USAID/Angola Alison Bird AFP AFP
Partnering with USAID:
A Guide for Companies
How to Use this Guide 2
Introduction: Partnerships with USAID 3
1 Why Partner? 4
Case Study: Sustainable Coffee with Conservation International
and USAID 6
2 Identifying the Intersections of Business
and Development 7
3 Determining Your Investment Strategy 10
Table 1: Business-Relevant USAID Priorities 13
Case Study: Building a Stable Pyrethrum Value Chain in Rwanda 14
4 Making It Happen 15
Diagram 1: USAID Program Life Cycle and Stages for Engagement 18
Case Study: Water and Development Alliance 19
5 Navigating the Logistics: The USAID Alliance
Formation Process 20
Table 2: USAID Departments and Roles 21
Table 3: Alliance Funding Mechanisms 23
Definitions and Abbreviations 24
USAID Partnership Worksheet 25
USAID Private-Sector Contact List 26
This publication was produced from the United States Agency for International Development
by BSR. It was authored by Racheal Yeager, Blythe Chorne, BSR, and designed by MW Studio.
The Office of Development Partners/Private Sector Alliances wishes to recognize BSR,
Racheal Yeager, Blythe Chorne, and Chad Bolick for their work on this guide, as well as
to offer our profound thanks to all the individuals who contributed their time and ideas
towards its development.
How to Use tHis
The following pages provide guidance on each part
of the partnership process. Depending on your level
of experience with partnerships and with the public
sector, or with USAID, you may find different sections
more or less relevant.
The table below provides guidance on which sections
may be most helpful for you.
Making the internal case for partnership? New to partnership? Want to make sure your partnership
comes off without a hitch?
Section 1 and 2 describe the value of partnership and Section3 explains the
the business benefits of investing in development. process for finding areas Section 4 and 5 explain success factors and logistics
for strategic investment for putting a great partnership together.
Why Partner? Identifying the Determining Your Making it Happen Navigating the
(pg. 4) intersections Investment Strategy (pg. 15) Logistics (pg. 20)
of Business and (pg. 10)
• Access technical • Building strategic • Clarify roles and
Development (pg. 7)
expertise relationships responcibilities
• Determine your
• Strengthen • Supply chain objectives • Go local • Make initial USAID
stakeholder stability contact
• Define financial • Start small
networks • Social License to • Define shared
commitment • Be flexible
• Reduce financial operate alliance objectives
• Create partnership • Join existing
burdens • New market programs • Determine funding
development structure mechanism
• Identify an
• New customer implementer • Solidify the alliance
• Find shared
outreach priorities • Explore timing
• Product options
Case Study: differentiation Table: Business Diagram: Program Table: USAID
• Talent development. Relevent USAID Cycle, pg. 18 Department Roles,
Starbucks, pg. 6
Priorities, pg. 13 pg. 21
• Community Case Study:
investment Case Study: SC Coca-Cola, pg. 19 Table: Alliance funding
Johnson, pg. 14 Mechanisms, pg. 23
Resource: Definitions and Abbreviations, pg. 24
Resource: Partnership Checklist. pg. 25
Resource: USAID Private Sector Contact List, pg. 26
introdUCtion: PartnersHiPs witH Usaid
USAID wants to partner with you to promote sustainable development.
USAID believes that collaborating with the private • partnerships resonate with
sector can be an effective way to work, and the CUSToMerS AND SHAreHoLDerS.
What is USAID? Development makes a compelling story about
organization seeks partners that are active and
USAID is the United States Agency for invested in economies across the globe. improving people’s lives—and that story speaks to
International Development. business stakeholders. Working with USAID can lend
We are an independent, federal government agency authority and legitimacy to a business’ development
that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the WHAT DoeS THIS MeAN For BUSINeSS? efforts. Development initiatives can also create new
Secretary of State. USAID supports long term and The term “development” refers broadly to the customers and open new markets.
equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign reduction of poverty and improvement of living
policy objectives through support for economic standards through increased economic opportunity • partnerships can Double
or TrIPLe THe IMPACT oF YoUr
growth, agriculture and trade, education, global health, and a better quality of life. Issues relating to
democracy, conflict prevention, and humanitarian development include governance, healthcare, education,
assistance. gender equity, infrastructure, human rights, economic With more than a billion people lacking access to
opportunity, and environmental sustainability. safe water, proper nutrition, and basic health care, the
Founded in 1961, USAID is the world’s largest national challenges of poverty are widespread and crippling.
development agency. USAID operates in sub-Saharan Development initiatives aim to address individuals’ Partnership enables the sharing of resources, skills, and
Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the challenges to prosperity and well-being through networks that allow partners to achieve far more than
Middle East, and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The targeted assistance to non-governmental they could individually.
agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has organizations, businesses, and national and local
regional missions in each of the six regions above and governments in the developing world. By fostering
country-level missions in the 86 countries in which well-functioning markets, increasing trade, improving GeTTING STArTeD oN A PArTNerSHIP CAN
the agency operates. health and education, and enhancing governance Be CHALLeNGING.
and infrastructure, development initiatives create We have written this guide to help you navigate the
USAID created the Global Development Alliance
environments for long-term economic growth and process of forming a partnership with USAID. From
(GDA) model in 2001 to prioritize and support
social progress. For example, over the past two strategy conversations inside your company, to your
strategic partnerships between USAID and the private
decades, investments in better seeds and agricultural first visit to USAID, to the relationship we develop and
sector. To date, USAID has cultivated more than 900
techniques have helped feed about one billion people the partnership we create, this guide offers tips and
alliances with more than 1,700 partners to leverage
in the world. examples to help you get started and to help those
approximately US$9.6 billion in resources.*
who are already working with USAID improve future
*Partner contributions are estimates by USAID • Development partnerships make partnerships.
partners and may include contributions from the SeNSe For BUSINeSS.
private sector, NGOs, foreign governments, and other Development initiatives also benefit businesses by
organizations. Estimated contributions include cash mitigating risks, creating access to new markets,
and in-kind resources. In-kind resource estimates training workforces, and building relationships with
may have been valued by non-USAID partner key stakeholders. These initiatives can address
organizations. Partner contribution estimates are not socio-cultural, economic, and environmental challenges
audited. and opportunities to enhance your current and future
1. wHy Partner?
As environmental and socio-economic challenges
ACCeSS TeCHNICAL exPerTISe
Public private partnerships can be beneficial to all
In Short: threaten supply chain stability and the security of global
participants because of the opportunity to share
operating environments, investment in development
• Access technical expertise. knowledge.
has become increasingly relevant to long-term business
• Strengthen stakeholder networks. growth and risk mitigation. And as businesses grow
For example, while a company might have limited
• Reduce financial burdens. globally, companies are supporting development to
expertise about a geographic area or about a topic
better understand and gain access to new markets.
related to development, USAID has considerable
experience in all facets of development, as well as deep
Many of the challenges businesses face are really
regional and country level knowledge. USAID can
symptoms of the development challenges USAID is
also help you find the intersections between critical
working to address. As a result, initiatives to address
development issues and your company’s bottom line.
business and development challenges are often best
USAID has particular expertise in the following issues
pursued jointly investments often have long term
that also affect the private sector:
horizons and challenges require diverse areas of
expertise, and partnerships can provide business
and the public sector the opportunity to combine • Agricultural supply chains: working with small farmers or farmer
complimentary strengths and resources. Participation groups to increase productivity, enhance quality, and improve value chains
and buy in by local communities, government, and • Economic growth and trade: improving access to finance, building
international experts can enrich the quality and skills, developing infrastructure, and improving supply chain efficiency
sustainability of your activities, and contribute to the • Education: supporting workforce development through technical
legitimacy of your efforts. By working together, partners training programs, and support for primary, secondary, and higher
often find a new way of looking at a problem, and then
• Environment: supporting communities and governments in natural
develop a better solution together.
resources management and developing certification systems
• Global health: improving the health of citizens and their children
To this end, a growing number of companies are for a healthier workforce and sustainable communities
forming partnerships with governments, multilateral • Rule of law and democratic governance: fostering business-friendly
organizations, and bilateral aid agencies like USAID to operating environments, promoting respect for human rights and
share funding, expertise, and stakeholder networks. the rule of law, and supporting regulatory policies related to
What USAID Brings to Partnerships What Companies Bring to Partnerships
• technical development expertise. • skills, services, and products.
• strong national and local government relationships. • access to global supply chains and markets.
• long-term country presence. • market-driven approach to initiatives.
• credibility and goodwill. • technology and intellectual property.
• network of local, regional, and global partners for • relationships with local business actors.
implementation. • communication and marketing acumen.
• convening power. • Financial resources.
AFP • Financial resources.
USAID also has expertise in effective monitoring and as well as resources to improve their practices and
evaluation frameworks, so that companies can measure products.
the results of development activities over time.
Businesses also bring important relationships to
Similarly, companies bring unique expertise to partnerships that can enhance development impacts.
government partners. Companies have deep insight Companies with local operations are generally well
into market trends and needs, and they also can assist connected to local business communities, which can be
public-sector partners in connecting suppliers to global important for linking suppliers to markets.
value chains. Often, businesses provide technologies
and intellectual property that otherwise might not
be available to the public sector. Finally, companies
can contribute business skills, such as marketing and
“Expanding beyond our comfort zone
was what led us to seek partners.”
— Dennis Flemming, Chevron
strengthen stakeholDer networks
The private and public sectors also bring a
complementary set of relationships to partnerships.
USAID’s country-level missions typically have strong
relationships with national and local governments, and
throughout the world, USAID has a strong network of
local, regional, and global NGOs, civil society groups,
and foundations. Through these partnerships, USAID
has also built considerable credibility globally and has
a strong convening power with groups across sectors
and geographies. These relationships can help companies
understand economic development and developing
market needs, and secure social and regulatory licenses USAID/Angola
Partnerships can also help companies strengthen existing
business relationships, particularly by providing local
suppliers and stakeholders access to technical expertise,
CASe STUDY: USAID AS A MULTIPLIer
SUSTAINABLe CoFFee WITH In 2003, a USAID program focused on farmer livelihoods
in Mexico created an opportunity for significant
conservation international anD usaiD
expansion of the existing work with Starbucks. CI
In 1997, Conservation International (CI) approached
submitted a proposal, and Starbucks’ existing financial
Starbucks with a discovery: The coffee-growing areas
commitment gave CI an advantage in the application
around the world overlapped with dense areas of
process. When the USAID grant was awarded, Starbucks’
biodiversity. CI also revealed that sustainable coffee-
CEO went to Mexico City to sign the three-way
growing practices went hand in hand with environmental
memorandum of understanding with officials from CI
conservation. When farmers have access to markets
“For us, partnership is about identifying areas of mutual and USAID as well as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico,
and are paid a good price for high-quality coffee,
interest, finding out what the critical needs are, and generating positive publicity for the initiative.
they are less likely to use their land for livestock or
finding the stakeholders who can come to the table and
leverage our collective resources.” commercial development—both of which contribute to
With USAID involved, the project was replicated in
Costa Rica and Panama. The additional funds also
— Dennis Macray, Starbucks supported the development of a new Starbuck’s coffee
Starbucks, which has a long-standing commitment
purchasing program focused on sustainable farming as a
to sustainability and philanthropy, was interested in
supporting sustainable growing practices. But the
company was reluctant to commit to buying the coffee
FroM PHILANTHroPY To C.A.F.e. PrACTICeS
without technical assistance for farmers to meet the
As a result of the partnership, Starbuck began its Coffee
specialty quality requirements.
and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices purchasing
program. C.A.F.E. Practices is a continuous improvement
However, the quality of the coffee produced by
platform that evaluates coffee quality, sustainable farming,
the farmers participating in the program exceeded
and compliance criteria. C.A.F.E. Practices reflect
everyone’s expectations. Not only did Starbucks buy
the evolution of the Starbucks purchasing model to
the coffee, the company made it a signature product:
prioritize close relationships with producers, investment
Starbucks Organic Shade-Grown Mexico.
in sustainable coffee production, and a commitment to
the development of grower communities. Partnerships
The program created a win-win-win situation: with USAID globally represent a critical tool in helping
Starbucks achieve its business and development
• Starbucks secured high-quality coffee with objectives.
• Farmers received higher prices, access to premium
and specialty markets, and technical training to
keep improving coffee.
• CI created incentives for farmers to produce their
coffee sustainably, to avoid deforestation, and to
protect the biodiversity surrounding their farms.
2. identifyinG tHe interseCtions of BUsiness
Many problems businesses face in international markets
and global supply chains are symptoms of the same “USAID has been an invaluable
development challenges that USAID is seeking to partner to Wal-Mart in our efforts
• Supply chain stability. address. This section presents a list of common business to improve the export readiness of
• Social license to operate. challenges, and identifies how and why development producers around the world.”
• New market development. organizations may also be working on the same issues, or
may be able to influence them. Targeting your partnership — Angela Hofmann,
• New customer outreach. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
investments toward these shared challenges will likely
• Product differentiation. result in a dynamic, mutually beneficial alliance.
• Talent development. SoCIAL LICeNSe To oPerATe
• Community investment. SUPPLY CHAIN STABILITY A social license to operate can be both formal, requiring
government approvals, and informal, based on community
Enhance supply chain transparency through goodwill.
engagement with sub tier suppliers in community
development initiatives. Increase social license to operate and help
When supply chains lack transparency, disruptions stabilize insecure operating environments.
in production can impede a company’s ability to If your international activities are geographically bound,
meet customer demand. Lack of transpararency can maintaining a strong social license to operate and
also increase violations in labor, quality or sanitation good relationships with local government is critical to
standards. By boosting local economies, improving the success of current and future operations. Through
access to global markets, and stimulating sector growth, partnerships, companies can demonstrate their long term
development initiatives can increase supply chain commitment to local communities and their support for
transparency and aid in supplier capacity building. the broader development agenda. Community investment
and engagement with local government can also promote
Build technical expertise and sustainable practices transparency, rule of law, civil society, and healthy local
to ensure stable supply chains. economies.
Overseas producers particularly suppliers of specialty
or geographically defined products often get linked into Reduce regulatory risks by engaging local
international value chains without the technical expertise government and supporting transparent rule of law.
or business knowledge to ensure long-term, reliable USAID missions often have established relationships
production. Investment in a partnership can help ensure with national and local governments, and can
that the suppliers you are using today will be able to facilitate introductions and support opportunities for
meet your production needs in the future. Development collaboration. Private sector support for development
initiatives may focus on building technical expertise and efforts that seek to engage government, increase
promoting sustainable practices in suppliers in order to transparency, and increase support for compliance codes
reduce their vulnerability to social and environmental and other labor regulations will also contribute to a
risks, such as water scarcity, poor working conditions, stable operating environment for business.
and environmental degradation.
Examples: “Partnering with USAID is like getting
Risk Mitigation Benefits a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
They bring a lot of legitimacy to our
Mars: Concerns about the long-term viability of initiatives, particularly when we
cocoa supply chains led Mars to develop a partnership are entering new markets.”
with USAID to ensure regular availability of inputs such
as seeds, as well as training for cocoa producers to — Carolyn Brehm, Procter & Gamble
enhance crop yield and quality.
Chevron: The Angola Partnership Initiative
contributed significantly to establishing new networks
new market Development
of partners that helped Chevron improve its long-term
business interests in Angola through collaborative
support for socio-economic development. It also Develop technical infrastructure to support
helped the company improve its relations with the market expansion.
Angolan government and other key stakeholders in the Building new markets in emerging economies often Procter & Gamble
country. requires parallel growth in a related market, or
development of some other piece of the economy, such NeW CUSToMer oUTreACH
as infrastructure. For example, the market for cell phones
is limited in regions that lack power infrastructure.
Reach new and future customers at the base of
Development organizations may support strategic the pyramid.
partnerships that invest in the parallel development Expansion to new markets or increasing market share
required, creating new markets and promoting progress often requires the adaptation of existing products to
in the local economy. ensure their relevance in different cultural and market
contexts, particularly at the base of the economic
Introduce existing products to new markets.
pyramid, where customers have extremely limited
Development initiatives also offer a valuable opportunity to
income. For example, consumer goods can be repackaged
bring existing products to new markets. Working with
into smaller, less expensive units. Development initiatives
local actors to create small-scale distribution
that facilitate engagement with potential customers can
networks even outside of the formal economy can help
help companies understand these market needs. In a best
you reach isolated populations while also supporting
case scenario, a company could develop a product that
local entrepreneurship. New products can also promote
solves a tough development problem and benefits the
changes in well being for new customers. For example,
company. Examples of this include a food item fortified
the introduction of feminine hygiene products helps
with nutrition supplements for an area where children
women work and girls attend school without interruption.
are malnourished, or a mobile microfinance program that
delivers small loans via phone in areas with limited
“We now have Cisco Networking Build capacity of local employees to support short
Academies in more countries than we and long term business growth.
Examples: have Cisco offices. Often, they In addition to suppliers, many companies also have local
are the first face of Cisco.” operations in developing countries. Workforce
development and leadership programs can help build the
Cisco: Cisco’s Networking Academy programs — Cristina McGlew, Cisco skills of your company’s current and future local staff,
teach students around the world how to design, build, who will contribute to the sustainability of local operations.
troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for
Professional development contributes significantly to
increased access to career and economic opportunities. ProDUCT DIFFereNTIATIoN local development by increasing skill and wage levels.
Differentiate your products by tying them to
Procter & Gamble: In many of P&G’s initiatives
social investment programs. community investment
with USAID, business units and the regional teams Finally, development initiatives are an effective method of
(known as the go to market teams) have sought to take Linking products to development initiatives allows
companies to tell compelling stories about the people achieving your company’s commitments to community
existing products into emerging economies.
involved in the creation of their products, such as women investment and philanthropy. Partnering with an
working in garment factories or farmers growing coffee. organization like USAID can lend authority and
Development initiatives can also help farmers secure legitimacy to your investments, while cost sharing can
valuable labeling certifications, such as organic or Fair provide opportunities to expand successful programs
TradeTM, which enable companies differentiate their for increased impact. Procter & Gamble’s Children’s Safe
products and increase consumer loyalty. Drinking Water initiative, for example, is the company’s
signature philanthropic program. Working with USAID,
P&G has been able to deliver more than 1.6 billion liters
of clean drinking water since 2004.
Improve operational efficiency, products, and
product inputs through training and education
By supporting and building relationships with producers,
businesses can realize significant value as well as mitigate
risk. Producers may lack access to education and support
infrastructure, but they are likely most aware of what
would help them be more productive or create
higher-quality goods. In other cases, teaching suppliers
simple innovations or process improvements can have
significant impacts on product quality and/or yield. Such
investment can create opportunities for socio economic
development through producer skill-building, increased
access to markets, and increased quality and yield of
3. determininG yoUr investment strateGy
Embarking on a partnership with USAID may mean
moving away from your company’s traditional methods of
making philanthropic investments or donations. In order “We look at global health needs, and
then we find where our expertise fits
to guarantee a long term benefit for your company, you
best, and which needs we could best
should clarify some key internal issues: You must identify
In Short: contribute to.”
your company’s strategic objectives, define your level of — Kathy Pickus, Abbott
• Determine your objectives. financial commitment, create a partnership management
• Define your financial commitment. structure, and find shared priorities.
• Create a partnership management
structure. Determine your objectives
Every company has different reasons for pursuing Determining Your Company’s Strategic
• Find shared priorities. development partnerships. To ensure that your activities Development Issues
are relevant, spend some time determining which type A graphic modeling of priorities, or a materiality
of program will best meet your company’s business analysis, is an excellent tool for identifying and building
objectives. Often, the myriad development challenges internal consensus on which development issues are
and partnership opportunities can be overwhelming. most strategic for your company.
USAID can help you determine which issue areas are
most pertinent for your business. Nonetheless, to ensure Beginning with a range of development issues across
maximum relevance to your company, you should play an geographies, you can undertake a structured process
active role in identifying geographies, opportunities, and to prioritize the issues that influence the assessments
potential activities for investment. Pinpointing important and decisions of stakeholders and that have significant
issues to your business strategy and your stakeholders influence on your bottom line.
usually involves a focused priority, or materiality analysis.
This process will help ensure meaningful development
Regardless which departments will provide funding or impacts, and will maximize overlap with business
partnership oversight, you should seek companywide interests. The process
input. Without a wide range of contributions, and outcomes will
partnerships will struggle to meet business goals and also support
g Y ou r Co m pany’s S tra tegic Devel Procter &
Deter mininmay be less sustainable over the long term. op m ent Iss ues conversations with
Gamble, for example, has built and sustained a number of USAID and efforts
alysis, is an excellent identify areas of
A graph ic modeling of priorities, or a m ateriality an business units
partnerships by incorporating ideas from to too l for
iden tifying an d building interna l con sen sus on which de velop ment issue s are m ost
looking to expand market access for particular products. mutual interest.
strategic fo r you r compan y.
Flexibility on details is important, as the activities
of a partnership should be issue s by all actors
Beg inn ing withanyran ge of de velop mentdecided across ge ogra phies , you can issues
struc tured proces s to to USAID or an implementing
un dertak e ainvolved. However, goingprioritize the issue s that influenc e the
partner with a limited understanding of tha t have s ignifican t influen ce on
asse ssments a nd dec ision s of stak eho lde rs and your objectives,
your bo ttomexpectations, and potential restrictions, will limit the
li ne . Importance to stakeholders
efficacy of your conversations, could unnecessarily lengthen
the start-up phase, mea ning ful deve lopment impa cts,
This proc ess will he lp en sure and may reduce the strategic nature an d will max imiz e Influence on
overlap withof any partnership you create. ss and ou tcomes will also suppo rt
bu sine ss interests. The proce business success
conv ersations w ith USAID and efforts to iden tify are as of mutua l interest.
The more you know about what your company is trying provide financial support, or pay cash to the company
Tip: to achieve and why, the better prepared you will be to for in kind donations.
Think about using both business and select a partner or partners and design a program to • Philanthropy budget allocation: If it is important
charitable funds for development achieve your shared objectives. Securing support from to keep community and business investments separate,
partnerships. senior management at the outset will also strengthen the philanthropy dollars can be used.
Diversifying the sources of funding (and any conditions partnership. • CSR and corporate affairs: CSR budgets could be
on their use) enables innovative combinations used for programs that promote stakeholder
that reflect the realities of strategic development engagement, including local community initiatives such as
investment. Contribution from the charitable side can Remember: Don’t go it alone. It’s crucial to health and education. This department is also sometimes
also help encourage business departments to invest involve colleagues throughout your company to ensure called communications or government affairs.
their funds in the partnership. relevance, senior management support, and long-term • Supply chain management: Initiatives focused
sustainability. primarily on improving capacity for ethical sourcing and
Achieving this balance can be complicated, especially
strengthening relationships with suppliers can be funded
for companies that explicitly separate the foundation
through procurement or supply chain budgets.
from the business. But there may be a solution: For
example, you could have company departments • Local business units or subsidiaries: Local
DeFINe YoUr FINANCIAL CoMMITMeNT business units may have marketing, business
or suppliers pay for activities with direct business
benefits, and use corporate foundation funding for
Early in the partnership process, you should discuss development, or philanthropy budgets that can be used
strategic investment in surrounding community the financial aspects of the partnership both with your for partnerships. For example, a portion of the Angola
infrastructure. company and with your partners. This will ensure that Partnership Initiative came from Chevron’s local
time is not wasted if financial commitment does not subsidiary.
exist, and it will help build trust and transparency in • Product and business development
partner relations. departments: The testing of safety-approved
new products or technologies could be integrated
Internally, you first need to determine how much you into development partnerships. For example, a new
are willing to invest. New initiatives with only one private computer product could be tested for bugs by students
sector partner may require investments of US in a computer skills program. Similarly, expanding
existing products to new markets could be relevant
$1 million or more; however, companies can also explore
to these departments. Business development units can
opportunities to join existing partnerships with smaller also facilitate in-kind donations. This department is
initial investments (see page 13). Once you have agreed also sometimes called product development or
on an amount, determine your options and constraints emerging markets.
for dispersing the funds. Aligning your desired funding
commitment and your internal allocation requirements CreATe A PArTNerSHIP MANAGeMeNT
will help avoid delays and potential conflict later.
Both the partnership-building process and the
implementation phases are more efficient when you
Funding allocation strategies include:
identify a point person to manage your company’s
relationships with USAID and the implementing partner,
• Independent corporate foundation: If your
company has a separate foundation that supports issue the partnership formation process, and the resulting
areas relevant to your business, the foundation could program. If you are pursuing a partnership in only
one country, this person should be based nearby, with Funding for alliances will come from the mission or
designated support from headquarters. If a partnership regional level; USAID’s Washington-based staff have
Examples: limited budgets. Therefore, once you have identified
is spread across several countries, one person at
Internal Management headquarters should oversee all partnerships and act as a an issue area, you should contact either the Office of
Microsoft: This company established internal first point of contact for staff in the field. Development Partnerships (GDA) in Washington, or
communication channels, promoting USAID the Regional Alliance Builders (See the Appendix C,
opportunities with local business units. All questions The types of staff chosen for the job are important, too. page 26) to inquire which missions may be interested in
and project ideas directed upward to a headquarters As managers of the relationship with USAID and other exploring partnerships.
contact, who facilitates mission-level relationships. partners, they will also serve as an internal “interpreter”
of these external organizations. For the partnership Also note that USAID is a U.S. government agency,
Mars: Internal management evolved over time. First, manager to function effectively and build meaningful housed under the Department of State, and priority
it was housed in purchasing, and it soon broadened to relationships with partners, this person should possess areas of investment may emerge in conjunction with
include both technical staff (to vet project contents a basic understanding of the development perspective, critical foreign policy issues at the behest of Congress.
and support implementation) and government affairs and skills or experience to support working with public For example, at the time of publication in late 2009,
(to act as mediator). sector and nonprofit entities. Muslim-majority countries, especially Pakistan and
Afghanistan, were high priority aid recipients. The
In addition to creating a formal staffing structure, you President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),
should develop a formal communications and relationship is another example of public policy impacts on global
management framework with USAID. Partnerships USAID strategy. Large, sweeping directives such as these
approached like formal business relationships with change along with geopolitical circumstances and foreign
suppliers or retailers will yield better results through policy priorities, and you should take them into account
enhanced and consistent communications. when considering investment areas.
“Who you assign [internally] to these
partnerships is really critical. They
have to be able to build relationships.
And if they don’t have an understanding
of those other organizations, this
is very difficult to achieve.”
— Dennis Flemming, Chevron
FIND SHAreD PrIorITIeS
USAID defines investment priority areas that inform
budget allocation at the regional and country-level
missions and agency headquarters. A high-level summary
of these priority issues is outlined in the table that
USAID/OFDA follows. USAID/OFDA
table 1: business-relevant priority areas oF usaiD investment
USAID Relevant USAID Interests: Potential Areas of
Program Area Industries Shared Interest
Agricultural Supply Agriculture, Food, and • Agricultural markets, trade, and finance.
Chains Beverage • Secure supply chains and stable producer communities.
Allocation of USAID dollars undergoes • Food security and nutrition.
significant scrutiny and partnerships are no • Science and technology research.
• Technical assistance and extension services for farmers.
• Sustainable agriculture and livestock.
Disaster Response Any • Traditional disaster relief: food, clothing, and shelter donations.
Some examples of what USAID cannot fund include:
and Humanitarian • Technology and skills transfer via staff or equipment.
• Pursuit of corporate interests beyond Assistance • Post-disaster rebuilding.
development focused initiatives.
• Direct investment in company activities or
expansion into new markets.
Education and Information and • Workforce training programs.
• Direct loans to companies. communications • ICT education and qualification programs.
technology (ICT) • Education for women and girls.
Energy Efficiency, Any • Tools and training for sustainable farming practices.
Conservation, Water • Energy-efficient technology for suppliers.
Management • Wastewater treatment programs.
• Irrigation technologies.
• Community access to water.
Market Access and Agriculture, Food, • Training programs for suppliers to increase quality and yield.
Business-Enabling Beverage Consumer • Microfinance programs.
Environments Products • Improve supplier access to global markets.
Finance • Telecommunications and infrastructure.
Rule of Law and Finance • Rule of law and business-friendly operating environment.
Transparent Media • Supporting transparent elections and political processes.
Governance ICT • Promoting free and independent media.
Worker and Pharmaceuticals • Hospitals and clinics for worker communities.
Community Health • ICT and health (remote and mobile health care, health records).
• Health care provider training.
• Medical device donations and training.
ICT • Awareness-raising programs.
CASe STUDY: When SC Johnson determined that it wanted to create
Building a Stable Pyrethrum Value Chain in an initiative based on the results of the assessment,
Rwanda the Borlaug Institute immediately made the link to
On a trip to Rwanda a few years ago, SC Johnson the mission’s objective of expanding agribusiness
Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson was struck by the opportunities in Rwanda. Borlaug also facilitated an early
poverty he encountered and became eager to explore introduction between SC Johnson and USAID, so that all
opportunities to support the pyrethrum growers and three parties participated in the project design process.
industry in the country. Dried chrysanthemum flower Based on the Borlaug Institute’s recommendation, the
“If you want to work with USAID, finding an heads contain the natural pyrethrum insecticide that USAID Mission built the pyrethrum project into its
organization with an existing relationship or track SC Johnson uses in some of its consumer insecticide budget and proceeded with the SC Johnson partnership.
record with them is extremely helpful.” products. During the application process, Borlaug was also able to
— Dr. John Owens, From the start, SC Johnson had a clear understanding lay the groundwork for the project and begin preliminary
SC Johnson activities by tapping existing funds through the SPREAD
of its business objectives: Increase the availability of
pyrethrum by improving production practices and Project and SC Johnson’s contribution.
“SC Johnson’s balanced approach has made them a stability in the supply chain. However, the company also commitment to social investment + Due
strong partner – they are interested in having sources wanted to ensure robust supply chain infrastructure and
for their products, but also interested in bettering
DILIGeNCe = TrIPLe WIN
market links to support sustainable growth.
people’s lives.” One of the key success factors in developing this
THe CATALYST: partnership has been SC Johnson’s balanced approach
— Dr. Linda Cleboski,
A Partner with Existing Ties to USAID to business and development needs. The company
The Borlaug Institute
To better understand the potential for pyrethrum demonstrated an equal commitment to securing a source
sourcing from Rwanda, SC Johnson enlisted the Norman for its products and to improving the farmers’ lives.
Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas
A&M University to do a value chain assessment. The This shared commitment contributes to the strong
Borlaug Institute, which employs agriculture science to relationship between SC Johnson, USAID, and the
meet hunger needs and promote economic development, Borlaug Institute, which in turn supports the long-term
had been working on value chain development projects sustainability and viability of the partnership.
in the country since early 2000, most recently as part of
the SPREAD Project in partnership with USAID. This partnership has achieved triple win impact:
The assessment revealed significant potential for • SC Johnson develops a stable and sustainable source for a
development of Rwanda’s pyrethrum value chain. key input to its natural insecticide product lines.
Although the sector had struggled, Rwanda had the
• Farmers receive technical assistance and training, access to
necessary volume of farms to build cooperatives and the global markets, and access to credit for buying materials for
necessary infrastructure to grow the sector, creating a and constructing pyrethrum flower drying tables.
clear opportunity to achieve business and philanthropy
• USAID contributes to a new value chain to grow and
diversify the Rwandan economy. It also improves technical
An added catalyst came through the Borlaug Institute’s skills and market links of Rwandan farmers, ultimately
existing relationship with the USAID mission in Rwanda. resulting in higher incomes and a better quality of life.
4. makinG it HaPPen
Every partnership comes together in a unique way; Next, seek relationships with public sector aid agencies
however, many draw on similar success factors. Whether like USAID and implementing partners who are working
In Short: you are looking to partner for the first time, to build on in a relevant sector or geographic area. To find such
• Build strategic relationships. existing relationships, or to avoid previous mistakes, the organizations, try looking online as a starting point: for
tips that follow will help you maximize efficiency and example, the Yahoo Directory has a useful list. USAID
• Go local.
build a solid foundation for sustainable and impactful can also help point you in the right direction or make
• Start small. initial introductions.
• Be flexible. As you begin a partnership, work to understand your
• Seek opportunities to join existing programs. commonalities and how you might work together.
“Through existing relationships, the
• Identify an implementer. Department of State approached us to Relationship development takes time. To be more
participate in a joint program with efficient, consider starting at the local level, where
• Link planning to partnership objectives.
USAID on telemedicine in Pakistan.” relationships can lead to action more quickly. Another
• Explore timing options for engagement. option is to look within your company and staff to find
— Bonnie Glick, IBM existing relationships that may prove useful. As described
earlier in this guide, SC Johnson established its alliance
with USAID through an existing relationship with the
BUILD STrATeGIC reLATIoNSHIPS Borlaug Institute.
“Public-private partnerships” is a popular catchphrase for Another option is to hire staff with international
relationships that many companies want to have in their development, public sector, or cross cultural
portfolio of corporate responsibility or philanthropy communication expertise. These individuals provide a
programs. However, a meaningful partnership cannot rich collection of expertise and relationships that you
form without serious, concerted investment by all can use to build a more robust department for managing
parties. Like any venture, partnerships depend on sustainability initiatives and partnerships.
the people who manage them and this requires the
formation of strong bilateral relationships. “Your first step should be to take some
Investing time in strong relationships will deliver time to get to know the people at the
more return in the long term than hastily conceived mission, gauge their level of interest and
partnerships. Start by familiarizing yourself with the resources.”
development landscape. In many emerging economies,
— Dennis Flemming, Chevron
USAID and other bilateral and multilateral agencies are
big players with big budgets. There is a strong chance that
their work will be relevant for your business activities
or growth objectives in those regions. Moreover, your Go LoCAL
ability to operate efficiently and responsibly in these USAID staff in Washington can be an excellent resource,
environments will be enhanced when you are familiar but strategy and funding decisions are made at the
with the activities of global development organizations. country and regional level. If you know where you want
to invest, work through your own regional staff, build
direct relationships with USAID missions, and find
Example: implementing partners with strong local knowledge.
Many interviewees for this guide reported that the
Coca-Cola best ideas are developed at the local level, where local
With the support of senior management, Coca-Cola business knowledge and relevant technical expertise “Have a vision for something big. But start with something
created a global water stewardship policy which are likely to be deeper. Moreover, long-term success you can manage, that will enable flexibility, and that you can
would become the basis for broader engagement. and sustainability requires local ownership, which is best build on as you learn.”
However, their first proposal and ultimate partnership established early.
with USAID focused on four pilot projects in four — Denise Knight, The Coca-Cola Company
countries, which were led by USAID missions, local Local relationships are also critical from a financial
Coca Cola business units, and Coca Cola bottlers.
standpoint. USAID funds are predominantly managed at
the mission level, so engaging these staff members first Be FLexIBLe
will ensure that you are working with the key Development challenges whether related to health,
decision-makers within USAID. education, access to water, or access to markets are all
Remember: impacted by local culture, political circumstances, and
USAID funds for partnerships are distributed through If your company has local staff, involve them early, and, if potentially even natural disasters. There is no
country and regional missions, not through the possible, give them leadership roles in the partnership. cookie-cutter approach, and even a strategy that
Washington office. Local cultural contexts around CSR and corporate seems right at one point may become irrelevant if
philanthropy may conflict with headquarter objectives, circumstances suddenly change. Moreover, because
and ignoring these differences may jeopardize the USAID is a development organization and not a business,
success of your initiative. its approach to a shared challenge may differ from yours.
Embrace these differences as opportunities to make your
STArT SMALL activities more holistic and sustainable. For initiatives
Choose one issue and a defined geographic area and and partnerships to have the greatest impact, they must
grow and learn from there. be relevant to all stakeholders. Maintaining flexibility and
Setting up an effective development partnership is a listening to your partners will allow you to seek areas of
complex process, and limiting your focus will improve common understanding when conflicts arise.
efficiency and provide room for course correction along
seek opportunities to join existing usaiD
the way. In development, as in business, a good idea is not
enough. Unexpected barriers may arise, and addressing ProGrAMS
these on a small scale will reduce cost and risk. USAID missions often invest in large, multiyear
Moreover, you can establish a platform to avoid similar programs with trusted implementing partners to achieve
challenges if you replicate the project on a larger scale. development goals in a given country. For example, a
Moreover, building internal systems and relationships broad program may seek to contribute to the growth of
with USAID and other resource partners, and developing small and medium sized businesses in the country, while
the partnership content itself, will create a more robust a specific program may target a specific region, issue area,
platform for successful expansion in the future. or industry, such as the Mekong Delta, access to finance,
or the garment sector. Such programs can be two to five
years in length and often receive renewals if they have
West Africa Water Initiative
Many companies create partnerships with USAID by Next, look at your competitors: Significant NGO
adding or “embedding” a partnership within an existing partnerships will likely be highlighted on corporate social
program. For example, Abbott created a partnership with responsibility websites. This can help you get an idea of
USAID in Kosovo to reduce premature births and infant who is working on what issues and where. Finally, ask for
The USAID Assurance mortality by contributing cash and in-kind resources to help. For example, BSR has relationships with numerous
Now that their relationship with USAID is well an existing USAID program with the Dartmouth College development NGOs who operate globally.
established, Starbucks has begun to recognize the of Medicine and Americares that targeted Kosovo’s
significant non-financial value of working together. For health systems. An industry group can also act as an implementer,
example, Starbucks often seeks USAID’s insights on
pursuing and managing alliances on issues critical to
potential NGO partners or grantees. Looking at the
portfolio of organizations that USAID is supporting Embedding in existing USAID programs offers an efficient its members. A useful example is the World Cocoa
in a given country can help you make wise investment and cost effective entry point into a partnership with Foundation (WCF), which began exploring partnership
decisions. USAID. With this method, your company can circumvent opportunities to address the sustainability of the cocoa
preparatory relationship-building by jumping into existing supply chain because of the urgency of the issue to its
relationships, and often invest at a comparatively lower food processor and retailer members. WCF currently
level, by contributing to a portion of a larger program, manages three large partnerships with USAID in Africa
rather than carrying the program on your own. and Central America, as well as others with donors such
as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Gates
Contact the USAID Regional Alliance Builder or the Foundation.
point of contact in the mission of interest to you to
obtain a list of their current projects including dates and
funding levels (See Appendix C, pg. 26 for contact details).
“If an NGO is working with USAID,
we may see them as a credible IDeNTIFY AN IMPLeMeNTer
organization, and that they are part Implementing partners know the local development
of a broader development agenda in landscape and are often already recipients of aid from
the country or region.” many donors, so they can serve an important role in the
partnership formation process. Implementing partners
— Dennis Macray, Starbucks
can also save time and reduce the administrative burden “We wouldn’t have been able to
for companies. As implementing partners are often the make as much progress or to scale
recipient of your funds and those of USAID, they may be up our initiatives as much as we’ve
best placed to manage the partnership logistics. been able to do without the help of
the World Cocoa Foundation.”
Look for an organization working in the region of
interest to you, or one with relevant technical expertise — Sherrie Esposito, Kraft Foods Inc
on the issue you’ve identified. Start with USAID mission
websites to see what they are already funding. Existing
USAID grantees and contractors will have the easiest
time securing funding for a new partnership project.
USAID Washington can also provide direction.
DIAGrAM 1: USAID ProGrAM LIFe CYCLe AND STAGeS For eNGAGeMeNT
link planning to partnership objectives
Integrating discussions of partnership opportunities
into strategic planning processes can help enhance
links between business and development objectives and
ensure appropriate budget allocation. Broadening this Work with USAID to design a program Work with an implementer to create
conversation to include USAID and other partners can and select an implementer through a a proposal that outlines your intended
help promote transparency and solidify partnerships competitive process. contribution.
beyond the life of one project.
One option is to work with USAID Washington, USAID
missions, and implementing partners as they set budgets
for the coming year (find relevant contact details in
Appendix C, pg. 26). While USAID does not set aside
specific funds for partnerships, investment in cocoa
supply chains, for example, could be included in USAID’s
economic, trade, or agriculture budget.
Because USAID budgets are often tied to political
priorities, consider linking your project to existing special
initiatives with significant, multiyear funding, such as the
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Early strategic planning can reduce the time associated
with partnership formation, and reduce the chance that a
USAID mission has already allocated relevant funding.
exPLore TIMING oPTIoNS For eNGAGeMeNT
Companies can enter into partnerships with USAID at
many stages of a program’s life cycle (see Diagram 1,
below). Talk to your USAID contact to determine the
opportunities that may exist for you at different stages,
and the positive and negative aspects of becoming Work with USAID and the program Join an existing project by contributing
involved at each stage. For example, joining an existing implementer to create a strategy to planned activities, or by working
alliance is often easier than creating an initiative from for program renewal/ expansion, to with USAID and the implementing
scratch, but your level of involvement and strategic which you contribute. partner to design a specific component
direction may be more restricted. to complement the program objectives.
• USAID: Strong support and engagement by water team staff
case stuDy: water anD Development
members helped drive the partnership formation process. A
champion from within the team facilitated initial outreach
In 2005, The Coca-Cola Company and USAID created
and relationship building with missions about the opportunity
the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) with the
and helped GETF develop the original technical proposal for
Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)
to help Coca-Cola fulfill its water stewardship goal to
return to nature and communities an amount of water
equal to what the Company uses in its beverages. The SUCCeSS FACTorS: BUILDING A STroNG
alliance does this by supporting healthy watersheds and FoUNDATIoN For exPANSIoN
sustainable community water programs. WADA also A great deal of time and energy went into the formation
supports USAID’s commitment to improve water supply of a robust Coca-Cola-USAID relationship. In addition
and sanitation services, water resources management, to focusing on trust and mutual respect, Coca-Cola and
and the sustainable management of watersheds in USAID spent a lot of time getting to know each others’
“Coca-Cola doesn’t have a business without water.
There is no other ingredient more important than the developing countries worldwide. idiosyncrasies and constraints to gain an understanding
water that goes into a beverage.” of how best to work together. GETF was helpful as a
A PerFeCT STorM: CreATING THe USAID partnership facilitator and manager during the critical
— Denise Knight, PArTNerSHIP relationship-building and concept-development phase.
WADA Manager, The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company began tracking water- Communications guidelines, budgeting and reporting
efficiency measures several decades ago, but in 2003, in systems, and organizational cultures varied greatly.
its Form 10K report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange The time invested in gaining an understanding of
“One secret to WADA’s success was the
Commission, the Company identified water quality and these differences paid off in avoided frustration and
sophistication of Coca-Cola’s internal staff on water-
resources management, development issues, and the
quantity as a substantive risk to the business. Greater the formation of a strong foundation that allowed the
realities of developing countries.” understanding of this risk led to focused risk mitigation relationship to grow over time.
efforts and a commitment to water stewardship,
— Sharon Murray,
including improved plant efficiency (Reduce), treatment The creation of a strong process to promote local
WADA Manager, USAID of all process wastewater to high international standards ownership and identify “internal” financial resources
(Recycle), and support for healthy watersheds and also contributed to WADA’s rapid expansion. Because
sustainable communities (Replenish). the majority of USAID funds are programmed at the
mission level, it was essential to ensure local project
Following that, the water team in USAID’s Economic development and implementation. For Coca-Cola, the
Growth, Agriculture, and Trade Bureau and the global and regional Coca-Cola foundations provide much
Environment and Water Resources department at of the funding support for philanthropic, community-
Coca-Cola began discussions, and a perfect storm of based water initiatives. WADA has established a process
circumstances combined to support the formation of a inviting USAID missions and Coca-Cola business units
global alliance: to express interest in partnering. Projects are designed
and proposed by NGO implementing partners and must
• Coca-Cola: In addition to overall senior management’s receive approval by both parties, thereby establishing
commitment to water stewardship, the company’s critical local relationships before funding is dispersed and
Environment and Water Resources team was led by a former activities begin.
USAID senior manager who was familiar with the USAID
GDA model, knew the right place to send his colleagues These investments paid off: Launched with just
within the agency, and committed key staff to the partnership US$2.5 million dollars in 2005, by 2009 the alliance had
development process. a combined investment of US$28.1 million, with active
programs in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America,
AFP and the Middle East.
5. naviGatinG tHe loGistiCs: tHe Usaid allianCe
Partnering with the public sector provides myriad • Mobilize corporate communications teams to publicize the
benefits but it also involves administrative requirements objectives, activities, and impact of the alliance.
In Short: that can be complicated and time consuming. USAID has
Implementing partners manage the implementation of
• Clarify roles and responsibilities. streamlined this process by training missions and operating
project activities associated with the partnership.
• Make initial contact with USAID. units to maximize the efficiency of internal processes
related to partnerships. This section offers suggestions An implementing partner champion will:
• Define shared alliance objectives.
for navigating alliance formation logistics effectively. • Oversee implementation of all activities on time, to budget,
• Determine funding mechanism. and in pursuit of identified objectives.
• Solidify the alliance. CLArIFY roLeS AND reSPoNSIBILITIeS • Measure and report on impact achieved to support internal
It is critical to remember that all alliances are people and external communications about the partnership.
driven. Individual champions drive progress and generate • Facilitate relationship between company and donor agency,
impact at every point of engagement within the company, such as USAID.
Remember: resource partners, and the project implementer.
• Foster a close relationship with your company’s local and
Just as USAID processes seem confusing to you, Each partner organization has various roles and respon- headquarters staff to share successes, challenges, and future
so, too, are corporate processes to USAID staff. opportunities.
sibilities. There are also nuances within organizations,
Explaining your internal processes, business • Identify unexplored business and development opportunities
such as the different roles played by USAID missions and
motivations and constraints, and management for additional phases of the project or new projects.
structure will help USAID better serve your needs. Washington operating units (see Table 2, pg 21).
Companies bring resources, skills, and market links to Donor agencies such as USAID bring resources and expertise
transform traditional development projects into dynamic to help companies understand and address critical
partnerships that can also benefit the private sector. development needs and priority issues at a country level.
A company champion will: USAID will:
• Create and disseminate accessible information about
• Conduct a materiality analysis of the company’s value chain
development strategies and intersections with business to
with a development lens to identify strategic intersections.
• Sell the partnership and associated activities internally, from
• Engage with companies to identify shared development
the headquarters to the local/regional level.
• “Interpret” USAID and other partners for colleagues.
• Provide technical analysis of ideas from a development
• Coordinate local and regional business unit staff to ensure perspective.
• Facilitate access to relevant people and departments within
• Facilitate access to and training on the company’s relevant USAID.
products, services, and skill sets for community members,
• Coordinate oversight and logistical requirements for the
implementing partners, and other relevant stakeholders.
partnership, such as the selection of program implementers
• Prioritize market access for program participants when and applications for funding, with transparency and efficiency.
• Ensure that development interests are preserved alongside
• Identify opportunities to contribute company resources business strategy objectives.
other than cash.
TABLe 2: USAID DePArTMeNTS AND roLeS
Missions Regional Bureau Technical Bureau Office of Development
86 country-level Asia Economic Growth, Sector Alliances
Agriculture, and Trade (a.k.a. GDA)
Africa/Southern Europe and Eurasia Global Health
Africa/West Middle East Legislative and Public Affairs
Central America Latin America and
1st Contact: 1st Contact: 1st Contact: 1st Contact:
Regional Alliance Regional Alliance GDA Washington GDA Washington
Role: Role: Role: Role:
• Set country- and • Provide Washington- • Provide Washington- • Division tasked with
regional-level based desk support based technical and overall oversight of
strategies and to country and strategic direction to GDAs throughout
disperse funds regional missions. missions. USAID.
within those • Can provide • Champion or veto • Identify strategic
guidelines. limited background power over technical missions or regional
quality of partnership bureaus to target based
• Help determine on country and
proposal. on shared priorities.
relevance of region priorities
project and and potential • Facilitate access to • Facilitate initial contact
whether funding funding areas. technical staff at at the region and
exists. missions. mission level.
• Facilitate access to
• Make decisions mission staff • Can assist in technical • Help navigation of
about funding. through country- components of program alliance formation
specific desk officers.
• Support the
• Develop tools for
partner. • Collect/share best
• Support and
manage project • Manage global
USAID, Rebecca Acuna
• Enforce robust impact measurement to enhance the a clear understanding of the next steps.You should also
business and development case for continued and expanded be sure to identify your primary point of contact as the
What to Take to USAID on Your partnership discussion moves forward.
• Support communications efforts of companies and
First Visit recognize company contributions through public events.
DeFine shareD partnership objectives
• An understanding of your business objectives, • Facilitate opportunities for the replication, expansion, and Ideally, you will have determined your internal objectives
expectations, and potential constraints. continued funding of successful projects. for the potential partnership ahead of discussions with
• An identified country or region and/or issue area. USAID. Share these objectives with your USAID contact
• An estimated contribution amount. INITIAL CoNTACT and work together to find the commonalities between
Initial contact with USAID can be used to discuss your priorities.
• A basic explanation of company internal
engagement strategy, potential alliance concepts, focus
processes as they relate to a partnership.
countries, and partners. USAID staff can help provide USAID objectives will determine how much money is
• A basic understanding of USAID mission strategic insight into Washington, regional, and local priorities, and available. All USAID bureaus are subject to their current
objectives (posted on mission websites).
can assist in finding the best intersections between the funding strategy (determined every two to five years).
agency’s work and yours. These strategies dictate which issue areas will be funded.
Example Preliminary Questions: If an issue area is not allocated funding at a mission, or
* Contact with USAID can begin through a the funding allocation has already been dispersed, you
1. What countries or issue areas do you suggest given number of actors:
our focus? may not be able to implement your desired project in
• USAID mission: If you have identified potential focus partnership with that mission.
2. Can we join an existing project? countries and program objectives, start with the Regional
3. Is our chosen issue a high a priority? Alliance Builder in your target region. The majority of Another option is to join an existing project on a
4. What implications might this have for our budget?
budget allocation occurs at the local level, so it makes sense relevant issue area that already has funding allocated
to start here if possible. Most country and regional missions funding (See “seek opportunities to join an existing
5. How would you describe success for programs like have a designated “Alliance Builder” or GDA point of USAID program,” page 19). Missions often allocate
these? What are the main challenges? contact that can help with partnership building. See significant funding to strategic multiyear initiatives. It is
Appendix C, pg. 26, for contact details.
often the case that implementers have some flexibility
• Implementing partner: If you have identified an on program activities, and significant private-sector cost
implementing partner, this partner can facilitate your sharing is a strong motivator for engagement. Talk to the
introduction to USAID at the local level, and often at the
mission in the region you have identified to see if these
Washington level as well.
• USAID Washington division or bureau: GDA
and technical bureaus (see Table 2, pg. 21) can help you Before you get to the conversation stage, research
think through potential engagement areas and can facilitate what the priorities are and where by browsing mission,
contact with missions. If your initial meeting is in regional bureau, and technical bureau websites. See
Washington, request that both ODP/PSA and a Appendix C, pg. 26 for details.
representative from the relevant technical bureau
participate. This will ensure that you hear both perspectives,
and will help prevent the need for additional meetings in
At the conclusion of your first meeting, you should have
TABLe 3: ALLIANCe FUNDING MeCHANISMS
Alliance Process Pros Cons
DeTerMINe FUNDING Mechanism
USAID funding is dispersed through Existing USAID Private sector • USAID has already approved • Project activities may
Program contributes funding or funding, so process is fast. be largely predetermined,
either a grant or a contract and can potentially limiting the
(“Embed”) in-kind resources for an • Existing project
be allocated to both nonprofit and strategic linkage to
existing USAID program. infrastructure.
for-profit organizations, although company objectives.
• Likely to see quicker results.
the process is generally considered
easier for nonprofits. Grants and • Relinquish programmatic
Gift Authority Private sector donates • Easy financial approval
contracts are awarded based on money to USAID, process. and administrative control.
a competitive process. The most earmarking it for a • You can specify where you • Legal requirements and
relevant processes below. specified purpose, want money to go (issue reviews can be time
country and issue area. or geographic areas, or into
existing programs). • Could limit opportunity to
SoLIDIFY THe ALLIANCe: USAID directs spend directly participate in
THe MeMorANDUM oF down as specified by • Simplify internal accounting project activities.
donor. processes by treating like • No option to change use
UNDerSTANDING (MoU) traditional donation. of funds over time.
Once an alliance is accepted or
awarded, a formal MOU is drafted Application via Implementer or private • Satisfies required • Potential that control over
with USAID and reviewed by the Annual Program sector donor submits competitive bid process. objectives and activities
In order application for funding to will be limited.
company for approval. The MOU Statement (APS) • Flexible level of involvement
of shortest USAID mission. by company. • Implementing partner
sets out shared objectives, roles cannot make profit on
and responsibilities, governance to longest Usually follows a parallel • Opportunity for high level proposed activities.
timeframe funding structure: USAID of engagement in program
structure, implementation details, design, objectives, and activities. • Less technical direction and
and company both fund
and intended funding levels. The the implementer.
control over implementers
• Limited logistical burden. once grant is awarded.
MOU also includes legal details,
such as the validity period of the Joint Solicitation USAID and company • Opportunity to choose • Lengthy and potentially
MOU and the terms of revising the (RFA or RFP) create a joint solicitation implementer from a group complex and highly
document. for applications based on of applicants based on their regulated process.
shared objectives. capacity and project idea. • High logistical burden.
The MOU is not a legally binding Full participation of • High level of input and • Significant advance planning
company in applicant engagement in the design
document but serves to solidify review process.
and direction of project.
and clearly define alliances between
Parallel funding structure
USAID and company partners. The as above.
MOU must be approved by the legal
department of the company and of Collaboration USAID funds company • Private sector retains • Extremely long process.
Agreement to do development program and administrative • High logistical burden.
work; for example, • Not a commonly used
Starbucks implements a • Fewer regulatory
requirements than a mechanism at USAID.
program to help farmers traditional award. • Legal requirements
in Rwanda make higher • Joint planning and and reviews can be time
quality coffee. strategic design. consuming to process.
aPPendix a: definitions and aBBreviations
Alliance company that defines shared objectives and goals, roles Resource Partner
A one to one public private partnership between USAID and responsibilities, implementation details (including A public or private sector organization that contributes
and a private resource partner (including companies, funding levels, decision-making processes, governance resources (cash or in kind) to a partnership.
foundations, membership organizations). A USAID structure, reporting requirements, and intended
alliance strives to create a win win win situation where evaluation mechanisms), and legal details (including Sustainability
strategic business and development objectives are the MOU’s validity period and any terms for revision). Broadly, sustainability refers to the endurance of
pursued concurrently to achieve sustainable impact. MOUs can also outline branding requirements and a project or endeavor over time. In reference to
public relations plans. Implementing partners or local development initiatives, including environmental projects,
Alliance Builders governments can be included on the MOU. this guide uses the term “sustainability” to refer to
USAID staff with specific skills or responsibilities to help the lasting impact of activities, their contribution to
companies build alliances with USAID. Alliance Builders Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) economic development within a country or region, or
work in the Office of Development Partners at USAID Organizations that are independent of government, the ability of local actors to maintain activities after
headquarters in Washington, D.C., in technical bureaus sometimes referred to as civil society organizations. donor funding ends. From a business perspective,
throughout the agency, and in regional and country NGOs can be for-profit or nonprofit, and often work “sustainability” can also refer to the long-term viability of
missions globally. Some Alliance Builders’ work full time on issues related to social change or advocacy. In this markets, supply chains, products, and activities. This guide
to build alliances, while others work on partnerships in guide, the term “NGO” is used predominantly to seeks to demonstrate how commitment to this kind
addition to other responsibilities. describe organizations that receive funds from USAID to of sustainability can help realize both development and
implement activities. business objectives.
Annual Program Statement (APS)
The Annual Program Statement is a broad solicitation Office of Development Partnerships/ United States Agency for International
issued by ODP/PSA (see below) on behalf of USAID Private-Sector Alliances Division (ODP/PSA) Development (USAID)
missions and operating units through which NGOs and ODP/PSA is the USAID department tasked with An independent agency that provides economic,
their corporate partners can apply for grant funding for supporting the creation and management of development, and humanitarian assistance around the
partnerships. public-private partnerships in the GDA model. ODP/ world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United
PSA has a service staff based in Washington, D.C., and States. For more information about USAID and its
Global Development Alliance (GDA) manages a network of alliance builders (see above) that programs around the world, visit www.usaid.gov.
The Global Development Alliance is USAID’s are focused on specific regions.
market-based business model for partnerships between USAID Mission
the public and private sector to address jointly defined Request for Application/Request for USAID has field-based offices (missions) at the country
objectives. Alliances are co designed, co funded, and Proposals (RFA / RFP) and regional level around the world. USAID missions are
co managed by partners so that the risks, responsibilities, An invitation for implementing partners to submit an frequently housed within U.S. embassies or consulates.
and rewards of partnership are equally shared. application or a proposal to USAID for project funding.
Such invitations are explicitly tied to USAID mission USAID Washington Operating Units (WOU)
Implementing Partner or bureau strategy, and when an RFA or RFP is issued, Washington Operating Units are USAID departments
An organization, for profit or nonprofit, that receives the agency has already set aside funds for the costs of based at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C.
funding from USAID and its partners to implement the anticipated activities. Applications lead to contracts on Regional Bureaus house country desk officers, regional
activities associated with an alliance. which an implementer can realize a profit. Proposals technical experts, and program support staff that liaise
lead to grants on which an implementer cannot realize a regularly with missions. Technical bureaus include Global
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) profit. Health; Economic Growth, Agriculture, Trade; and
A non-legally binding agreement between USAID and a Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.
aPPendix B: Usaid PartnersHiP worksHeet
This worksheet serves as a summary of the guide’s managed: through which department, through • Build flexibility into your program model and timeline.
contents, with key points to remember and useful headquarters or regional or local offices, and what type • Join existing programs. See if the issue you are con
questions to ask yourself and potential partners. of skills would be required to manage the partnership cerned about is already one that is being addressed
within your company. by a USAID mission or potential partner.
1. Find the intersections between your • Link internal company planning processes to partner
business and development. 3. Find shared priorities. ship objectives, and work with potential partners to
build shared objectives into their planning processes.
Based on your identified business challenge Given your identified priorities and
or opportunity, identify your priorities. Think objectives, try to find the overlap with areas 5. Navigate the logistics.
about: of priority investment for USAID (see Table Remember that all partnerships are people driven.
1, page 13): Finding a champion at USAID or an implementing
• Supply chain stability. partner organization will help push you through the
• Social license to operate. • Agricultural supply chains. logistics more smoothly.
• New market development. • Disaster response and humanitarian assistance.
• New customer outreach. • Education and workforce training. Roles and responsibilities of different USAID
• Product differentiation. • Energy efficiency, conservation, water management. offices and locations differ. Be sure you go to
• Workforce development. • Market access and business enabling environments. the right people with the right questions (see
• Community investment. • Rule of law and transparent governance. Table 2, page 21 ):
• Worker and community health.
2. Determine an investment strategy to • Country and regional missions.
address the problem through partnership. Take your list of priorities to your first conversation with • Regional bureau (Washington Operating Unit).
Identify your objectives: What do you want to achieve? USAID to identify the intersections. • Technical bureau (Washington Operating Unit).
• Office of Development Partnerships/Private-Sector
Identify how those objective overlap with development 4. Identify success factors for making it happen. Alliances (aka GDA).
priorities as above. What relationships do you need to build to make the
partnership succeed? There are many different funding
Determine how much money would be mechanisms for partnership initiatives with
required and where it might come from: Where is the money for the partnership coming from on USAID (see Table 3, page 23):
the government side, the local level or the Washington,
• Corporate foundation D.C., level? This is where you should target the majority • Co-fund existing USAID program (“embed”).
• Philanthropy budget of your engagement. • Gift authority.
• CSR and corporate affairs (also public relations, • Application via annual program statement (APS).
government affairs, community engagement) Think about how to incorporate the • Joint solicitation for proposals or applications (RFA/RFP).
• Supply chain management (also ethical sourcing, following success factors into your plan for • Collaboration agreement.
human rights, compliance) partnership:
• Local business units or subsidiaries
• Product and business development departments (also • Build strategic relationships.
product development, emerging markets) • Drive local ownership of project activities.
• Start activities on a small scale, even if the vision is
Think about how the partnership would best be for something bigger.
aPPendix C: Usaid Private seCtor ContaCt list
Office of Development Partnerships/Private Sector Alliances (also known as Global Development Alliance (GDA)
This contact list is relevant as of January 1, 2010.
Senior Coordinator Scott Schirmer +1 202 712 4989 email@example.com
Please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_part- Deputy Division Chief Jerry O’Brien +1 202 712 4455 jo’firstname.lastname@example.org
nerships/gda/ for updated contact details. GDA Staff Dr. Rockfeler Herisse +1 202 712 4229 email@example.com
GDA Staff Todd Kirkbride +1 202 712 1747 firstname.lastname@example.org
GDA Staff Avery Ouellette +1 202 712 1702 email@example.com
GDA Staff Rob Schneider +1 202 712 1763 firstname.lastname@example.org
GDA Staff Dr. James Small +1 202 712 5286 email@example.com
GDA Staff Gail Spence +1 202 712 1311 firstname.lastname@example.org
GDA Staff Michelle Wu +1 202 712 1582 email@example.com
Africa/East Regional Alliance Builder Michael Kibinge + 254 20 8622000 Ext. 2850 firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa/West Regional Alliance Builder Jonathan Petko + 233 21 741489 email@example.com
Europe and Eurasia Regional Alliance Builder Nancy Wildfeir-Field + 361 475 4994 Nwildfeirfirstname.lastname@example.org
Central America Regional Alliance Builder Gerardo Tablas + 503 2501 3469 email@example.com
Office of Middle East Regional Alliance Builder Dave Besch + 2 (0)2 2522 6845 firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Development Regional Alliance Builder Michael Silberman + 662 263 7448 mSilberman@usaid.gov
Country Level Mission USAID Mission Directory: http://www.usaid.gov/locations/missiondirectory.html
USAID Technical Bureaus
Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/economic_growth_and_trade/
Global Health http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/
Legislative and Public Affairs http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/democracy_and_governance/
Regional USAID Bureaus
Eastern Europe and Eurasia http://www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/
Latin America and the Caribbean http://www.usaid.gov/locations/latin_america_caribbean/
Middle East http://www.usaid.gov/locations/middle_east/
USAID stockvault Rainforest Alliance AFP
U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20523
Tel: (202) 712-0000
Fax: (202) 216-3524