Responsible Exit Strategies
It is key for us to have an exit strategy in place for withdrawing support responsibly from local partners. These strategies are often discussed at the onset of a collaboration agreement, but are also established, changed, or adapted throughout the partnership.
These exit strategies are to help all involved prevent dependency arising, and also to give importance to reaching short, mid, and long-term project objectives. This could mean exits from specific projects, but not from a partnership agreement. Or, it could be exits from partnership agreements, but not from a location.
Whatever the exit agreement looks like, we believe that it needs to be responsible and transparent for all involved. This means that whenever a withdrawal of support is planned, it is done in such a way as the partner or community will not suffer from the lack of continued support. In ideal situations, this withdrawal occurs when the partner or community has reached a level of self-sustenance regarding the projects we worked together to develop .
Even though the presence of a responsible exit strategy is essential, it does not require that the strategy be enacted for every partner, program, or location. In some cases, partnerships evolve over many years. In other cases, partnerships in a location end and new ones are started in the same location. The length of a partnership nor our length of time in a particular location does not necessarily mean that we have failed to prevent dependency, or that we are neglecting to employ our exit strategies. Partnerships grow and evolve over time, and the presence of an exit strategy is there to give impetus to reach project objectives, to motivate local capacity building, and to empower local partners to develop and upskill themselves.
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