In 2005, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, to which 138 donor and developing-world governments adhere, enshrined ownership as the first principle of effective development cooperation. Six years later, at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated the US commitment to ownership as “a key step to the sustainability of development initiatives.

What does this mean for the way US international assistance is implemented on the ground in developing countries? Oxfam and Save the Children believe that when development assistance efforts are driven by local citizens in collaboration with their governments, the results are more effective and enduring. The how and with whom the US partners in host countries are central to the long-term success of its international assistance.