USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for Global Partnerships

Public-Private Partnership Week: Strengthening Education in Macedonia

LeAnna Marr, Acting Mission Director, USAID Macedonia

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

USAID Macedonia, through our Primary Education Project (PEP), has established public-private partnerships with three businesses – Microsoft Macedonia, Oracle Education Foundation and Seavus – to further our aim of promoting employability and information technology skills and providing a better education for students in Macedonia.

Seavus, a leading IT company in the region, partnered with USAID/PEP to host the first summer school for 21st century employability skills.  The camp was for secondary school students in the early stage of their career planning.  They focused on developing skills, such as communications, leadership and entrepreneurship.   But don’t forget, this was a summer camp, and those kids had an absolute blast while they were doing it!   SEAVUS also offered an internship to one of the top performers at the summer school.

The Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) collaborated with USAID/PEP to make the Thinkquest.com portal available to Macedonian teachers.  Thinkquest is an online learning platform that promotes project-based learning, helps students and teachers to develop critical skills such as teamwork and problem solving, and links Macedonian students to peers from around the world.

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Public Private Partnership Week: New Partnership with SwissRe Targets Hunger, Natural Disasters

Nora Ferm is a Presidential Management Fellow in Global Climate Change

While health insurance, life insurance, car insurance and flood insurance are very familiar to people in countries like the United States, poor families in developing countries typically lack access to finance, including loans and insurance. When these families are hit with severe shocks like hurricanes or major droughts, their homes and their crops and livestock may be nearly wiped out, and they may be forced to sell off assets in order to survive another year, leaving them with fewer resources to start the next season. With climate change, many communities will see these kinds of extreme events hit with increasing severity and frequency, leaving the poor with even less time to recover before the next storm or drought hits. With the signing of a new agreement today with Swiss Re, USAID aims to increase access to market-based insurance products, using them as tools to promote food security and climate resiliency, by enabling the poor to better prepare for and cope with the impacts of these climatic disasters.

USAID’s insurance projects are mindful of the fact that insurance is not a stand-alone solution. Not all climate risks are insurable, or most cost-effectively addressed through insurance.  For example, it would be very expensive to buy insurance for a drought that could be expected to occur every other year.  Insurance is most effective when used to complement other adaptation measures like risk reduction.  Risk reduction measures like rainwater harvesting, early warning systems, drought-tolerant seeds, drip irrigation, and soil erosion control measures will help deal with minor shocks that may occur fairly frequently. Those measures may be insufficient, however, in the case of a severe drought or storm – that is where insurance can help, providing cash  to help families recover.

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Public-Private Partnership Week: Measuring Impact of Mais Unidos

Lawrence Hardy II is USAID’s Brazil Mission Director

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

Created in 2006, the Mais Unidos Group is a partnership between the U.S. Mission in Brazil, through its USAID, and nearly 100 American companies established in Brazilian territory. The proposal of Mais Unidos is to benefit the Brazilian society through environmental and socioeconomic-related initiatives, and create shared value to its participants. The objectives of the group are: I) foster partnerships; II) share best practices and success histories and; III) promote visibility to its participants.

In July and September of this year, USAID conducted a survey with the Mais Unidos partners to identify opportunities to development public-private partnerships, to gather evidence on the impact of the US. Companies’ social investments in Brazil, and to understand how USAID and the private sector can work together to improve these outcomes.   The survey demonstrated that thirty-three American companies invested capital, human resources, technology and knowledge in several initiatives in to grow education, protect the environment and advance socioeconomic development in Brazil.  U.S. companies include: 3M Institute, Accenture, ADM, Alcoa, Cargill, Caterpillar, Cisco, Citibank, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Dow, Deloitte, General Electric, General Motors, HP, IBM, Intel, International Paper, Ketchum, Kraft Foods, KPMG, Microsoft, Monsanto, MSD, Motorola, Nike, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Rigesa, Visa, Whirlpool, Walmart.

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Public Private Partnership Week: USAID and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Join Forces to Help Coffee Growing Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Michael Dupee is Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

Today, the United States Agency for International Development and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding reinforcing a joint commitment to support Latin American and Caribbean coffee farmers at USAID’s Partnership Forum. We are excited about the potential of this alliance to drive positive social, environmental, and economic development within coffee-growing communities, today and in the future.

We’re already collaborating with USAID on two projects within coffee-growing communities. We are working together in the Sustainable Sourcing Partnership Project with Fair Trade USA, which promotes biodiversity, conservation and environmental education among Brazil’s coffee-growing communities. Additionally, we are working with Save the Children, 4th Sector Health and selected communities within coffee-growing regions in Nicaragua and Honduras to improve food security, income generation potential, and health.

This public-private partnership has been and will continue to be an important part of our efforts to encourage ongoing health and prosperity for the coffee-farming families and communities in our supply chain.

Visit www.usaid.gov/pppweek for continuous updates and new announcements, and to view a live-stream of the October 20th Partnership Forum: The Strategic Value of Connecting Business & Development

To view a map of USAID public-private partnerships around the globe, visit http://idea.usaid.gov/

Public Private Partnership Week: Passion Fruit, Opening the Path for a Brighter Future

Rural farmers in Paraguay are having great success selling their passion fruit through farming associations to a leading corporate juice brand. This is thanks to USAID’s support through Paraguay Productivo, a program that connects small farmers with private sector buyers.

Lucia Santos and her grandson who have benefited from the cooperative with Frutika. Photo Credit: Laura Rodriguez/USAID

Last week, I had the chance to visit some farmers in Paraguay’s Itapúa province and learn about their experiences with Paraguay Productivo and especially the leading local buyer, Frutika. I was thrilled to see the benefits of the program for myself and hear the testimony of small-scale farmer, Lucia Santos, whose life has been transformed through her production work. In the following video she says that she now has enough money to buy necessary items for her family.

USAID/Paraguay Productivo has GDA (Global Development Alliances) agreements with 20 organizations, mainly small farmer cooperatives & private firms and has generated $9.8 million U.S. dollars  in local sales and exports. Paraguay Productivo is working with Cooperatives and associations that have over 100,000 members some of them in production and many others in savings and credits cooperatives.

The program also provides technical support to farmers, including advising them on how to best produce crops. And it has helped them find buyers like Frutika, one of Paraguay’s most successful food processing and distribution companies, which buys passion fruit and other products from small farmers.

This is a win-win arrangement. The company can count on a reliable source of passion fruit and rural producers now have a reliable buyer. Since the initial agreement in 2009, approximately 300 small farmers have joined the program and started producing passion fruit and another 250 farmers are preparing to cultivate more passion fruit.

Some municipalities are joining the effort because they are investing in nursery production for passion fruit. In rural Paraguay where the poverty rate is as high as 48 %, this assistance is really helping to transform people’s lives.

Beneficiary Norma Riveros, credits her passion fruit sales to her participation in Paraguay Productivo, which ensures her and her family a regular income. They can now afford to buy a machine that helps them clear the field and improve crop yield. I also had a chance to speak to 19 year old passion fruit farmer and business student, Rolando Fretes, one of the cooperatives’ young leaders. In this video he talks about his work and explains why Paraguay Productivo is important to his community:

At the end of the day, I visited the production plant at Frutika and saw first-hand the results of the farmers’ hard labor. Frutika is one of the best-selling companies in Paraguay, and the leading provider of juices such as orange juice, passion fruit, and peach. Here, Engineer Celso Cubilla discusses the importance the company’s partnership with Paraguay Productivo to its business goals.

In short, there is no denying that this public private partnership is beneficial to Paraguay’s economy and all the parties involved: USAID, the rural farmers and Frutika.

Public Private Partnership Week: A Development Innovation Venture that Unleashes the Potential of Small Business

Dr. Maura O’Neill is Senior Counselor and Chief Innovation Officer and leads Innovation & Development Alliances at USAID

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

As an entrepreneur several times over, I am always struck by the constraints that hard-working businessmen and women face across the world.  Whether you have a small enterprise in Indiana or in sub-Saharan Africa many of the problems are the same. Am I selling a product that people want?  Can I find people that will be great reliable employees? Can I buy materials in sufficient qualities that allow me to mark it up and offer the product at a profitable and compelling price to my customers? On that last point, the entrepreneur in a developing country often faces many fewer options to finance their inventory than we have in the U.S.  Imagine for a moment the challenge of a small-scale shopkeeper in Africa. To afford his inventory, he must make small and frequent—and ultimately more expensive—orders to his supplier. He can only afford certain non-perishable goods, and rarely in bulk. If he could get access to trade credit, allowing him to borrow from suppliers and pay back over time, then he could grow his inventory, expand his business, and eventually escape the trap of a great business opportunity that never scales. But most of the time he can’t, because of another dilemma:

Imagine now the challenge of the trade creditor.  To extend credit to small shopkeepers, she needs to be able to get and monitor repayments. She needs to have a way to enforce or find a remedy if the entrepreneur becomes a deadbeat.  However, the costs of doing so outweigh the revenue she would make from providing such small credit. So she often doesn’t.  The result is a missed opportunity, multiplied many times over, for fledgling entrepreneurs and trade creditors to mutually profit and generate economic growth. And the family and community income remains stuck at very low levels.

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Public-Private Partnership Week: Towards “High Performance” Partnerships

Chris Jurgens is Director of Global Programs for Accenture Development Partnerships, a group within Accenture, the global consultancy, whose mission is to channel the company’s skills and capabilities to have an impact on solving global development challenges.  Operating as a not-for-profit corporate social enterprise, Accenture Development Partnerships provides management and technology consulting services to development sector organizations on a reduced cost basis.

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

As USAID celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliances program, it is an opportune time not only to reflect on the successes and learnings of the past decade with respect to cross-sectoral partnerships for global development, but also to look forward and think about the appropriate role of partnerships in the decade ahead.

As an organization that works at the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, we at Accenture Development Partnerships are bullish on the potential for cross-sectoral partnerships to become a more pervasive and impactful instrument for achieving development outcomes in the years ahead.  In our recent point of view on The Convergence Economy, we set out a future vision for development which foresees not only a blurring of the boundaries between the sectors, but a fundamental shift in traditional conceptions of ‘who does what’ when it comes to delivering development impact.

In this future vision, the role of business would be far more impactful than it is today, with the private sector embracing a broader definition of value.  And in this new paradigm, we’d see an increasing number of hybrid business models and hybrid funding models which align commercial interest with development impact.  These hybrid structures and partnership models, when properly implemented, can enable greater innovation in how we tackle development challenges; improve efficiency and better value for every development dollar spent; and enable greater scalability and sustainability.

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Public Private Partnership Week: The Strategic Value of Connecting Business and Development

Dr. Maura O’Neill is Senior Counselor and Chief Innovation Officer and leads Innovation & Development Alliances at USAID

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

Today, at the apex of USAID’s Public-Private Partnership Week, Administrator Raj Shah is hosting a day long Partnership Forum on the Strategic Value of Connecting Business and Development.  Those gathered at the forum and watching the live-stream, twitter feeds, and press reports understand that development goals can benefit from the resources and talents of the private sector. What is less well known are the benefits that development has for business.  In the coming ten years, two thirds of global commerce will come from the developing world.  USAID has a proven track record of building market stability that benefits the global economy. Eleven of the fifteen largest importers of American goods and services are countries that graduated from U.S. foreign assistance.  Countries like South Korea, which, 50 years ago, was poorer than two thirds of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa was one of the largest recipients of American assistance in the years following the Korean War. USAID supported South Korea’s agriculture and industrial sectors, helping the country focus intently on an aggressive growth strategy. Today, USAID no longer provides assistance to South Korea; instead, the country is a net donor of foreign assistance as a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. South Korea has now become a vibrant source of trade for America – it is currently the eighth largest market for American goods and services.

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USAID Recognizes Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction

USAID/OFDA Director Mark Bartolini presents Dominic MacSorley of Concern Worldwide (U.S.) and William Canny of Catholic Relief Services with a plaque. Photo Credit: Doug Ebner/USAID

On October 17, 2011, USAID’s Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
recognized two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for excellence in disaster risk reduction programming. USAID/OFDA Director Mark Bartolini presented the organizations with
commemorative plaques at the 2011 Annual OFDA NGO Partner Consultations. Dominic MacSorley accepted on behalf of Concern Worldwide (U.S.) for its program to help village disaster management committees in Zambia clear and maintain a complex network of canals prone to flooding. William Canny accepted for Catholic Relief Services for its work to train young people to prepare their communities for disasters in Kingston, Jamaica.

Public-Private Partnership Week: General Mills Partners with USAID to Fight Hunger in Africa

Kim Nelson is Senior Vice President for External Relations at General Mills , based in Minneapolis, Minn. She oversees the General Mills Foundation, Corporate Communications, Government Relations, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility.

As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnerships Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.

In sub-Saharan Africa, where over 265 million people are hungry, more than a quarter of the food produced rots due to poor harvest or storage techniques, post-harvest losses caused by severe weather, or disease and pests. While traditional philanthropy is critical to addressing hunger in Africa, real change cannot take place unless we broaden our approach to include a sustainable, long-term solution that improves the overall food supply chain.

I recently made a trip to Africa to see first-hand the work General Mills is doing through a public-private partnership with USAID. I saw how Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), an innovative hunger-fighting non-profit launched by General Mills, is linking the technical and business expertise of hundreds of volunteer employees to small and medium-sized food processors in Africa. PFS aims to strengthen the food supply chain, and in turn, raise living standards and create market opportunities for small-holder farmers.

During my visit, I saw how PFS and USAID are influencing concrete improvements in operations and efficiency among food processors, from basic cleanliness to equipment enhancements. By improving technology at the local food processor level, these food processors are able to expand, hire and source more products from small-holder farmers. The farmers, with additional income, can stave off hunger, pay school fees, get better medical care and start new businesses.

PFS is founded on the belief that improving the capacity of the food processing sector in Africa can be catalytic in fighting hunger. Recently, General Mills expanded PFS and brought on likeminded partners, Cargill and DSM, to broaden the organization’s reach and impact.

USAID is also a critical partner in PFS’ work. USAID and PEPFAR have helped shape and guide Partners in Food Solutions and share their respective strengths, experiences, methodologies and resources through a public-private partnership formed in 2010. The partnership is focused on improving the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in the food sector across sub-Saharan Africa to produce healthy, fortified food products, and improving access to such products for people affected by HIV/AIDS and others in the region.

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