Iran was the 54th country to join the program starting in 2001. To date, SGP Iran has funded over 300 projects. When the program started in Iran there were very few development projects using a participatory approach. It was a learning by doing process, which produced the participatory literature as the projects went along, in order to fill the gap. Our collective experience has demonstrated that change comes community by community, it does not come through a top-down approach. When development takes shape from the grass roots it is sustainable, and when the communities are empowered to be part of the solution, then innovative solutions arise. Participatory assessments, planning and implementation is what SGP and the grantees in Iran have been doing.