Chronicles of a Transformative Movement: Strengthening our Interconnectedness

A new article in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies highlights MCLD’s transformation process and the learning journey that we have been on together as a Movement. The article by Gunjan and all members of MCLD features stories and knowledge from across our network and is a work of collaboration true to our values. 

Article Abstract

How does a movement transform itself into an organization while retaining its inherent values? This article documents the processes The Movement for Community-led Development (MCLD), a global consortium of over 1500 civil society organizations, is instituting as it co-creates its future based on its values of interconnectedness, inclusion, consensus decision-making, and distributed leadership. MCLD was formed in 2015 by a group of community-led practitioners committed to transforming the humanitarian and development sector: insisting that local communities should take center stage in envisioning, planning, actively implementing, evaluating, and learning from development activities. Soon other like-minded organizations, at local and global levels, joined MCLD. However, growth often necessitates some form of organizational structure, particularly to access and manage funds for its activities. After providing more background on its origins, founding principles, and membership, this article shares the transformative journey of MCLD to sustain its commitment to shared leadership and collaborative decision-making. The article offers a framework for how a movement can remain true to its identity and moral imperatives amidst the need to be practical, sustain action over time, and cater to different members and where they are in the journey. This framework is built on conversational survey data and reflections of new and old members across the globe.

Featured Photo: Suporna from Khulna in Bangladesh, 2022. Photo for The Hunger Project