On this page you can read about the characteristics of Diakonia's work. Normally we do not implement or carry out projects on our own. Instead, we support and cooperate with local partner organizations. We often give institutional support, based on our theory of change and a rights based approach.
The expression "long-term commitment" may be the most important when describing how Diakonia works. We and the change makers in our global network know that it is possible to change the world. But we also know that it takes time and demands stubbornness and persistence. The partners we cooperate with normally receive our support for several years.
"People changing the world" is our motto. With "people" we mean the poor and oppressed that, with some help from Diakonia and our partners, themselves find ways out of poverty and suffering. They are courageous and competent people who transfer their anger over injustices into a driving force for change. They know what needs to be changed and how it can be done. Diakonia's task is to help them reach their goals.
Other change makers are the enthusiastic people in Sweden who raise money for Diakonia, arrange debates, seminars and events. They help spreading information and commitment, at the same time as they are an important part in the work for a just world.
We have a living dialogue with our partners. They know what they need on the location or level where they work. It is Diakonia's task to provide that and help them meet their goals. We can contribute with money, but also with capacity building and participation in networks. In short, we want to help our partners with whatever they need to help people to acheive a life in dignity, with justice and security.
On many levels
We co-operate with many different types of organizations. Some work in a village or community in order to secure livelihood. Others work globally in order to change structures that create or maintain poverty. The mixture of partners brings strength and knowledge. Our partners can also support each other.
Exchange and interdependency
Since Diakonia coordinates a global network of partners, it is natural for us to bring them together at times. In conferences and meetings between organizations that work with similar issues, no matter where in the world, new knowledge is created. Ideas are exchanged and inspiration generated, both for our partners and us.
Diakonia also supports partners when they want to strengthen their work on important issues. Among many tools, we have developed a manual for how to work for increased gender equality, both within one's organisation and in society as a whole. We have also developed the Environmental lens, that helps integrating environment into the development work.
The one who stands alone is not strong. That is why Diakonia participates in and contributes to a number of networks. That way our voice gets stronger and harder to ignore.
In addition we work with universities and organizations that deal with questions regarding sustainable environment and peace or conflict transformation.
People are being held in poverty by a number of factors. One of them is global policies, politics and agreements. That is why it is not sufficient to only change the situation in one isolated village. We need to change the global structures that create and maintain poverty. That is why Diakonia works with advocacy on several levels, among them Swedish politicians and decision-makers.
Tep Vanny from Cambodia is an enthusiast who is passionate about change. Together with other women, she has joined Diakonia's partner organization Equitable Cambodia to demonstrate against how companies and the rich of Cambodia steal land from people in poverty. Photo: Stephen Welch