CRIAA SA-DC is a membership-based NGO, the purpose of which is to support sustainable and democratic development in Southern Africa by promoting sustainable livelihoods for rural communities and the inclusion of disadvantaged members of society into the socio-economic development mainstreams.
As a non-profit organization, CRIAA SA-DC incubates and builds capacity to enable local communities, women, youth and vulnerable people to control and take responsibility for their own ventures. It believes in cooperating at all levels with government and other stakeholders, sharing knowledge or experience and supporting networks and partnerships.
CRIAA SA-DC has notable long-lasting successful experience in supporting rural community and cooperative members to benefit from sustainably produced indigenous natural products and smallholder crops.
Its broad range of skills and expertise allows CRIAA SA-DC to work throughout the value chain, from identifying opportunities and markets, through developing post-harvest technologies and diversifying products, to securing sustainability, ethical trade, natural and organic accreditation. The focus is on developing smart commercial partnerships for local communities and sustainable economic ventures based on natural resources.
In developing natural product value chains CRIAA SA-DC is guided by the UNCTAD BioTrade Principles and Criteria of environmental, social and economic sustainability. CRIAA SA-DC also supports the implementation of the objectives of the CBD and other multilateral agreements, including CITES, as well as the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS).
In its Biotrade activities, CRIAA SA-DC focuses on promoting the sustainable use and management of biodiversity resources that can improve livelihood opportunities, contribute to poverty alleviation in rural areas and foster economic growth. In biodiversity-based R&D and innovation work and native natural product commercial development, CRIAA SA-DC seeks compliance with national ABS legislation and regulations, and the international regulatory framework.
Through its partnership with the Namibia Women’s Health Network (NWHN), CRIAA SA-DC also seeks to improve the health, self-esteem, social justice and living conditions of Namibian women and girls, youth and adolescents – including but not limited to those living with and affected by HIV – and to empower them with tools to achieve their goals. NWHN programs focus on provision of information and awareness raising, socio-economic empowerment and skills capacity building, and advocacy, mainly in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, human rights, social injustices, gender inequality, environmental changes, socio-economic empowerment and livelihoods. Programs aiming for an integrated and balanced approach aligned with the sustainable development goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16, and agenda 2030 in all its economic, social and environmental dimensions.
In the course of its work, CRIAA SA-DC has gained extensive experience in:
- development project design, management, and monitoring and evaluation
- institutional capacity-building with community organisations and training of their members
- farming systems and livelihoods analyses
- adaptive research skills, tools and technique
- designing and manufacturing appropriate technologies, and technical training
- gender and social integration
- youth skills training and awareness on SRHR
- conducting media and awareness campaigns