Sustainability of International Development Networks: Review of IDRC Experience (1995–2005)

By Terri Willard, Heather Creech on February 26, 2007
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has 35 years of experience in developing and sustaining international networks. In the fast-changing global context of the past 10 years, it has found that sustainability means that a network continues to function until it achieves its goals, or until its members are no longer willing or able to continue, or until it becomes irrelevant. Sustainability thus has four dimensions: time, relationships, resources and relevance. In order to be sustainable across these dimensions, network members and coordinators must cooperate in establishment of mechanisms to enable strategic management, internal management, external management and financial management. Most importantly, however, members and coordinators must possess adaptive capacity that enables them to recognize the need for change and to respond appropriately to it.

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IDRC, IISD, 2007