Since our outset in 1973, Development Workshop (DW) recognized that in a world facing ever more rapid change and emerging needs and problems, local capacity and indigenous knowledge were key to people achieving safer and better living conditions. DW has worked for over 40 years in some of the poorest communities worldwide, developing local capacities to improve lives and livelihoods.
Development Workshop’s mission is ‘to contribute to the capacity of communities to provide for their basic needs specifically in human settlements’. DW acts locally and regionally, encouraging and advocating for strategies that strengthen the links and cooperation between authorities and civil society and that centers on local potential. DW builds on local knowledge and respect for indigenous practice, seeking to optimise what already works well and marry it with the innovation and added capacity that together provide contemporary and future solutions.
DW has worked in more than 30 countries around the world. Today there are two autonomous offices, one based in Lauzrete, France and one in Luanda, Angola.
Development Workshop France (DWF)
Based in France, DWF currently have active projects in South East Asia and West Africa, with regional offices in Burkina Faso, Niger and Vietnam. It is one of DWF’s principles to encourage the development of local capacity and institutions to continue the work started by DWF.
DWF employs traditional building techniques to meet the very modern challenges facing these communities, using sustainable resources and working directly with local people and organisations. DWF's projects create local jobs, improve living conditions, empower disadvantaged communities and preserve the local environment. DWF is the only organisation to ever have received two World Habitat Awards, recognizing achievements in each of our two main regions of intervention, in Vietnam and Burkina Faso.
Development Workshop Angola (DWA)
DW has been working in Angola since 1981 at the national government’s request to assist in developing policies and programs for human settlements and self-help housing. Through the last decades, DW has adopted a strategy of supporting the emerging Angolan civil society and the process of local government decentralisation while working closely with local community organisations.
As the oldest NGO in Angola, DW has worked for many years in the context of a protracted and complex humanitarian crisis. With the end of the war in 2002, DW was uniquely positioned as a “development organisation,” to transform its programmes to meet the new needs of transition and reconstruction. DW'S current program in Angola has parallel focuses: on peri-urban communities where the provision of infrastructure, basic services and community economic development remains a serious challenge, and on supporting the rehabilitation of social infrastructure and supporting the processes of settlement and social infrastructure for communities in the central highlands and the provinces of Cabinda and Luanda.
Photo: Completed dome squinch, New Gourna, Egypt, Vault and Dome Training, 1973.