Who We Are
Committed to Excellence
AIDInc. is an international development research and consulting company founded in 2004, in the Caribbean by academic lecturers and specialist consultants, in close partnership with community actors and decision-makers. Our UK satellite unit was formed in 2008 with the focus on building strategic and funding partnerships between LAC operations, donors and global development organisations. Although we have recently restructured, AIDInc was initially formed to fill an urgent need for comprehensive policy and health/social research and skills-building in the Caribbean region and to operate as a programme management unit for mobilising regional and international research and consultant teams, in delivering hands-on technical assistance, national and regional surveys, rapid reviews to inform policy issues and debates and manage implementation short medium and longer term programmes and projects.
We use our expertise in quantitative and qualitative techniques to identify, measure, monitor and evaluate problematic issues, system dynamics and outcomes across priority health and social development issues in the regions we target. We also develop and implement evidence-based policies, strategies and programmes solutions to alleviate identified issues and their impacts.
THE RESTRUCTURED AIDINC
At AIDInc our mission is to reduce poverty and mitigate the impacts of social and health problems on our communities through innovative capacity building and public-private sector programming approaches. The organisation, after 10 years in operation, began to scale-down its operations towards the end of 2014 to reposition its business model and strategic approach, in response to a fast evolving international development landscape and market demands. Our decision to reposition was also fueled by the impending transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) towards the launch of the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the newly emerging SDGs.
AIDInc has since re-emerged in 2021, with a new approach to making impact in its social empowerment, policy and programme development approaches.
The restructured AIDInc model is based on the proven belief that approaches to country technical assistance within international development initiatives must be underpinned with bottom-up development of leadership and technical capacity within grass roots organisations and beyond. This leadership approach will enable greater grassroots innovation and their more meaningful involvement in development projects and ownership of the outcomes over the longer-term. We hear this leadership capacity building promise all the time from international NGOs doing good and reportedly building sustainable approaches and sustained impacts in developing regions. However business models of iNGOs and international research institutions are not structured to support the innovative and cost-effective building of sustained capacity and skills, as these leadership outcomes cannibalise their own offerings and reduce their revenue flows from their leadership participation in developing country projects .
A small handful of iNGOs are changing their business models in response to this glaring development gap, to be better able to deliver sustained benefits to local civil society . AIDInc's aim to examine and showcase these iNGOs and work with them in in-country capacities to achieve joint goals of increasing grassroots sustainability and building strong public-private networks that support the grassroots
After many iNGO-led medium and long-term donor funded initiatives come to an end, capacity built is not usually sustained at the local organizational level, exacerbated by lack of access to onward funding. As a result, local grassroots development organisations are unable to survive and thrive. Another reason for lack of sustainability of institutional strengthening within these organisations is the significant over-balance in management and technical inputs from international NGO counterparts to developing country projects, compared with local grassroots organisations. Sadly these local organisations receive direct expenses for their inputs, while overheads are usually unpaid or underpaid. Local direct project staff often work significantly longer hours than contracted, in order to deliver the contracted outputs, and absorb more fixed staffing overheads than is supported by the available and disbursed project funds. As a result, these cash-strapped organisations find that they are more responsive to the needs of the underfunded short/medium term project being delivered, than to planning and meeting long -term needs of their vulnerable and affected communities and their organisations' mission and goals.
The comparative advantages of such grass roots organisations over iNGOS and larger regional institutions is that they are most familiar with the needs of their communities and have access to sensitive primary data, but this is often understated. In addition, such organisations have the potential to contribute cost-effectively and more integrally to designing, adapting and delivering on culturally appropriate technical inputs and response models. As mentioned previously, their ability to maximise and expand on this advantage and potential is hindered due to their struggle with maintaining consistent streams of revenue to retain in-house skills built, technical know-how and valuable local, regional and international partnerships. So that by the time the next donor funded initiative comes around, their management and built-in technical capacities and knowledge are deemed insufficient to enable them to participate meaningfully and attain adequate direct funds in line with increased participation over time.
This is why we have restructured: To tangibly build sustainability in all donor-funded grass roots projects and ensure that local NGOs and social enterprises meaningfully engage with the entire continuum of development responses, and receive fair compensation and awards, reflective of the value of their direct and indirect inputs.
Inclusive, meaningful and sustained development action at the grass roots
AIDInc's restructured approach emerging in 2021 envisages a more resilient civil society, working side-by-side as equals and as leaders with international development NGOs. As a result over time as organisational technical and management experiences increases, they become less dependent on external management and technical skills required to deliver proposal and grant funded initiatives.
Our approach tackles the outdated and misguided overhead myth and develops new ethical and inclusive models and actions to ensure that the caps set on overheads for civil society organisations are no longer an obstacle to achieving organisational missions. Many donors and funders evaluating nonprofits' effectiveness by their ratio of overhead costs compared with direct costs required to meet project and organisations' goals and mission of their projects and overall organisation. This is inequitable practice that promotes a virtual cycle that leads to inequities in funding and inclusiveness of local NGOs and SEs.
Our Transformational Leadership model is based on our belief and experience that transformational leaders serve and follow their team when needed in order to build leadership capacity from within. Our approach supports local organisations - NGOs and social enterprises - by taking a hands-on and hands-off, back-office technical support approach that includes M&E, research, proposal and grant development as well as mentoring in partnerships and network strengthening, strategy improvements, leadership and management.
Our approach recognises that the fastest, most sustainable route to increasing socioeconomic impacts that are felt at all levels of the economic pyramid, downstream to the grass roots and the hardest to reach communities, are attained through increased access to essential goods and services, job creation, entrepreneurial skills building, and an underpinning strengthening of the third and fourth sectors (civil society and social enterprises). Coupled with tailored social and psychosocial empowerment initiatives, we believe that these are the key factors required to catalyse and promote sustained livelihoods for communities and households to thrive from generation to generation.
Our value proposition lies in the fact that we are a boutique research and consulting organisation and establish long term partnerships with individual experts and with small and mid-sized businesses, academia and NGOs that are a lean and efficient in their operations. Together, with the right strategic partnerships, balancing regional and international expertise, we position ourselves to make value-added and sustainable impacts, seamlessly embedding social, participatory, learning and partnership-building approaches that ensure that once an intervention or project is completed, the knowledge, attitudes, structures and commitment to the goals remain behind, and ongoing actions are operational through well-informed networks and realistically achievable operational partnerships.
Why we are better As a result of our low overheads we are flexible enough to adequately tailor and adapt our approaches and inputs and respond to evolving and newly revealed needs of demand-driven or high-risk projects by bringing the best minds and experts to the table at all strategic and pivotal points in the process. We believe that together this makes us stronger and better positioned to deliver exactly what our clients need ...plus more: We ensure that clients, through the ecosystems and networks we leave behind, can call on our individual experts through low cost individualized arrangements, for updated inputs or advise beyond our project phases.
Innovative and Effective Partnerships
We are a small specialised unit that operates through long-standing partnerships with associate consultants and specialists in our focus areas. We build effective long-term tripartite resources -sharing and action-taking partnerships with public, private sector and community groups that foster sustainability of the outcomes we achieve.
The key to our efficiency in implementation is in our contained overheads, promotion of country ownership, strengthened local NGO institutional capacities and not least, our wide-reaching resource-sharing partnerships and networks during fact-finding and programme implementation;
We believe that local, organizational and community empowerment and mobilisation for change are key to sustaining national and global heath & developmental goals and best practices.
Our Core Focus
Since 2004 our Focus areas have included;
Private Sector Mobilisation, engagement and investments to Social and Health programmes
Community Development and Empowerment
Strategic Planning for National Programmes
Youth Empowerment and Risk-Reduction
Human Rights, Media and Advocacy action across a number of key focus areas:
Reducing stigma and discrimination towards vulnerable and marginalised populations
Prevention of trafficking
Preventing Violence against Women and Girls
Promoting Access to Services
Ongoing Health and social Service Decision Support and Benchmarking
Health Services Policy Analysis and Development
Health Service Financing strategies and Health Services Costing
Health Economics- Economic Evaluation of health technologies and programme outcomes
Design and implementation of Community-Based and Led Operational Research for Programme Design and Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation of international development programmes
Health and Social Services Software development and Technical Assistance.
Due to the wide-reaching nature of the skills and qualifications of associates and core staff, we apply our extensive knowledge-base and problem-solving expertise across a vast range of health and social issues that hold back country and regional development.