Guiding Principles

The OAD functions fundamentally as a strategic coordinating centre. As such it is guided by a few overarching principles:

  • Regional: It is recognised that there are different ways of dealing with different regions and countries of the world. There is no single approach that can be applied globally. Therefore the OAD development activities are guided by a regional approach that takes into account the specific needs and situation of each region and country.

  • “Bottom-up”: Activities are demand driven. Every effort is made to obtain input from people “on the ground” and establish close working relationships with them. Interventions are made with the support and involvement of those people.

  • Innovation: Where relevant activities explore innovative optimisation techniques, from new technology to peer reviewed best practice. These may include novel outreach methods, data mining for research, robotic telescopes, mobile planetaria etc.

  • Development: The OAD contributes as far as possible towards Millennium Development Goals and other international development objectives, thus realising the mission of astronomy for development.

  • Transparency: The OAD subjects itself and its activities to scrutiny from its funders and beneficiaries alike. All activities are transparent and outcomes can be measured and evaluated. The OAD openly invites any queries from its many stakeholders.

  • Dynamic: Structures and projects remain as dynamic as possible due to the rapid growth and constantly changing developmental environment. As new regions gain strength the OAD must adapt to accommodate them.

  • Humility: There is within the OAD due recognition of the vast pool of experience and skills in the field and every attempt is made to build on those strengths. The OAD does not try to reinvent activities which have already been developed, but rather helps to optimise them for maximum benefit to society. The OAD is always open to input and suggestions on how to do things better.