IAS – for the full potential of people

By Denise Nanni and Milena
Rampoldi, ProMosaik. The next step in our journey for human rights: the
organization International Aid Service,
a Christian organziation working for development and social empowerment in
South Sudan and other countries of Eastern Africa. Would like to thank Andreas for his time and for the important
material he sent us.
How was your organization
International Aid Service founded?
International Aid Services (IAS) is
an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) abiding by Christian
values. Founded in 1989 with the purpose of assisting conflict affected
populations in South Sudan we now run programs in over 10 countries in
primarily Horn of Africa /Eastern Africa supported by 4 offices in Europe and the
United States. The Alliance Head Office is located in Stockholm, Sweden.
We see ourselves as catalysts for
development. Investing in people in order for them realize their full potential
– going beyond relief and development. Thank you for standing with us in this
Our core values are the following:
Our Core Values
Missions: Our biblical understanding of missions
motivates everything we do. The unreached and under-privileged people’s groups
is our major focus in spreading the good news.
Integrity: We
believe that integrity is the foundation of our Christian character. Character
is not inherited but is built daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by
thought, action by action.
Relational Leadership and Team
 We believe in a team-based approach to leadership.
We invest in leaders and train them to realize their full potential as
well as giving them tools and opportunities to be effective leaders. We believe
healthy leaders produce healthy communities.
Empathy (Compassion): We show compassion to a hurting and broken world –
feeling the feelings and emotions of others and being motivated to act.
Equality: We believe in treating all people as we would like
to be treated. We believe that people will feel valued and appreciated
when we regard them with dignity and respect.
How do you select the communities
where you intervene?
organization has determined criteria for starting a project.
From its vast experience as a Relief and Development organization,
IAS deems it fit that certain strategies for initiating a project in order to
utilize the maximum of every specific intervention are a vital tool. This
policy will serve as a guideline, in the light of IAS mission statement, to
what circumstances should be taken into account when starting a project.
The goal is to provide a foundation for better run projects.
The purpose is to utilize the maximum of every project in order
for IAS to best serve the people benefiting from the project.
Projects that are more carefully planned and therefore are
implemented in a more efficient and professional manner serving in the best
possible way the target community.
The following points are to be considered before starting a
Need; No project should be
started unless there is a clear identified need for assistance by IAS. One of
IAS targets is also to provide assistance to the forgotten and lost people getting
deprived of aid from elsewhere – to reach out to the un-reached.
Humanitarian concern; In accordance with IAS vision and mission statement as well as the
ICRC code of conduct, the humanitarian concern is imperative when initiating aid
Holistic view.
Geographical focus; IAS will give priority to projects that are within the
focus of the organization.
Sector focus; IAS will
give priority to projects that are within the sectors of the organization.
Local partners; IAS strongly believe that, in order to achieve sustainable
projects, local partners and stakeholders must be involved from the very first
step of the project.
Capacity of organization and local partner;
This include the following:
• financial resources
• personnel resources
• knowledge and experience
• administrative and logistics capacity
a clear exit strategy, in line with IAS Exit
Strategy Policy.
What are the strategies that you use
in order to promote civil society developement?
In many countries/areas of IAS operation the situation is
characterized as an emergency by any standards. However many parts of those
countries/areas are more stable than others and therefore offer an opportunity
for alternative means of international agency intervention. In the more stable
parts of those countries/areas, IAS would evaluate its ways of operation and begin
to adopt methods of intervention that would facilitate sustained development.
This is easily mainly done using the Integrated Community Empowerment Programme
(ICEP) tool. The ICEP tool is to encourage a unified approach among sectors
during the planning and implementation of projects. Furthermore, the programme
should encourage community participation and ownership from the outset of any
project with all the IAS sectors having input, bringing about holistic
development. Using the Integrated Community Empowerment Programme IAS is to
work among target communities in a much more coordinated, holistic and
concerted manner.
The Integrated Community Empowerment Programme was established to
incorporate all IAS activities in the sectors of Water and Sanitation, Health,
Agriculture, Education and Christian Ministries so as to address jointly the
issue of joint community dependency. The programme aims at motivating positive
community behavioral change towards project ownership, dignity, participation,
sustainability and self-reliance. It was developed as a means to help bridge
this gap in IAS implementation policies. The programme also draws heavily on
experience gathered over the years and bases a lot of future implementation on
the results of an evaluation process. Through integration and empowerment of
communities, this programme is deemed to bring about the restoration of dignity
and self-confidence.
In line with the overall mandate of IAS, the overall goal of ICEP
is to promote sustainable community based programs in all IAS’ served areas
regardless of race, creed, gender or nationality of the recipient.This will be
done by strengthening the capacity of the communities through training, which
will increasing their sense of ownership of the projects.
Do you address any specific action
to women’s rights and empowerment?
are trying to involve women in all our projects and empower them. Attached you
find our Gender Policy. 
International Aid Services’ humanitarian mandate is to prevent and
alleviate suffering without discrimination as expressed in the IAS Mission
Statement. Gender equality ensures that there is no sex-based discrimination in
the allocation of resources, benefits or, in access to services.
Gender refers to the roles, responsibilities, needs, interests and
capacities of both men and women as opposed to looking at the special interests
and needs of women alone. Male and female roles, responsibilities, needs,
interests and capacities are influenced by social and cultural factors. It is
important to understand that men and women play different roles in society and
that gender does not mean that men and women should necessarily change their behavior
and execute the other’s duties. IAS believes that the gender issue must be
looked at in a broader context where the different needs of men and women are
distinctively addressed.
The goal of this policy is to make gender-related issues a part of
every intervention from the planning stage to the implementation, in order to
make sure that both men and women equally benefit from an intervention.
The purpose is to understand the underlying causes that contribute
to an unjust balance between men and women when it comes to relief and development
interventions. Natural disasters, conflicts, social and political instability
affect men and women differently, and by understanding these differences it
will be possible to meet the needs of both men and women accordingly. All
people should have access to humanitarian aid, regardless of sex, age or race.
Gender plays an important role in capacity building as well as
institutional development programmes.
Do you cooperate with local
authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
Yes, we do. We cooperate a lot with
the Water and Education ministries in particular since we are doing a lot of
WASH and Education projects. We align our projects to Government policies and
procedures where they exist and if not, we make sure to cooperate and develop
our programming with these ministries.