Stopping As Success: planning for success from start to exit

“Stopping As Success: planning for success from start to exit” is a USAID-funded research project that will look at responsible exit strategies of INGOs. The research consortium consists of Peace Direct, Search for Common Ground and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects.

Stopping As Success: research aims

The primary goal of this research is to bring greater awareness to the international community of the multiple dynamics at play when ending a development programme and provide guidelines on how to ensure locally-led development. The research will seek examples where exit strategies were rooted in local contexts and formed a key part of initial programme design.

The research findings aim to influence attitudes especially for exits to be seen as a success because sustainable outcomes have been achieved or because continued intervention may only serve to distort local efforts.

We plan to examine approximately twenty cases of exits over the course of the next three years (2017-2020). These cases will represent different types and levels of exits, including the phasing out, phasing over and complete cutting off of development projects.

The research will examine examples of current and past exit strategies to draw on lessons learned from successes and failures. In particular, the research approach will include intentional prioritisation and inclusion of local researchers and local asset organisations to best inform learning about the impacts of closing out development projects and programmes.

 Call for case studies

 We are currently collecting potential case studies of exit strategies for this research. Each case study will take an in-depth look at the process and strategies used by an international organisation when exiting a programme or closing all activities in a country.

We are particularly interested in:

  • Exit strategies from the year 2000 onwards
  • Both completed and on-going exits
  • INGO-led exits
  • Successful and unsuccessful exits

If you are aware of any exit strategies implemented by an INGO, we would like to hear from you. This may be a process you were directly involved in, one that you interacted with only indirectly, or one that you are aware of through research or other sources.

Please send us a one-paragraph summary of the exit including information on: the type of project; timeframe of exit and the names of organisations involved. Please also include why you think the example is of significance to this topic.

Send suggestions to Farzana Ahmed, Senior Researcher, Peace Direct: ([email protected]) and copy in Haley Dillan, Search for Common Ground: ([email protected]).