Philosophy & Programme Strategy


The DI views development as a process which has ripple effect in society; beginning from a potent nucleus of individuals and local groups, it spreads to macro level. The ripple effect occurs when individuals and groups have captured the significance of their lives and get motivated to organize around a practical vision – develop a strategic plan and commit to implement it. With this philosophy, we commit ourselves to ensuring Environmental and Human Security. By this, we are looking at social and economic threats such as poverty, ethnic conflicts, food insecurity, water insecurity and how these are linked to environmental factors such as climate change, deforestation and degradation among others. 


Our strategy is therefore to build an interconnection in which “social systems interact with ecological systems in sustainable ways, all individuals have fair and reasonable access to environmental goods, and mechanisms exist to address environmental crises and conflicts.” (J. Sanseverino).  We recognize among other things that humans cannot live without the resources; hence we advocate for wise use of resources and work towards creating a balance and harmony between people and nature. Our Human and Environmental Security Programmes (HESP) focus on Multi-sector and Right-based mechanisms to positively influence the transformation of structural and institutional blocks that hinder people and nature by supporting and facilitating the process for social inclusion and decentralization of natural resource governance in the following three areas:  

  1. Human Development, Security and Governance: This programme focuses on facilitating the needed change processes for traditional structures, institutions within the decentralization system and good governance; using all available areas of socialization and mobilization and  skills enhancement at the personal, group and community levels;
    • Community Youth development – enhancing the potentials of the youth in political leadership and conflict management for community development
    • Farmers Organizations – enhancing the personal and productive skills of farmers and their institutions, especially young farmers to enable them achieve their desired quality of life.
    • Women empowerment in leadership and economic activities
    • Inter-ethnic conflict management, empowerment of community institutions and structures to detect, resolve, mediate and build peace.
  2. Environment and Natural Resource Governance: This programme involves facilitating the needed change processes through:
    • Community Based Natural Resource Management (Forest, Biodiversity, Land use planning, Marine and Coastal Resources management)
    • Pro-poor tourism for sustainable income and conservation of nature and culture
    • Climate Change Issues: Reducing vulnerability of communities due to climate change stressors through community adaptation measures such as integrated river basin and agriculture water management systems for food security, biodiversity and soil conservation
    • Conservation Agriculture and agriculture value chain development
    • Sustainable livelihoods; based on identified community’s indigenous knowledge, & natural resources endowment (community assets).
  3. Policy Advocacy and Research: The failure of development programs begins at the Policy level. In the frame work of good governance, participation of all stakeholders is critical to problem identification, policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation for the success of development initiatives. We engage and contribute to the effectiveness of each of these stages in the policy process through research, policy dialogue and facilitating Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and community participation through sensitization, campaigns and advocacy programmes.