Community-Led Approach

At Outreach International, we believe when communities work together, they can overcome the challenges of chronic poverty.

Our work supports groups who construct new water wells, establish low-interest loan programs, repair roads, grow vegetables, and much more. It empowers people to lift themselves, sustainably, into a future defined by opportunity.



Lots to Learn

Local Outreach International field staff introduce themselves to community members and explain our work, visiting homes to learn about the community’s residents, demographics, resources and infrastructure.


Let’s Talk

Through conversations, Outreach staff helps community members identify the specific challenges they face. As commonalities are identified between households, individuals are brought together to widen the dialogue.


Audience Participation

With facilitation from Outreach staff, groups of community members come together to share challenges, prioritize their most-pressing needs, consider the root causes of common issues and identify potential solutions. Over time, capable leaders emerge organically from the community during these meetings.


Think it Through

Having explored their issues and identified practical solutions, community members coordinate a plan. Together, they’ll access the necessary resources to implement projects that will resolve local issues, while also gaining new skills, experience and capabilities.

The Right Tools

The Right Tools

For instance, a community focused on improving local access to clean water for their first project would access resources to purify and filter existing water sources. In future projects, they may eventually drill new wells or establish complex water systems. It’s up to them.



Yeah! Combining Outreach facilitators’ organizational framework with their own passion and determination, the community acquires the necessary materials, harnesses members’ skills, works together with principled purpose, and implements their chosen project.

How'd it Go?

How’d it Go?

Outreach staff facilitates a community-led group evaluation of the collaboration, reflecting on the project’s challenges and celebrations. Equipped with these insights, community members can continue to strengthen their team dynamics and apply their experience to future projects, growing more unified and empowered with every new outcome.

Let's Do This Again

Let’s Do This Again

Within 5-6 years, a typical Outreach affiliated community garners enough skills, confidence and momentum to function independently, empowered to assess and address challenges through community-led action, without Outreach’s facilitation. It’s more than a cycle — it’s a revolution!


Now that you’re an expert on our approach, sharpen your knowledge of our methodology and the nine-step process we call “Participatory Human Development,” or “PHD.” It’s pretty fascinating, in addition to being super-effective.



Take a deeper dive into our work with case studies, field notes and research articles.

Outreach Case Study | Our Approach | Rice Loans
Outreach Case Study | Our Approach | Treadle Pumps
Outreach Case Study | Our Approach | SPROUT
Community-led Development During COVID-19 | Our Approach | Outreach International
Ecostove Report | Our Approach | Outreach International
Outreach Community-Led Sanitation Report | Our Approach
Community-Led Development in the Philippines | Our Approach
Sanitation and Microfinancing | Our Approach
Outreach Case Study | Rice Loans
Outreach Case Study | Treadle Pump
Outreach Case Study | SPROUT
Outreach Case Study | Community-Led Development During COVID-19
Ecostove Report | Outreach International
Community-Led Sanitation | Outreach International
Community-Led Development in the Philippines | Our Approach
Sanitation and Microfinancing | Our Approach


“If You Plant Something, You Will Harvest Something”: Backyard Gardening and Community Development in Rural Philippines | Practicing Anthropology

Rice Loans and People’s Organisations in the Rural Philippines | The International Journal of Community and Social Development

“To be one with others”: exploring the development of community leadership in the Rural Philippines | Development In Practice

“Sustained sanitation: How community organisations get shit done” | The Sanitation Learning Hub

“I left my shyness behind”: Sustainable community-led development and processes of motivation among rural Nicaraguan women | The Journal of Community Psychology

Piloting Community Led M&E Initiatives in Rural Philippines | USAID Learning Lab

Perks of Pivoting: Key Learnings from Data Collection Amid COVID-19 Regulations | Practicing Anthropology

Tree-Planting Tuesdays: Community-led Actions to Reverse Environmental Degradation in the Rural Philippines | Practice Insights

Life has become more colourful: the social and economic outcomes of community-led sanitation initiatives in the rural Philippines | IWA Publishing

Transformative Communication for Empowerment: Silence and Participatory Development in a Marginalized Community in Nueva Ecija | Philippines Communications Society Review

Safe sanitation: global access is essential, but how do households pay for it? | Global Dev

Our Data, Our Process: Re-imagining the Community-Led Monitoring and Evaluation Discussion | Asia Pacific Journal of Evaluation