Our Approach

Our Development Phases

Ace Africa only works in communities where there is a real need, want and willingness to gain independent self-sufficient lives. The programme is long-term and bespoke to each community, reflecting local cultural, economic, political and environmental contexts focusing on all aspects of a child’s and community’s development.

1. We identify the ‘communities in need’

  • In line with MDGs and SDGs, national strategic goals and relevant statistics, Ace identifies the ‘communities in need’ in rural and remote areas of East Africa. This is based on i) levels of poverty and food poverty ii) prevalence of HIV and AIDS and most vulnerable children iii) lack of infrastructure and welfare services iv) limited support services

2. We validate the ‘need’ and measure the change

  • Ace Africa conducts in depth baseline research in all project areas prior to intervention. This research involves capturing local demographics on social, economic, health, food security, education, protection and existing structures and services. The research involves the opinions of household members, local government representatives, community and religious leaders, teachers, health workers and other service providers. It provides the basis upon which Ace Africa and the community develop the programme to meet their specific needs as well as acting as the benchmark upon which short and long-term change is measured.

3. We develop a long term holistic programme within the ‘community’

  • Ace defines ‘community’ not simply as the beneficiaries, but as unified embers of a society, each with a role to play in their own development.
  • Ace develops a three phase, long-term programme is developed with community members focusing on Child Development, Health and Wellbeing and Livelihoods. The programme addresses all aspects of development concurrently, aiming that within 10-15 years, the community will be self-sufficient and self-sustaining with regards to food and economic security, health, education, wellbeing and protection.

4. We create ‘community ownership’ and demand driven services

  • Identifying existing and/or establishing new, Ace Africa strengthens community structures and builds the capacity of key partners. Avoiding ‘hand outs’, we aim not to create donor dependency by engaging all members of the community in programme delivery from the start.

5. We engage, nurture and maintain volunteers and partners

  • To avoid dependency and encourage ownership, we engage with members of support groups, individuals and local government and partners, providing skills training and capacity building to create immediate tangible change in the lives of volunteers, their families and others in their community.

6. We train, remain and refer

  • We do not train and leave, we train and remain. Through our constant presence in the community, we provide the regular post training mentoring that is required to address emerging challenges and to ensure our programmes remain relevant and impactful. As individual and group skills are strengthened, we facilitate linkages and referrals to other service providers who facilitate technical or resource based support.

7. We hand over and grow the community

  • Once we are sure of the communities’ skills, structures and resources to access services, our presence becomes redundant. This process involves community stakeholders taking on Ace Africa roles and responsibilities to manage activities and interventions, ensuring linkages with and services of the local and district government are demanded and delivered and members of the community are empowered to take responsibility for their development. These community members then become the duty bearers for the skills transfer to others within their community, and in partnership with Ace, beyond into neighboring areas.

Our Development Phases


YEAR 1 – 4

We start by conducting research in target areas to identify the nature and scope of need and create a realistic programme of change. We build community awareness and provide training and technical support to individuals, mentors and local partners. We establish community structures to ensure swift and effective decision making over the years to come.

YEAR 5 – 10

We bring vital skills and knowledge to the communities through increased training and technical support. We expand both the number and remit of communities establishing networks and clear lines of communication. We significantly enhance the ability of local groups and stakeholders to plan, budget, implement monitor and report on their activities (providing technical support and advocating at local and district level.

YEAR 10 – 15

We work with and for the stakeholders to enable community members to better access locally devolved funds. We train people in systems management and reporting helping them to build stronger links from the community level to district level (e.g Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture). We promote and endorse community members and local partners as effective service providers at a local, district and national level.