structural Racism and other -isms*

    Our mission drives us to acknowledge and confront structural inequalities like racism and other -isms that perpetuate colonial legacies. By recognizing how these -isms influence funding, knowledge transfer, and aid in development practices, we can work towards a more equitable approach.

 

  • Empowering Local Communities
    DDW is committed to empowering local communities by giving them control over their own development goals and methodologies. This aligns with our mission of promoting sustainable and effective development by honoring indigenous ways of knowing and involving communities in decision-making processes.

 

  • Revisiting Harmful Policies
    Central to our mission is the revision of exclusionary policies rooted in colonial logics. By prioritizing the elimination of harmful practices such as pay disparities and
    tied aid*, we aim to create a fairer and more just development landscape.

 

  • Redefining Expertise
    DDW seeks to redefine expertise by valuing local and indigenous knowledge on equal footing with Western knowledge. This challenges hierarchical structures and supports our mission of decolonizing development by promoting diverse perspectives.
These actions are integral to DDW’s mission of challenging and transforming existing power structures, knowledge systems, and practices within international development to foster equity and inclusivity.
For more information, you can read Yale Journal article here.