By: Cecilia Brady, Alliance Advisor

Earlier this month, USAID and Intel Corporation held their annual management review meeting to analyze the achievements of the longstanding collaboration between the two organizations, and to discuss expanding their cooperation.

Tour guide in Vietnam now uses broadband internet access to communicate with clients and head office. Photo credit: Intel® Corporation

Intel, a global technology company based in California, is perhaps best known for its microprocessors that are ubiquitous in personal computers; the company also manufactures integrated circuits, flash memory and other technology-based products and devices.  Intel’s stated vision over the next decade is “to create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth” – a good fit with USAID’s goal of mobilizing the ideas, expertise and resources of the private sector to achieve development objectives.

USAID began its relationship with Intel in2004, and in 2006 signed a global agreement to partner on three issues: improving education with information and communications technologies (ICT), enabling last-mile Internet connectivity, and supporting ICT usage by small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  This strategic partnership has allowed USAID to utilize Intel’s technology to deepen the impact of our development projects, and to access the deep expertise and innovative thinking within one of the world’s leading technology companies.

Since that time, USAID and Intel have jointly developed partnerships in 20 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  The partnerships have focused on issues related to education, from teacher training, science and math education to 21st-century skill building, as well as bringing connectivity to rural areas and providing software, technology and training for SMEs.

An example of this partnership in Indonesia, USAID and Intel created a three-year alliance to train more than 15,000 teachers on classroom use of computer technology to improve basic education. As part of USAID/Indonesia’s Decentralized Basic Education Program, this partnership supported Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen education management and quality by incorporating technology tools and resources into 60 primary schools and 20 secondary schools.

In Ghana, USAID’s West Africa Trade Hub and Intel collaborated to expand exports from West Africa to the U.S. market by increasing access to ICT via a package of mobile computing, broadband connectivity, software and training.  As a result of this partnership, Ghanaian companies were able to improve internal operations while also building their online marketing presence.

In Vietnam, alliance partners USAID, Intel and a local communications company installed WiMAX technology throughout a mountainous, rural province where telecommunications services were quite limited.  By offering access to cost-efficient broadband internet and broadband telephone service, this partnership improved the business environment, education opportunities, and availability of medical services for local citizens.

Following this month’s meeting, the two partners agreed to build on their past success and explore new areas for collaboration, including healthcare, environmental sustainability and agriculture.  Three immediate priorities emerged from the meeting: partnerships that focus on girls, broadband, and USAID’s Grand Challenges.  The Intel-USAID alliance will surely continue to create innovative, high-impact partnerships that benefit the communities where the two organizations work.