Partnership & Capacity Strengthening

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About Partnership

Since 1943, CRS has worked with local organizations to develop and implement relief and development programs. CRS’s approach is firmly grounded in its principles, derived from the body of knowledge called Catholic Social Teaching, notably that people and organizations in their own context are best suited to identify and address their particular development needs. CRS also believes deeply that partnership is a better way to do development and find sustainable and effective solutions. CRS’ approach to development is the belief that healthy institutions are better able to provide consistent and quality services. Since the early 2000s, CRS has applied a theory of change grounded in the concept of Integral Human Development (IHD), which promotes the good of the whole person and every person.


Partnership Principles

  • Share a vision for addressing people’s immediate needs and the underlying causes of suffering and injustice.

  • Make decisions at a level as close as possible to the people who will be affected by them.

  • Strive for mutuality, recognizing that each partner brings skills, resources, knowledge, and capacities in a spirit of autonomy.

  • Foster equitable partnerships by mutually defining rights and responsibilities.

  • Respect differences and commit to listen and learn from each other.

  • Encourage transparency.

  • Engage with civil society, to help transform unjust structures and systems.

  • Commit to a long-term process of local organizational development.

  • Identify, understand, and strengthen community capacities, which are the primary source of solutions to local problems.

  • Promote sustainability by reinforcing partners’ capacity to identify their vulnerabilities and build on their strengths.