Review Our Capabilities and Projects
Winrock International has a long history of working in countries classified as 'fragile' or 'vulnerable' states, including Haiti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nepal, the Philippines, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Nigeria and El Salvador.
Winrock uses innovative approaches to bring communities together and provides marginalized groups alternatives to joining conflict. Winrock's work in smallholder irrigation in Nepal and renewable energy in the Philippines has been acclaimed as models for using community mobilization and promotion of income-generating activities to weaken grassroots support for conflict.
Winrock is particularly well-known for its innovative program design and implementation in the following sectors:
Winrock takes an active role in recognizing, preventing, mitigating, and responding to conflict by combining people-centered approaches with scientific and technical expertise in agriculture, natural resource management, women and youth empowerment, and renewable energy.
- Economic growth (including agriculture and rural livelihood development)
- Natural resource management
- Democracy & governance (including civil society strengthening, human rights, and women's participation)
- Social sector development (including youth empowerment and gender)
Winrock builds the capacity of local organizations to identify and address the causes of conflict and develop appropriate responses.
- Winrock works with local partners and communities to conduct participatory assessments, surveys, resource valuation, and research to determine the underlying causes of perceived problems and inequities, and to develop practical recommendations.
- In most countries, Winrock combines grassroots development with policy interventions and research at the national level. For example, through established networks, like the African Research Policy Network (ARPAN) comprised of more than 170 African social scientists in 22 countries, Winrock is able to identify emerging issues and priorities at the local and national levels. Policy analysis workshops identify research topics and present commissioned and competitive research on a variety of topics, including the impact of resource use and scarcity, food insecurity, and economics.
Winrock's programs emphasize participatory, community-based processes for developing solutions, policies, and practices that benefit vulnerable communities.
- Winrock programs facilitate innovative solutions to complex social issues through cooperative, participatory problem solving processes and coalition building. Efforts focus on developing partnerships with governments, public and private sector organizations to ensure that the benefits of peace processes reach traditionally marginalized, conflict-affected communities.
- Winrock strives to strengthen participation of women and marginalized populations in formal political structures and public decision-making.
- The development of democratic water user associations and equitable resource distribution helps mitigate conflicts over water use.
- Gender programs provide psychosocial counseling to at-risk youth, women and victims of gender-based violence (e.g. sex trafficking).
- Projects emphasize building the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs. Financial resources provided and managed through small grants programs allow for rapid response to outbreaks of conflict and strengthen the ability of local institutions' to meet needs immediately.
From the social capital within communities, Winrock builds on traditional methods to resolve and address the aftermath of conflict. Empowered communities help themselves and support formulation of effective regional, national, and international policies to support reconciliation at the local level. Programs target marginalized groups - women, youth and the economically disadvantaged - providing basic needs, opportunities and education.
- Winrock demonstrates that communities and institutions can work effectively and transparently with government to provide services for micro-irrigation, credit, rural marketing, water usage, trade, input suppliers, and agriculture market management.
- Increasing income of smallholder farmers through the production and sale of high-value crops and sustainably harvested non-timber forest products supports local economic stability and creates new opportunities for education and personal growth.
- Projects that improve employability of at-risk youth and adults, and other members of marginalized populations, with job skills and professional development lead to greater civic interest and participation and reduce out migration. Engaging these individuals in income generation and enterprise development activities enhances their roles as stakeholders.
- Preventing natural resource degradation following conflict promotes faster community recovery. Programs use resource surveys to identify fragile areas and work with local groups to develop sound recovery plans based on proven approaches and successful case studies. Land tenure conflict is resolved through land use contracts and information, education and communication programs.
- Winrock promotes the efficient use of local renewable resources and biofuels to promote national energy security and energy independence. This brings cost savings to local areas and increases opportunities for jobs. Identifying the potential for conflict resulting from weak eco-governance and proposing strategies to improve environmental governance support this work.
- Informal education and supplemental education programs for at-risk youth that involve teachers, parents, and community members are effective in addressing employment and social problems. Activities include services that address the causes of human trafficking that are fueled by conflict and post-conflict situations or political instability and transition.
Winrock has extensive experience in training and building the capacity of individuals, government agencies, NGOs, and community groups, and in developing culturally appropriate curricula and conducting training on leadership, negotiation, communication and conflict resolution.
- To meet the needs of local populations that need information but often are not participants in skill-building programs, Winrock conducts workshops and training on conflict resolution, negotiation and lobbying, public speaking, gender, participatory rural appraisal, credit and savings, HIV/AIDS awareness, technology transfer, Leadership for Change, and other topics of civic concern.
- Advancing the use of communication techniques and strategies enables organizations and individuals to become part of formal dialogue and discussion. Ability to use community radio, television and informal communication channels raises public awareness and the sharing of opposing views. Training for political candidates gives them skills needed for community campaigns and elections.
- Establishing and strengthening networks of local NGOs to provide community-based job skills training, crisis prevention assistance, legal assistance, and educational programs provides essential services resource poor governments cannot afford.
- Since 1985, Winrock has managed extensive scholarship and training programs throughout the world, bringing opportunity for degree and non-degree training to disadvantaged and marginalized individuals inside and outside of their countries. In addition, Winrock regularly partners with universities, research centers, and governments, and can also draw upon its extensive networks (such as the African Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment and the African Research Pan-African Networks, as well as others) to discuss and address priorities and complex situations within and across several countries. Publications by Networks' grantees have been distributed to over 500 libraries and institutions in Africa, Europe and the United States. Winrock also provides training of trainers to build local institutions, NGOs, and formal educational facilities to carry on our work and ensure sustainability.