By Elvira Felix, USAID Office of Development Partners
Partnerships are a central component of USAID’s business model for international development, and enable USAID to increase its reach and effectiveness to meet its strategic development objectives.
Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) are key partners in the implementation of USAID programs. In the past year, U.S. PVOs received $18.7 billion in support from U.S. citizens and private sources, over six times the $3.1 billion from USAID. Through partnerships with PVOs, USAID has also leveraged significant non-financial resources to achieve high-impact development. From HIV/AIDS education, to micro-lending, to introducing improved agricultural practices that mitigate climate change, PVOs play a critical role in USAID’s community-level development work.
One of the first steps of building partnerships with Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) is through PVO Registration. Registration has allowed PVOs like the Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) to participate in USAID’s Development Grants Program and use USAID funding to bring their programs to scale. GTLI works in a very remote area of Ethiopia and, utilizing USAID resources, has brought culturally appropriate development projects, including modern wells and sanitation practices, to communities that had been deemed beyond reach, too remote, and were extremely reluctant to adopt modern wells and sanitation practices. This new partnership was fostered by the PVO Registration process and has led to combined success for both GTLI and USAID.
There are a number of PVOs, like GTLI, that work closely with USAID to further USAID development objectives abroad. Each year the Private and Voluntary Cooperation Division (PVC), in the Office of Development Partners (ODP), which manages the PVO Registration process, releases the Report of Voluntary Agencies Engaged in Overseas Relief and Development (VolAg Report, PDF). The VolAg Report provides a snapshot of the work of the U.S. and international Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) that are registered with USAID. The Report is the culmination of a year’s effort to collect, validate, and disseminate a clear, factual report about the Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs, Cooperative Development Organizations (CDOs), and International PVOs (IPVOs) registered with USAID.