The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) directly funds grassroots organizing at the local level. The Grassroots Development Journal highlights a few of the organization’s joint initiatives and research. One of IAF’s efforts, “Mobilizing the Deaf Community in Uruguay,” analyzes strategies from a disadvantaged community aiming to build coalitions to advance its needs. Results from the research demonstrate that deaf Uruguayans tend not to work with other disadvantaged communities and do not follow a single individual or cause. Instead, the deaf community builds its own coalition by establishing partnerships with government entities and advocacy groups that call for increased access to information.
However, organizing citizen actions does not always have to follow a set of rules or common strategies. As shown in the example of deaf Uruguayans, building smart partnerships can result in a deeper impact than the more common strategy of developing a mass of supporters. For more on grassroots development, please visit the Grassroots Development Journal’s website.