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How we work

People living in fragile contexts are confronted with a multitude of challenges. If we address these challenges holistically, we can break the vicious cycle of fragility.

Cordaid works towards strengthened and transformed systems that benefit underserved people in fragile and conflict-affected regions. This involves making the systems more inclusive, sustainable, equitable, and effective so people can live a dignified and healthy life in peace.

Locally-led system strengthening

Our approach addresses underlying obstacles that constrain access to services and rights, whether these are linked to gender, religion, race, or disability.

We apply a holistic approach, which means we are responsive to individual and societal needs in their full diversity, particularly when it comes to safeguarding access to essential services for those most at risk.

In our work, we prioritise subsidiarity and locally-led decision-making to structurally shift autonomy to those who can make optimal choices within their context.

Furthermore, we strive for replicability, scalability, accountability, transparency, and long-term sustainability.

By focusing on system strengthening, we create long-term impacts for large populations. Without equitable access to critical services, entire generations are at risk of being thrown into even deeper spirals of poverty and exclusion. Based on our expertise and proven track record, we will further develop and innovate our system-strengthening approaches to accelerate access to quality services for all.

Triple nexus

In our triple nexus approach, we link relief to rehabilitation, development and peacebuilding. We collaborate with local partners, communities and other key actors. We enhance their capacities to respond to unfolding hazards and disasters in a timely and effective manner.

Performance-based financing

Performance-based financing (PBF) or results-based financing is both a resource mobilisation and allocation approach as well as a social accountability mechanism. It is one of Cordaid’s most successful strategies to improve the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of development programmes by tying payments to pre-agreed outcomes.

PBF ensures the participation of multi-stakeholders, notably that of line ministries of health, education, justice, and agriculture, as well as the users of these services and encourages the involvement of communities.

We incentivise services linked to desired outcomes, such as safe deliveries in hospitals, access to prenatal care and sexual and reproductive health services, immunisation, child nutrition, education, and the fair legal treatment of people.

A typical PBF contract includes a bonus for satisfactory and reliable performances, which hospitals, schools and legal institutions can re-invest in business development, staff incentives and other activities. Through the application of PBF, the allocation and effectiveness of budgets are closely monitored.


With a longstanding track record and dedicated professionals working all over the world, we possess the resources, the skills, and the networks to make positive change happen. Even in the toughest and most desperate of circumstances.



Recognising major trends and developments in our global context, we strategically choose to embed these four cross-cutting areas into everything we do.


  • Triple nexus

    We aim to link relief to rehabilitation, development and peace
  • Climate justice

    We actively pursue sustainability principles across all our activities
  • Gender equity

    We want equal rights for women, men and non-binary people
  • Diversity and inclusion

    We need diversity to build peaceful, equitable and resilient societies