MCLD’s Top Moments of 2021

The Community-Led Development community has reached new milestones in a challenging year! The traction for CLD has been unpredictably high in 2021. We are grateful to our members and friends for your dedication to shifting the power from top-down to community-led. Join us in celebrating our top moments of 2021 to Shift The Power. 

Greeting Designed by Gunjan Veda

We hosted five calls in our Adapting #CommunityLed Development to #Covid-19 series. In this second year of the series, we turned to mental health, food security, collaborating with the government, and climate. Learn more about the calls and read Seven Lessons from the Pandemic by series hosts Gunjan Veda and Nelly Mecklenburg (Institute for State Effectiveness).

Our Food Systems Summit 2021 Independent Dialogue explored people-based solutions to the problems our food systems face at the grassroots level. We were thrilled to join panelists Jemimah Njuki  Myrna Cunningham Kaine and Madhura Swaminathan in a conversation on community-level resilience.  

Our chapters and members leveraged their voices during Generation Equality and COP26. We ended the year with side events at the Summit For Democracy and Nutrition For Growth conferences, each time bringing together 80+ activists to brainstorm community-led and indigenous strategies to #ShiftThePower to the grassroots in nutrition and governance. Read more about our events here.

The Movement for Community-led Development is expanding rapidly in West Africa, with new chapters led by community leaders in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

We hosted 8 trainings on the Participatory CLD Assessment Tool, including at CBA15, the UnConference, with the Tamarack Insitute, and our own Malawi, Benin & Zambia. 1500+ people from 78 countries downloaded our CLD Assessment and Evaluation tools in 3 languages. Learn more about experiencing the Participatory CLD Assessment Tool training.

Our Sector Dialogue series took off in August to explore the role of CLD in various SDG sectors. We have hosted events on WASH, Health, Livelihoods, Access to Justice, and Climate, each time sharing space with sector expert panelists. Stay tuned for information on our upcoming Education dialogue! 

MCLD Mexico directed their focus on influencing conversations based on a gender-focused CLD perspective, fighting hunger and malnutrition. 

  • Held a strategic role in transforming food systems and achieving the right to food in México in 3 areas: insights based on local food systems for the national position to the Food System Summit; developing a national agenda on food systems beyond the Summit, and advocacy for achieving a General Law to the Right to Food with the parliamentary.
  • Opening strategic conversations in Latinamerica towards creating momentum in the region around GF-CLD. We lead a webinar on Right to Development and GF-CLD in Latinamerica, along with the Coalition for Human Rights in Development (which gathered 100 organizations and grassroots groups), and International Accountability Project.

It has been one year since we launched our Participatory CLD Assessment Tool. Former President of Malawi Joyce Banda keynoted our special launch event with remarks from Susan Wong (World Bank). The use of these tools may take us closer to strengthening our practice of CLD and ensuring, in President Banda’s own words, “progress and prosperity for all.”    

The MCLD West Africa Coordinator, MCLD Zambia Chapter Lead, and MCLD Nigeria Chapter Leads were featured in a book by Bev and Etienne Wenger. Their handbook on Systems Convening came out in September, and is available for free here!

35 MERL professionals came together in a collaborative research project over 2 years ago. This year, our story won the USAID CLA Case Competition! A huge congratulations to all organizations involved: The Hunger Project, World Vision, The Institute for State Effectiveness, Outreach International, Conservation International, The Catholic University of America, Global Communities, Relief International, Heifer International, and Save the Children.

Makueni County Government signed an MoU with MCLD Kenya under the leadership of Steve Ogutu. Under this MoU, we will work together to strengthen people’s participation in local governance. We are excited to see where this partnership goes in 2022!

On Oct 6 we launched Phase 2 results from our Collaborative Research Project in a multi-lingual event. The team shared findings from a rapid realist review of 56 Community-Led programs on how community leadership and facilitation improve equity and resilience in food security. We were honored to welcome USAID Amb. Don Steinberg to provide our keynote address.