Sustainable capacity-building is at the heart of the current thinking about making development more effective. However, promoting local capacities in a self-sustainable manner is, admittedly, a very complex and challenging endeavor. Yet Synergy’s work at the intersection of software development and aid management shows that practical, creative solutions can be found by people with the right combination of expertise, experience, and engagement.
It is a well-known fact that many developing countries lack the information technology (IT) related capacities to support the self-sufficient and sustainable use of sophisticated software products. To tackle this problem, over the last several years Synergy has been actively developing software solutions and providing consulting services designed to address the real IT needs of developing countries.
Unlike any other aid management system, Synergy’s Development Assistance Database (DAD) allows users without extensive technical background to make modifications to the system entirely on their own through Synergy’s unique tool —the IDM Knowledge Builder— without having to do any programming or having to go through thousands of pages of highly specialized source code. The IDM Knowledge Builder is Synergy’s innovative answer to the challenge of sustainable development in countries where IT capacities are often limited. By allowing users to modify the system on their own, Synergy seeks to help developing countries build their local technical capacities and thus decrease their dependence on outside expertise. Through the IDM Knowledge Builder, Synergy’s clients in developing countries become the real owners of the aid management system, thus ensuring effective capacity building and genuine national ownership.
Synergy has provided IDM Knowledge Builder trainings in a number of countries, including India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Maldives, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka. The trainings, which consistently receive positive assessments from participants, are carried out by Synergy’s global team of IT specialists and consultants.