Local ownership can be thought of as a building with several pillars. If you (the advisor) make yourself one of the pillars and have to be removed later, the house will crumble. Advisors should view their role as part of a "scaffolding" arrangement that has been put in place to support capacity development.
At some point, when the "building" is well on its way to standing on its own foundations, the scaffolding can be dismantled and taken away. As an advisor, you need to make sure you are part of the process, not the solution and that the building will stand once you have left.
Now let us move on to the guiding principles of effective advising.
The first guiding principle,local ownership,is the notion that the host country or institution must drive its own development needs and priorities. It implies that the international actors empower, and not substitute, local capacity, with full respect for local customs, traditions and language.
Local ownership strengthens institutional legitimacy, encourages buy-in and makes projects sustainable. It also ensures that the proposed solutions respond to local needs. It requires you to avoid using one-size-fits-all solutions and refrain from believing in the universal applicability of your own models.
The context within which you have to operate as an advisor will vary from place to place and over time. Your analyses therefore need to acknowledge the socio-economic, political, cultural and logistical realities on the ground, while also drawing on your previous experience to gain insight on the problem at hand. It is important to engage your counterpart to identify the problem. It is even more important to encourage your counterpart to seek viable solutions to that problem and, if you are involved in developing programmes as part of your tasks as advisor, engage him or her in the planning, design, implementation and monitoring of the programmes that you develop jointly.