Less than 2% of humanitarian aid goes directly to local NGOs, but Jennifer Lentfer argues that grassroots groups are best placed to help those in need.
- Social and systemic injustice has deep roots. Even with the most comprehensive needs assessment or study, local contextual knowledge will never be fully understood by outsiders.
- Grassroots organisations are part of the social fabric of the community. As the first responders in a community, they are best situated to get help to those who need it most.
- The larger the institutions, the more resources are shifted to perpetuating its own existence. The lack of prescribed or strict procedures for decision-making in local organisations help them to remain more adaptive to arising needs and inherent complexities.
- Effective grassroots organisations have staying power at the local level. Most of the development sector is ruled by annual reports and three-year project cycles, which is very different from the time needed to see transformative change.
- Grassroots grantees get results. International small grantmakers may not have volumes of external evaluations or randomised control trials as proof of concept, but they are able to recount story after after about their grantees' accomplishments and triumphs,