One of the biggest advantages Opportunity International Australia has with microfinance and overseas aid is localisation. At the heart of all the work we do, Opportunity’s partners on the ground in Asia are the reason why we are so successful in helping alleviate poverty for millions of families.
Opportunity’s community-based projects are 100 per cent delivered through local partners. Local partners identify, design and implement projects, with financial support from Opportunity. Opportunity also provides partners with technical support on program design, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building.
Local leadership is paramount to delivering scalable and high impact programs. Opportunity recognises that our position in Australia is to provide support to partners and strengthen their capacity where needed. - Annie Wang, Director of Health and Women’s Safety.
“We seek to add value to local partners through supporting program design and management, monitoring and evaluation, and strengthening social performance measurement. We also aim to provide flexible funding and minimise the administrative barriers for local partners.”
Opportunity’s operating model has always been to be locally driven. Therefore, during the pandemic, we continued to be guided by our partners and core partnership principles. Opportunity’s COVID-19 response work focused on the communities where partners already had a trusted presence and brand in the community which was critical to their ability to mobilise and reach these vulnerable communities in a period of rampant mistrust and misinformation.
Opportunity’s partners were impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in India and Indonesia, resulting in multiple requests to support COVID-19 activities on awareness raising, community-based health services, and vaccination camps. Opportunity was able to pivot to these new partner needs by launching COVID-19 specific fundraising campaigns and providing technical support to develop training packages on COVID-19 that could be delivered through the existing microfinance partners and health leader networks.
Opportunity’s strong existing localisation approach through local partnerships enabled a rapid scale up of the COVID-19 response thanks to this existing trust and established relationships.
Financial support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade requires a clear outline of locally-led programs and Opportunity is achieving this in all aspects of the work supported in Asia. Opportunity has a holistic approach to alleviating poverty, including programs in microfinance, education, health and women’s safety.