Defining Key Concepts

About the Defining Key Concepts series

For philanthropy and development practices to have a significant impact on root causes of poverty, marginalization and violence, they need to be better aligned with social change agendas that are people led. This involves ‘defining key concepts’ that are commonly used in development and elucidating their meaning and implications in practice. PSJP is facilitating a peer-learning environment in order to do this and is exploring the following six themes:

  1. Dignity and development
  2. Building community resilience
  3. Measuring change
  4. Sustainability
  5. Community philanthropy
  6. Leadership and development

These terms are frequently used in development and philanthropy, and they are included in many organizations’ mission statements and performance indicators, but often there is no clear understanding of what they mean in practice or how they can be measured. As a first step to develop this understanding we are facilitating discussions among a diverse set of practitioners in the field on these topics and producing papers which will be shared here. We hope to engage in wider ranging discussion in response to the papers and invite you to share your perspectives, experience and research on these themes. To contribute a blog write to us at