Diakonia - People change the world
Diakonia has supported its partner KAALO in Somalia for many years. Good partnership - building on strong and genuine partnerships - is one of our guiding principles. Photo: KAALO

Guiding principles

We believe that there are certain strategies that facilitate change. This is why all of our efforts are analysed in relation to our two guiding principles: Diakonia's Strategy for Change and good donorship and partnership.

Strategy for Change

Based on many years of experience in the regions in which we work and in Sweden, we have put together a strategy for how we want to see change happen. The Strategy for Change is our way of putting the Rights Based Approach (RBA) into practice, and it also allows Diakonia to assess and describe the complex processes that we work with in a logical way.

The three components of the Strategy for Change are:

Knowledge and raising awareness


Collective action and advocacy work

Qualitative participation, non-discrimination, transparency and mutual accountability are key elements of the strategy.

Through organization, collective action and advocacy, people who become aware of their rights and acquire new knowledge can directly influence their own situation and decision-making processes that influence their lives.

However, the components of our Strategy for Change never occur in a set order and they sometimes overlap each other. For example, in some contexts, the organization surrounding income generating activities may come first and serve as point of entry where rights holders become aware of their rights and take further steps toward collective action.

The creativity and self-esteem that result from such empowerment processes lay the foundation for democracy and sustainable development.

Good donorship and partnership

Expresses our ambition to be a good, equal and long-term donor and partner.

Good donorship is about creating equal, long-term relationships with our partner organizations, empowering rights holders and jointly striving towards our vision.

As a donor, Diakonia endorses the following three commitments:

Alignment and harmonisation based on each and every partner organizations' specific conditions

Process-oriented, priority given to core funding

Transparency and mutual accountability

The fulfilment of these commitments contributes to our partners' development effectiveness. This is a concept broader than aid effectiveness and encompasses work on political, economic, social and cultural structures that hinder sustainable development.

Good partnership is about Diakonia striving to build strong and genuine partnerships. This includes shared values and problem analysis, political dialogue, mutual confidence and respect, mutual learning and long-term commitment.

Diakonia strives to base its work on the analysis of our partners and rights holders in order to improve the quality of our work.