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.