This section presents Supras’ understanding of and approach to engaging in development cooperation and aid. The Profile consists of: “Vision”, “Concepts”, “Competencies”, “Method”, “Strategy”, and “Synergies”:
The personal quest and encounter with the Other that resulted in setting up Supras began in the 1970s. Three aspects of this ongoing engagement continue to challenge the development cooperation community: (1) subject matter, (2) scale, and (3) issues. [more]
Supras’ vision is a result of more than 25 years of engagement in development cooperation, working for and with bilateral agencies, multilateral agencies, NGOs and civil society, in a great many countries. The situation at the local level is taken as a point of departure as well as a focus, and aims to accord a primary emphasis to the knowledge available here as regards inter-personal/group relations, collective action, and natural resource management. The vision is developed in close understanding with the ideas and practice underlying the Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network (CBNRM Net).
Analysis, management, production, dissemination and use of relevant knowledge – with local people, for local people and by local people – towards addressing local needs and perceived problems at local, regional and global levels, with the aim of fostering public participation and community empowerment, and through this contribute to social and environmental sustainable development.
The vision is operationalized into Supras’ strategy (see below). Other language versions of the Vision are available: [Español]
Supras’ mode of operation is summed up in two concepts: inter-disciplinary work and cross-cultural focus. They are at the same time also approaches to how to work. The World Bank spearheaded the evolution of the development cooperation field with its early emphasis on projects being owned by the recipient (and, increasingly, specific recipients or beneficiaries within the country). The growing acceptance of these principles has paved the way for increased emphasis on inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural approaches in conceptualizing and implementing development projects, investment operations and developmental activities more generally. This emerging realization has over time come to be applied to all phases of the project cycle.
Toward meeting the above realities and challenges, the Profile identifies a number of “Competencies” that reflect Supras’ capabilities and concerns working within a comprehensive project team, where the members contribute different but complementary capabilities:
- Environmental management,
- Capacity building,
- Risk and conflict management, and
The competencies are treated in more detail under Services.
There are two aspects to the methodology: (1) Participation and participatory approaches, and (2) Social analysis.
These two aspects represent – and are the foundation and starting point for – both the applied project work and research that Supras does. Supras relates to and works with participation, participatory approaches and social analysis in a broad sense. For example, in situations where experience in local organizing and relevant institution building (e.g., in setting up NGOs) is lacking, Supras argues that such capacity building activities should be provided. Likewise, in the case of social analysis, Supras argues that local people should receive training in survey work and data collection, as well as in analysis of data ... [more]
Supras’ strategy is an operationalization of its Capabilities, Vision (see above) and Competencies (see above). For details on how the strategy is implemented, see the Profile. Regarding how the strategy relates to and reflects organization and staffing, see Organization, Staff, and Consultant roster ... [more]
The various constituent elements of the Profile represent, in and off themselves, important cases of synergies and linkages ... [more].