The Rainforest Alliance, funded by USAID as part of the New Partnerships Initiative, leverages local partnerships to help women in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico develop leadership skills and access economic opportunities. Learn how the project tapped into local partners’ expertise to find success in new ways despite recent challenges.
Intimidation. Violence. Hacking. These are among the threats Indonesian journalists face just to do their jobs. Although Indonesia has made impressive gains in political freedom in the last two decades, an apparent backsliding of democracy in recent years threatens that progress. USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) responded by creating Media Empowerment for Democratic Integrity and Accountability (MEDIA), a project to strengthen Indonesia’s free press including through partnerships with seven local organizations.
South Sudan, a nation founded in 2011 following a destructive civil war, is a challenging place for international development organizations and partners to work. Threats to the safety of foreign development workers are widespread, making implementation of projects extremely difficult. In this context, programming through local organizations, who are embedded in communities, and therefore can operate less conspicuously, is almost a necessity. So when the South Sudan Mission needed to acquire data about the quality of services being provided to people living with HIV/AIDS around South Sudan, these circumstances, combined with a Mission team that was open-minded about finding the right mechanism for achieving the Agency’s objectives, created the conditions for a first-of-its-kind direct contract award to a local organization in South Sudan.
The narrow streets and sky blue doors and windows of Morocco’s crumbling mellahs, or Jewish quarters, contain a treasure trove of history. But when this history was at risk of being lost, two new USAID partners—Rabat-based Association Mimouna and New York-based American Sephardi Federation (ASF)—co-created a project, supported under USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative (NPI), to train residents of the mellahs to share the history of their neighborhoods as tour guides and through the sale of Judaica-focused handicrafts and traditional food, giving residents an economic lifeline while preserving an important dimension of Morocco’s diverse past.
With its dramatic, peaked mountains and palm-lined shores, Saint Lucia—a small island in the Caribbean—attracts more than 1 million tourists every year to vacation on its picture-perfect beaches. Despite the strength of its tourism sector, overall unemployment in Saint Lucia is high at around 17 percent in 2020, and youth unemployment stands at 36 percent, according to the World Bank. To address this challenge and better prepare youth for the modern-day workforce, the government of Saint Lucia teamed up with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); World Education, Inc.; and subawardees Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and Tuskegee University, a historically Black university based in Alabama, to ask youth how they should solve it.
If there’s one word to describe the Beth Nahrain Organization for Women (BNOW), it is “resilient.” BNOW, a local nongovernmental organization formed in 2002 that works to empower women in Iraqi society, has endured decades of conflict and upheaval. In 2014, it faced an even heavier blow—the organization was displaced from its locations in Qaraqosh, Bartella, and Mosul due to the invasion by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which threatened religious and ethnic minorities like the BNOW team and the populations they served. BNOW was fractured, and members were in survival mode—not at all in a position to address long-term organizational capacity needs.
“Welcome to the dream,” says Dr. Reda Abouserie of the U.S. organization 21st Century Partnership for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education (21PSTEM), as he reflects on his decade-long vision to bring high-quality STEM education to Egypt.
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