USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for Global Partnerships

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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Public Private Partnership Week: Partnering to Promote Social Innovation

Gabi Zedlmayer is Vice President of Hewlett Packard’s Office of Global Social Innovation.

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.

USAID stands out among international development agencies for its commitment and innovative approach to private sector partnership in pursuit of social, economic and environmental outcomesin the developing world. While HP and USAID have collaborated since 2002, tomorrow we’ll be announcing a strengthened alliance that will bring new life, scope and impact to our working relationship that is already driven by strongly aligned objectives.

Following severe flooding in southern India, HP joined with Save the Children to provide support. HP employee volunteers traveled to several villages, handing out hygiene kits, books and schools supplies. Photo provided by HP.

Why does this partnership make sense? Regardless of the time and resources we devote to making a difference, we can’t do it alone. That’s why HP advocates a collaborative approach to solving tough, complex global problems, one in which corporations, government agencies and NGOs share resources and expertise. We are not looking to grab the spotlight for our own. We are looking for results. Collaboration also makes sense for USAID. USAID already brings extensive development expertise, funding, and partners and its reach throughout the developing world in considerable. But imagine: by tapping the skills of HP’s 325,000-strong employee base, our range of technological solutions, and our own customer and stakeholder partnerships, we will be that much more effective in tackling (together) root causes of global challenges such as education, infant and maternal ill-health, unemployment and poverty. And in ways that make good public policy and business sense too.

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Public Private Partnership Week: The Future of Partnerships

Jason Saul is author of the book,  Social Innovation, Inc: Five Strategies for Driving Business Growth Through Social Change and CEO of Mission Measurement, a social impact consulting firm. Cheryl Davenport, leads Mission Measurement’s corporate and government practice and is author of a forthcoming USAID report, “Models and Metrics for Private Sector Engagement.”  The views in this blog are their own.

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.

Harnessing the Engine of Business to Drive Prosperity

At the end of 2009, the United States had invested a little more than $1.2 trillion in emerging and developing market economies.1 Official U.S. Government assistance was $28.8 billion, a dramatic difference that underscores the critical impact the private sector can have in addressing the development challenges that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also aims to tackle.2 How can we as development practitioners and change agents harness the ability of the private sector to create and distribute solutions that address social issues?

The use of public-private partnerships presents one of the most powerful and readily available opportunities to attract and leverage the enormous resources and talents of the private sector to solve social problems.  But to do so, development agencies need to focus on strategies that can also help companies achieve their business objectives in the process of solving social problems.

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Public Private Partnership Week: Performance with Purpose

Dr. Derek Yach is Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo, Inc.

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.

A Private Sector Perspective on Partnerships in Food Security

This week, as USAID celebrates Public Private Partnership Week, I am reminded how market-based partnerships to promote food security can play an important role in expanding opportunities for smallholder farmers in the developing world. But at the same time, such partnerships can enhance our own business performance and foster long-term growth.

In the private sector, we are constantly seeking ways to create new markets, invest in emerging economies, advance healthy nutrition, ensure environmental sustainability, all while driving the long-term growth and profitability of our companies. Here at PepsiCo, we are proud to have announced a unique, trilateral partnership with USAID and the United Nations World Food Program during the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2011 annual meeting in New York last month. “Enterprise EthioPEA” is a key achievement of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, and will help build long-term economic stability for smallholder chickpea farmers in Ethiopia by involving them directly in PepsiCo’s product supply chain. With the expected growth of our business in chickpea-based products such as hummus, we expect to source at least 10 percent of our supply from Ethiopia, which amounts to at least 2,000 tons of chickpea per year. In addition, we see chickpeas as forming the basis of the WFP’s regional emergency feeding programs and a core element in the establishment of local commercial food capabilities.

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Public-Private Partnerships Week: “Helping Babies Breathe” Offers Invigorating Possibilities for Newborn Health Worldwide

This blog was originally posted by Lily Kak on January 6, 2011. It is excerpted and updated here in honor of USAID’s Public-Private Partnership Week, Oct.17-21, 2011.

Sixty seconds – that is all it takes to breathe life into a newborn that is gasping for air. This is the golden minute that can mean the difference between life and death for a newborn who is not breathing. Jubaida, a community midwife from Bangladesh, was trained and equipped to act rapidly and appropriately when she heard no cry and felt no breathing just after Baby Shifa was born. Jubaida gently dried and rubbed the baby and, as the family looked on, she used a bag and mask to help Baby Shifa breathe as the hands of the clock ticked by.

Every year, 10 million babies require help to breathe immediately after birth. Such lifesaving care is currently only available for less than one out of four newborns. Scaling up newborn resuscitation is challenging because it requires provider skills, appropriate equipment, and systems strengthening. Challenged by this, USAID searched for a feasible and effective approach to scale up newborn resuscitation and, on June 16, 2010, launched “Helping Babies Breathe,” a Global Development Alliance(GDA) with a diverse group of partners – Laerdal Medical, Save the Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute for Child Health and Development, and USAID.  The partnership combines the private and NGO sector, a professional association, and the US Government.

“The program is focused on the essential steps for helping babies breathe and uses effective educational methods. But to bring true innovation,  also a third factor is required; efficient local implementation. And that is where this GDA has already proved to make a great contribution.”

–          Tore Laerdal, CEO of Laerdal Medical

The Helping Babies Breathe partnership represents a new way of doing business in the field of newborn health and has now become a key USAID strategy to roll out newborn resuscitation and essential newborn care globally.  This partnership is ground-breaking. In just over a year since the launch of the partnership, over 18,000 health providers have been trained in 27 countries. A pilot study in Tanzania reported that HBB reduced asphyxia-related death by over 50 percent among 7,000 newborns.  Rigorous evaluation plans are now being designed in several countries to determine the performance and impact of HBB as it is being scaled out to address the broader international need as part of national newborn programs.

“The GDA concept is powerful; it’s activities in 27 countries has resulted in a wave of activity in other countries, stimulated a review of evidence at WHO, increased participation of new partners, has brought more attention and support for integrating essential newborn care and maternal life saving care education, and has stimulated the development of engineering innovations in life-saving newborn devices.”

–          Dr. William Keenan, AAP

The innovations that have created this significant solution in newborn resuscitation include Laerdal’s low cost, life-like manikin (NeoNatalie) with its easy-to-clean and boilable device to clear the newborn’s airway addressed the global need for a low-cost, resuscitation training simulator.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed the “Helping Babies Breathe” curriculum that simplified the resuscitation action algorithm so that it can be implemented even in peripheral health facilities and communities. These life-saving technologies are available on a not-for profit basis to all 68 Millennium Development Goal countries. Since its inception the partnership has expanded: AAP has pledged to save one million newborns by 2015 and Laerdal has created a spin-off company, Laerdal Global Health, to develop new technologies to address base of the pyramid maternal and child health.

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.

Visit 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

Public-Private Partnerships Week: New Cisco Alliance Kicks off Partnership Week

Last week was a busy one for me in Moscow. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended international forums dedicated to Millennium Development Goals 4, 5, and 6, speaking on a panel about HIV/AIDS.  On Wednesday I met with USAID/Russia program implementers and other stakeholders.  And on Thursday, I had the pleasure of addressing over a hundred people at Spaso House, the gorgeous residence of the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, on the subject of USAID’s worldwide partnerships.

The event, a conference to celebrate eight years of USAID/Russia’s public-private partnerships, gathered together many of the private companies and NGOs which have partnered with USAID since 2003.  It was an opportunity for the partners to exchange ideas and experience, and a chance for me to hear first-hand about the important work they’ve done in areas like maternal and child health, youth entrepreneurship, and anti-money laundering.   And I was pleased to sign a capstone agreement with networking giant Cisco, a company with a shared interest in the social and economic development of Russia.  This memorandum of cooperation will support workforce development in the area of IT, and will advance the use of information communication technology (ICT) by civil society, the government, and the public.  Under the new agreement, joint projects could receive up to $50 million in funding and in-kind contributions (USAID’s investment will be leveraged 1 to 4).

This partnership builds on a strong history of public and private sector alliances in Russia and throughout the Europe and Eurasia region.  One of the Agency’s very first Global Development Alliances (GDAs) was in the Balkans and aimed to support civil society and government accountability as a root of long term stability.   With nearly 40 alliances over the past eight years, totaling $122 million at a ratio of about $5 for every $1 invested by USAID, USAID/Russia is truly an Agency leader in GDAs.

USAID has recognized the power of joining civil society and technology through projects across sectors like this interactive map where citizens can report elections abuses or Text4Baby which Dr. Jill Biden launched here earlier this year to improve maternal and child health by sharing information via SMS.  The agreement with Cisco will allow us to capitalize on widespread access to technology in Russia to improve lives and livelihoods of Russians, economic stability, and government transparency across Russia.

FWD the Facts

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, I had the privilege to help organize a panel discussion at the United States Mission to the United Nations in NYC, followed by a presentation on the new USAID FWD the Facts campaign that had just been released a few days prior.  The panel consisted of civically engaged youth both domestically and globally and was moderated by Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero.  There were well over fifty young people in the audience ranging from college students to professionals.

Ross Seidman is a member of Youth Service America’s National Youth Council and Board of Directors, and the Youth Working Group to the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO. Photo Credit:Nicole Goldin/USAID

After the panel ended, we regrouped for a presentation and workshop led by Nicole Goldin of USAID (with collaborating representatives from the Ad Council and RGA) to educate the audience on the new FWD the Facts campaign.  It is a new effort that hopes to educate and engage the American public on the crisis affecting over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa.  After being presented with the facts and goals of the campaign the audience split up into three groups to discuss both the strengths and opportunities we saw.

We loved that the website is so simple and that it is so easy to become engaged in the initiative through the “ACTION” tab, specifically the “FWD Knowledge” download.  Many people also brought up the campaign’s opportunity to build connections through personal experiences of those living in the Horn of Africa.  This would motivate people to get involved as we want to see both the macro and micro dynamics of the situation.  Much of the conversation also centered around what college students could do on campus to bring awareness and action to the cause.  Ideas that floated around ranged from creating a network of “interns” on different campuses that could work with preexisting campus groups and administrators to finding corporate sponsorship to create an online interactive platform that could include a direct action piece via the web.  People also suggested an App and serious gaming.

It was an empowering opportunity to be a focus group for such a large initiative and have the ability to provide direct input and ideas to representatives from USAID, RGA, and the Ad Council.  Programs like this are exactly the types of things that make us feel directly involved in the process in a meaningful way.  These occasions are the motivation that many young people need to become involved in initiatives and some of the ideas from those in attendance have the potential to empower even more young people in meaningful leadership experiences through service-learning.  I know this was the beginning of the conversation, not the end, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.

Ross Seidman is a freshman at the University of Maryland, a member of Youth Service America’s National Youth Council and Board of Directors and the Youth Working Group to the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO.

NASA Congratulates USAID on Education Strategy with Video from Space for International Literacy Day

World of Fashion Crosses Paths with Haiti’s Rebuilding Efforts

The fashion world and jobs in Haiti aren’t two things you’d normally associate with each other. But an event last week — in Las Vegas of all places — made that connection.

The MAGIC fashion trade event featured a USAID-sponsored “Made in Haiti” exhibit aimed at showcasing Haitian garment manufacturers and creating new business opportunities.

Gina Coles, representing Phenix2, one of the largest Haitian apparel companies, talks to a visitor to the Haiti booth at the MAGIC fashion industry trade show last week in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: Gregor Avril/ADIH

“Our exhibit on Haiti certainly created a lot of buzz as demonstrated by the level of attention our visitors expressed,” said Gregor Avril, executive director of the non-profit Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH), who was present at MAGIC.

Also on hand to discuss Haiti’s apparel industry were delegates from the country’s largest manufacturing companies, along with representatives from the USAID-supported Haiti Apparel Center, which trains thousands of professionals a year to help meet the need for skilled workers in Haiti’s garment industry.  The Haiti booth showcased shirts, dresses, suits, winter coats, work uniforms, printed T-shirts, blue jeans and even tote bags. The exhibit was part of MAGIC’s AmericasPavilion, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

As the largest trade event for the textiles and apparel industry in the United States, MAGIC attracted attendees from well-known companies such as Columbia Sportswear, LL Bean, Jockey, Dickies and Harley-Davidson.

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