Community Keepers subscribes to the philosophy of people-centered development where communities uplift themselves and we are mere facilitators, as invited guests.  In our stories, the children are their own heroes, we simply provide the safe space where they can air their thoughts, challenge their attitudes and choose their behaviour.

People Centered Development in South Africa

This article uses the concept of ‘people-centredness’ to stress the fact that development requires that the people themselves – who are meant to be the beneficiaries of development initiatives – be placed in the forefront and fully involved in any projects or programmes which aim to assist them. The authors see this people-centered perspective as providing a new paradigm which is vital in the process of learning, growth and development If empowerment of local people is to be achieved, this requires their complete participation – which implies sharing and working together and most importantly, for outsiders working with them, to trust their skills and abilities. The authors stress that development can only take place when agencies provide the services that people really want, rother than imposing pre-conceived policies and programmes on people.

Delivering people-centered health services

Universal health coverage is a global priority for WHO, and the linchpin of the health-related SDGs. It’s the one target that, if achieved, will help to deliver all others. For health care to be truly universal, it requires a shift from health systems designed around diseases and health institutions towards health systems designed for people. A renewed focus on service delivery through an integrated and people-centered lens is critical to achieving this, particularly for reaching underserved and marginalized populations to ensure that no one is left behind.

A people-centered approach is needed for:

  • Equity in access: For everyone, everywhere to access the quality health services they need, when and where they need them.
  • Quality: Safe, effective and timely care that responds to people’s comprehensive needs and are of the highest possible standards.
  • Responsiveness and participation: Care is coordinated around people`s needs, respects their preferences, and allows for people’s participation in health affairs.
  • Efficiency: Ensuring that services are provided in the most cost-effective setting with the right balance between health promotion, prevention, and in- and-out patient care, avoiding duplication and waste of resources.
  • Resilience: Strengthening the capacity of health actors, institutions and populations to prepare for, and effectively respond to, public health crises.


“People-centered development is an approach that focuses on improving local communities’ self-reliance, social justice, and participatory decision-making. It recognizes that economic growth does not inherently contribute to human development[1][2] and calls for changes in social, political, and environmental values and practices.  “Shaping the 21st Century,” a report published by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1996, made people-centered development a target policy for all member countries. It stressed the importance of local ownership, participation, and capacity building while attaining economic growth.[5]