How does power impact on sustainable development? The experience of many South Asian and Latin American countries demonstrates that the power of local NGOs can contribute to improving the quality of development services throughout the developing world. Are local NGOs in Africa able to wield power in development? Local NGOs in Africa are lagging behind their counterparts in South Asia and Latin America in terms of developing power. How can African NGOs remedy their absence of power? Local NGOs will have to create their own development space, achieve a degree of financial independence from donors, build solid links to the international development community and have a willingness to engage with the political aspects of development work. Why should donors and international NGOs promote local NGO power? Local NGO power aids NGO sustainability, a common goal of donors, NGOs and beneficiary communities alike.