Integrating sustainability into programme deliverables has become normal practice in the fields of international development and humanitarian assistance. But encroaching climate chaos and ecological breakdown are inspiring our sector to go further. The UN Sustainable Development Goals imply that not only programme deliverables but also delivery systems must contribute to sustaining and regenerating our planetary resources.
The trend for sustainability and circular economy has already made strong inroads into the private sector, as businesses try to meet consumer demand for minimal social and environmental impact. International development and aid organisations should be leading this trend, but they’re several steps behind, partly because many organisations feel themselves to be exempt, partly because they think they’re just too busy, but also because their back-donors haven’t made operating sustainably a condition for receiving funds. This now needs to change. The sector must rise to the challenge. Aiming for systems which ‘do no harm’ is no longer enough. Now our programme delivery systems must be designed to ‘do good’.
What we do
Challenge to Change supports international development and humanitarian relief agencies to mainstream sustainability into their programme delivery systems. This means minimizing negative social and environmental impacts in the production, supply, use and disposal of goods and services, and going further where possible by harnessing those systems to generate positive impacts – a ‘regenerative’ approach.
Most development and relief programmes have significant greenhouse gas emissions, water footprints and other overlooked negative consequences. Challenge to Change utilizes the unique characteristics of development and aid programmes, to promote the circular use of resources and so to minimize waste, and to build sustainability into new programme interventions by innovating at the design stage. We use systems models to identify the best intervention points, and we always promote participatory approaches to accelerate change. We work with government agencies, multilateral and bilateral organisations and NGOs, engaging managers and staff, and encouraging the engagement of beneficiary communities as key stakeholders when appropriate.
Who we are
Challenge to Change is a consulting firm based in Canterbury, UK, working at the nexus between the delivery of international aid and development programmes, and the aspiration for sustainable and regenerative production and consumption.
The lead consultant, Graham Adutt, has 25 years’ experience working with international development and relief organisations in Southeast Asia and East Africa. He also currently works as a consultant for Kent Business School at the University of Kent, and as an Assessor on the Business Sustainability Management course of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Challenge to Change provides its services through an international network of development, relief and sustainability practitioners.
We’d like to help your organisation to mainstream sustainability into its development or humanitarian relief operations. This process can begin with a video call to discuss your sustainability needs and our services. To set up a call, please complete and submit the form below. We aim to reply to you initially by e-mail, within 24 hours.