About The Development Alternative

From 2018 to 2022, INTRAC was part of a consortium called The Development Alternative (TDA), which co-designed alternative ways to do development that are truly led by young people and communities.

The Development Alternative supported youth-centered and youth-led civil society organisations in the global south to design approaches that ensure young people and their communities define, own and lead solutions to the problems they face.

We worked closely with young people and their communities, and youth-led and focused organisations to co-create the strategy, evidence and approaches to an alternative development programme. The Development Alternative, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, was being led by Restless Development and coordinated in collaboration with seven partners. The consortium was established in 2018.

Model for Change

A key element of The Development Alternative was the ‘Model for Change’, which was piloted in Madagascar and Uganda. This approach to citizen monitoring saw the consortium support young people to make development programmes where they live better.  Young volunteers monitored local development programmes by getting feedback from community members. They recorded feedback using their phones (DevCheck app, created by Integrity Action) and captured suggestions for changes and improvements to the programme. They then took these suggestions back to development organisations and the relevant stakeholders to work with them to fix any problems and make improvements. The volunteers conducted research with 308 community members, monitoring 18 different projects with a combined budget of £97 million.

INTRAC’s role

INTRAC led the overarching Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system and participated in the design and implementation of the programme. When the consortium learned that the DfID funding would end prematurely, due to the ODA cuts, INTRAC led a participatory exit strategy process to ensure a responsible and sustainable exit. INTRAC has also produced a number of learning products that can be used for programme design and advocacy, such as the Cookbook for Youth-Led Accountability.