As the focal point of development banks and other financial institutions engaged in financing of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region for over 30 years, ADFIAP has always maintained the concept of community as a strategy for its growth and sustainability.
Indeed, the ADFIAP members’ sense of community is the essential driver in The Association’s success. This experience of community has four central elements1 :
- Membership: a feeling of belonging or sharing present or potential relatedness. Associations provide a space for people to connect around shared identity and relatedness.
- Influence: a sense that one matters and that what one does makes a difference. Associations enact this as voice, in the form of advocacy. People want to know they have influence in the Association, too, that its leaders will listen and value what they have to say.
- Integration and fulfillment of needs: confidence that membership in the group will fulfill needs and expectations. Associations accomplish this by providing members with venues for learning, advocacy, and interpersonal exchange.
- Shared emotional connection: trust on the part of members that they have shared and will share history or experiences. Although people do not typically join Associations with friendship as a primary goal, the Association membership saves them the trouble and the risk of screening colleagues, assuring the member that another member is “one of us.”
Based on these premises, ADFIAP believes that by using the sense of community among members as well as partners, there will be a far greater rallying point for the Association to continue on with its avowed mission.
For the call for community to work, ADFIAP believes that there are at least three (3) main elements that need to be recognized – inclusion, involvement and innovation. Each element is explained as follows:
- Inclusion: means encouraging members to work in a cooperative, synergistic, and inclusive way. To practice inclusion is to maximize the resources of a diverse membership, leveraging the differences among them, and encouraging participation of all.
- Involvement: provides the opportunity for members to participate around a worthwhile and common cause (e.g., advocacy); a new thinking that improves understanding of what works; better practice that supports institutions and peoples; and networking which brings members together.
- Innovation: means a new way of doing something. For innovation to occur, something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required – the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference, resulting in new or altered business processes within the Association, or changes in the products and services that it provides.
These issues are expounded more in ADFIAP’s strategic plan.