USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for Global Partnerships

Supporting U.S. Global Development Objectives through Private Sector Partnerships

By: Matthew Corso, USAID

USAID recently released the 2011 Global Development Alliance (GDA) Annual Program Statement (APS).  The 2011 GDA APS captures and conveys the Administration’s commitment to partnering with the private sector in support of U.S. global development objectives.

The intention for this APS is to encourage conversations between the private sector and USAID that may produce innovative, sustainable partnerships around the world to meet both business goals and USAID development objectives.  Since 2001, USAID has cultivated over a 1,000 public-private alliances with over 3,000 individual partners contributing billions of dollars in combined public-private resources in most of the 90 countries in which USAID operates.  In fact, on average, every dollar USAID commits to partnerships leverages nearly three and half private sector dollars – a significant return on taxpayer’s investment in a time of tight budgets.

USAID is committed to continuing to improve the ways in which we implement our foreign assistance mandate through broader collaboration with new partners.  No longer are governments, international organizations, and multilateral development banks the only assistance donors.  The U.S. Government recognizes an exciting opportunity to enhance the impact of its development assistance by improving and extending collaboration with a range of private sector partners, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private voluntary organizations (PVOs), cooperatives, faith-based organizations, foundations, corporations, financial institutions, the higher education community, and even individuals (including remittances from Diaspora communities).

Potential alliance partners are expected to bring significant new resources, ideas, technologies, and/or local partners to address significant development challenges in the countries in which USAID is currently working.  Innovative GDAs in support of Agency-wide initiatives such as food security and nutrition, global health, global climate change, water, science and technology and innovation are especially encouraged.

USAID has much to offer to its partners, with its unique mandate within the U.S. Government and long-term experience with, and access to, host-country governments and economies. The Agency is able to capitalize on its extensive field presence and network of local development partners and technical expertise to convene, catalyze, integrate, coordinate, promote, facilitate and invest in public-private alliances. However, such alliances have the potential for not only mobilizing additional resources for development worldwide, but also promoting greater effectiveness and impact on the problems of poverty, disease, and inadequate education, depletion of natural resources, crime, and limited economic opportunity throughout the developing world.

Secretary Clinton Holds Town Hall Meeting at USAID on the QDDR

On Friday, Secretary Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke on the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), “Leading Through Civilian Power,” at a town hall meeting at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Here is the webcast in case you missed it.

USAID Commemorates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

To commemorate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, USAID is hosting a photo display, “USAID and Inclusive Development” in the lobby at the 14th Street entrance of the Ronald Reagan Building on December 3. Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, will speak at the display opening at 4:00 P.M. The display consists of images from USAID’s programs worldwide and illustrates the progress USAID and our partners have made in integrating persons with disabilities into the political, social, economic, and cultural life in communities around the world. It demonstrates how USAID’s inclusive development programming aligns with the Millennium Development Goals.

A usual day in inclusive kindergarten, supported by the USAID-funded Children in Difficult Circumstances Project, implemented by World Vision. Photo courtesy USAID/Yerevan

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, annually observed on December 3, aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues worldwide. Established by the U.N. in 1981, it focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities and the value of integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of society.

This year’s theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Keeping the Promise: Mainstreaming Disability in the Millennium Development Goals Towards 2015 and Beyond.” It continues the connection between disability programming in the developing world and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It reminds us that although many commitments have been made by the international development community to include persons with disabilities in all aspects of development, much work remains to fulfill those commitments.

Last year’s theme, “Making the Millennium Development Goals Disability-Inclusive: Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Their Communities Around the World,” linked disability to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). USAID supports the MDGs and inclusive development in its own policies and programming in its missions around the world.

In 2008, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities acknowledged the development of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention provides a legally binding instrument to ensure that societies recognize that all people must be provided with the opportunities to live life to their fullest potential. The United States signed the U.N. Convention on July 30, 2009.

In September 1997, USAID adopted a groundbreaking policy which led to the creation of a detailed framework to guide USAID’s efforts in the area of disability and inclusive development. The policy states that USAID will not discriminate against persons with disabilities and will work to ensure the inclusion of these individuals in USAID-funded programs and activities. The policy also calls on USAID missions to enlist partners, host-country counterparts, and other donors in a collaborative effort to end discrimination against and promote equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.

In 2005, Congress provided USAID with a dedicated source of funding to complement their commitment to include persons with disabilities in development programs and to empower them to advocate for their own rights. To date, these initiatives have supported programs in more than 40 countries, primarily through financial and technical assistance to USAID missions to promote their own inclusive  development  activities.

USAID works to educate employees on disability issues through courses and workshops. USAID provides tools and technical assistance to field missions as they institutionalize the policy and it has developed self-reporting mechanisms to track progress in implementing the policy in Washington, D.C. and overseas.

Learn more about USAID’s Disability Policy and Inclusive Development programming.

Contact: Rob Horvath, rhorvath@usaid.gov

Saving Lives Through Smart Investments

This originally appeared on Dipnote.

As we approach World AIDS Day, many are asking difficult questions about the way forward on global AIDS. The questions are not about whether lives are being saved from the devastation of AIDS, because they are — by the millions. But some wonder whether we can continue to maintain our strong commitment and make dramatic progress when the global economy is under such strain. It’s a reasonable question, and one motivated by genuine concern for those we serve. Let us be clear: the answer is that we can, and we are fully dedicated to continuing in our fight against HIV/AIDS.

Through a range of actions, the Obama Administration is demonstrating that the U.S. commitment remains firm, even in these challenging economic times. The Administration’s budget request for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) this year is the largest in any President’s budget to date. We are grateful for the strong foundation of success that President George W. Bush and a bipartisan Congress established when they launched PEPFAR. Building on that foundation, during President Barack Obama’s tenure PEPFAR has continued to expand, greatly increasing the number of lives saved from this destructive pandemic. Tomorrow, on World AIDS Day, we’ll announce our latest results, which will show continued, dramatic progress in saving lives devastated by HIV/AIDS.

We’re also proud of the partnerships that we built with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and with individual country governments. The Obama Administration recently announced the first-ever multi-year pledge to the Global Fund of $4 billion — a significant 38 percent increase.

Under PEPFAR, the U.S. government is also focused on doing business more efficiently and effectively. Years of experience in the field have taught us how to better use every dollar invested in battling AIDS. This means we are getting a bigger bang for the buck — allowing us to do more to fight not only HIV/AIDS, but other global health issues that impact communities affected by HIV. It means that our yardstick for measuring success is not dollars invested, it’s lives saved. Simply put, we’re focused on making smart investments that improve and save more lives.

Let’s look at a few examples.

We’re saving lives and money by using more generic drugs. Recognizing that one of the biggest hurdles to rapid treatment scale-up was the high price of antiretroviral drugs, PEPFAR worked with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to bring more generics to market. By 2008, generics accounted for almost 90 percent of the 22 million antiretroviral drug packs purchased, increasing from 14.8 percent in 2005, and resulting in an estimated cumulative savings of $323 million.

We’re successfully implementing programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission is one of the most effective — and cost-effective — interventions for HIV. By focusing on preventing mother-to-child transmission, Botswana and parts of South Africa have had extraordinary success, reducing the likelihood of infant infection to levels similar to those found in the United States, and reducing the significant costs associated with new infections. Accordingly, PEPFAR’s Five-Year Strategy set goals to reach 80 percent of pregnant women with HIV counseling and testing, and to provide antiretroviral prophylaxis or treatment, as appropriate, to 85 percent of pregnant HIV-infected women in PEPFAR countries.

We’re changing the way we deliver medicines. We have become more efficient in shipping needed medicines in a timely fashion by using water and land delivery systems instead of air freight, reducing costs by as much as 90 percent. In 2009, sea freight charges for products PEPFAR moved through the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) were $520,000, while moving the same volume by air would have cost an estimated $3.8 million. Similarly, road freight charges for the product PEPFAR moved through SCMS were $395,000, while to move the same volume by air would have cost an estimated $953,000.

Last, but not least, medical male circumcision promises dramatic impact on prevention efforts. Medical male circumcision is an ideal HIV prevention investment for countries and donors, as it is a one-time intervention that provides lasting prevention benefits. The majority of the expenditure required to saturate a country with high levels of adult male circumcision takes place in the first 1-3 years, depending on the speed of the program, and expenditures drop precipitously following this initial investment to support neonatal and adolescent boys. Scaling up male circumcision to reach 80 percent of adult and newborn males in 14 African countries by 2015:

- Could prevent more than 4 million adult HIV infections over 15 years (2009 – 2025)

- Could result in cost savings of $20.2 billion between 2009 – 2025 with an overall investment of approximately $4 billion

We’ve had great success in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but the battle is far from over. The goal now must be to build on that success and continue to be smart about the investments we make.

Introducing the NGO Sustainability Index for Sub-Saharan Africa

Whether acting as advocates, watchdogs, or service providers, it is widely recognized that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play a crucial role in countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

However, their ability to make a true impact depends not only upon their own organizational capacity and financial viability, but also upon such external factors as their country’s legal framework, communications, and other sectoral infrastructure.

USAID is now giving users an easy way to understand the opportunities and the threats facing NGOs across the region with our roll-out of the NGO Sustainability Index for Sub-Saharan Africa (PDF).

The Index measures NGO sustainability using a methodology that employs seven “dimensions”. These include legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure, and public image.

By combining numerical scores with narrative justifications, the Index offers a useful description of the state of the NGO sector in 19 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mirroring the long-established Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia NGO Sustainability Index, this first edition of the Africa NGOSI will provide a benchmark for observing trends across sub-Saharan Africa as well as between

Picture of the Week: Women Increasing Incomes in Guatemala

Women preparing vegetables at San Judas, Guatemala.Women preparing vegetables at San Judas packing plant to sell to grocery stores in Guatemala. The San Judas company is participating in a USAID Global Development Alliance program with partners Wal-Mart, Mercy Corps, and Fundación AGIL. Photo is from Eduardo Smith/ PrensaLibre 2008.

Focus on Nutrition: Creating Inclusive Partnerships and Deepening our Knowledge

This originally appeared on DipNote.

Recently, I visited Bangladesh to find out how you feed a country that has half the population of the United States squeezed into an area the size of the state of Iowa. One thing is for certain: no one can do it alone. During my trip, I witnessed how partnerships among a broad range of stakeholders — the Rome-based UN agencies, the Government of Bangladesh, donor countries, civil society and the private sector — are coming together to change the way we address chronic hunger. The U.S. government is supporting partnerships that deliver food, including fortified vegetable oil, in conjunction with health and other interventions that help ensure our programs translate into better nutrition outcomes.

Good nutrition is crucial during the first 1,000 days — from the mother’s pregnancy through the child’s second birthday — because it affects lifelong mental and physical development, IQ, school achievement, and, ultimately, work capacity and income generation. Thus, nourishing children not only enables individuals to achieve their full potential, but creates the conditions for nations to grow and prosper. This is one of the reasons why nutrition is the critical link between Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative, the game-changing Presidential initiatives that address global hunger and maternal and child health as part of a broader strategy to drive sustainable and broad-based growth.

We know that we have to look at child malnutrition in new ways to accelerate progress toward the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. We know that better targeting and implementation of nutrition programs can greatly increase the effectiveness of our assistance and, most importantly, the ability of all children to thrive. We also know, as Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton stated at the “1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future” event in New York last month, that prevention is better, and less expensive, than treatment.

The U.S. government is leading programs that focus on preventing malnutrition before it occurs. Core components of this new approach aim at improving the quality and use of health services, caretaker behaviors and dietary intake. Pregnant women and lactating mothers attend monthly pre- and post-natal services and nutrition education sessions while children up to 24 months are weighed and provided with basic care. Sick or malnourished mothers and children are treated or referred for additional care. Mothers and babies receive supplementary food in addition to a household food ration. As the international community recognizes, we need comprehensive approaches that draw from a broad toolbox in order to prevent and treat malnutrition effectively.

In addition to working to improve our programs on the ground, we are increasing the quality and scope of our food assistance commodities. We recently established a pilot effort to introduce and field-test new or improved micronutrient-fortified food aid products. We are also pursuing innovation around the nutritional content, product composition, and packaging of food products delivered through humanitarian assistance programs. Congress made $14 million available to support these two efforts in fiscal year 2010.

The American people will continue to provide emergency food aid assistance to vulnerable populations. And we are working with top researchers to help ensure that the food aid provided has a high nutritional value. With Tufts University’s School of Nutrition, we are examining nutritional needs and how we can best meet those needs — be they in Bangladesh or the Great Lakes of Central Africa — where I’ve seen incredible work being done. The study includes a scientific review of current enrichment and fortification technologies, a review of methods for delivery of micronutrients and an active consultative process that involves industry, academic and operational experts. Ultimately, it will provide recommendations on how to meet the nutritional needs of vulnerable populations with food aid assistance in a cost-effective manner.

While we expect that some time will be necessary to implement the recommendations, make the necessary changes in formulations, and test new products, our purpose is clear: We are committed to delivering high-quality, nutritious food assistance to people in need. As reaffirmed in the Committee on World Food Security nutrition side event last week, nutrition science has pointed the way to interventions that are basic, low-cost and effective. There is political will to scale up nutrition, align our efforts and measure our results. As Secretary Clinton has emphasized, we must use this remarkable opportunity to make a measurable impact on child hunger and malnutrition.

This Week at USAID – October 11, 2010

Administrator Shah opens a weeklong training for over 80 USAID communications staff from USAID Missions all over the world.  These communicators are in Washington, D.C. to engage with senior officials about elevating development, particularly the first-ever national development strategy issued by a U.S. President and “USAID Forward”, the Agency’s change management agenda.  Sessions featured during the week include: a meeting with staff from the National Security Council, a joint session at the annual State Department Public Affairs Officer’s conference, and a panel discussion with leading foreign policy journalists at the Newseum.

Administrator Shah travels to Des Moines, Iowa to speak at the Borlaug Dialogue, which is held each year in conjunction with the awarding of the World Food Prize.  The theme of the conference is: smallholder agriculture, “Take it to the Farmer“.  Dr Shah will focus on how you take interest in fighting poverty to the smallholder farmer.  He will also promote progress under Feed the Future, the Administration’s global hunger and food security initiative.

USAID @UNGA: Working to Energize Private Sector Partnership Development at UN Summit

Submitted by Scott Schirmer, Senior Coordinator, Private Sector Alliances Division, Office of Development Partners

Eleven nations today released at the United Nations a joint Bilateral Donor’s Statement in Support of Private Sector Partnerships for Development. Read into the UN record by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, this ground breaking statement recognizes the tremendous impact that private sector actors have on development and commits the donors to working together to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More importantly, it recognizes the private sector as equal partners on key development issues.

The donors further agreed to proactively enter into partnerships with local and international companies to achieve the MDGs by 2015. USAID is proud of its association with its fellow donor nations and sees this statement as an opportunity to energize its private sector partnership development activities through USAID’s Global Development Alliance mechanism in a new spirit of donor coordination.

A nascent bilateral working group of the eleven nations on private sector partnerships is already in place. This group will enable the participants to share knowledge, identify opportunities and to begin to develop international cooperation on private sector partnerships.

This working group can be leveraged to create a global community of public and private partners – a global Network of Partnerships. Networked partnerships can be the new reality of an interconnected world.  No longer should partnerships be viewed as simple isolated matches: uncoordinated, lacking in strategy, and unrelated to a greater whole. In a globalized and connected world, partnerships should now be networked, complimentary and multi-faceted.

USAID @ UNGA: The Millennium Development Goals are Everyone’s Business

Submitted by Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme Administrator and former Prime Minister of New Zealand

Helen Clark: Official Photo

Helen Clark: Official Photo

I’m looking forward to attending the tonight, to celebrate best practice in the private sector which is contributing to achieving the MDGs. UNDP worked with the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum to organize these awards, along with USAID, DFID, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, the UN Foundation, and the Global Compact Office.

Tonight’s awards honor ten companies which have helped improve the lives of people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Together, they have helped to accelerate our shared work towards creating a world of people who have access to higher incomes, education and more basic services. They show us that it’s possible to do good work and good business, at the same time.

UNDP’s new report, “The MDGs: Everyone’s Business,” cites numerous instances of companies —large and small— which are implementing inclusive business models. Along with the Rainforest Alliance and large buyers, for example, we’re helping coffee farmers in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru sell their coffee at premium price and lift their standard of living. Soon we’ll be launching a new effort to promote inclusive business initiatives in Africa. We’ll be working with officials and businesses to help the African private sector, thereby igniting the economy and creating badly needed jobs, especially for women and young people who often miss out.

Through its investments and activities, the private sector can create jobs, nurture entrepreneurs and innovators, contribute to tax revenue, and meet everyday demand for the goods and services we all use and need—and for which the poorest among us all too often pay the highest prices. It can definitely be a catalyst for change in creating the world we want.

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