Dr Adrian Flint and I here make the case for a development paradigm shaped and determined by the people affected directly by aid and assistance programmes. It is a call for aid programming and policy that goes beyond the limitations of participation and towards a paradigm that puts those who need and want help in the driver seat of how and when they get it.
We call it ‘Beneficiary-led aid’. This working paper is the first step in a joint research initiative between the University of Bristol and MzN | International. We explore some foundations, advantages and challenges to beneficiary-led aid, forming the foundations to develop this concept further and implement trial programmes.