Though a seemingly lackluster topic in title, on Wednesday, November 10, a training proved that Procurement Reform at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is anything but. This Monday marked the kick-off of a two-week training for our Local Capacity Development Teams. These teams are composed of various USAID mission staff to lead the effort in implementing capacity reform on the ground. They are here to kick-off the pilot program as part of “USAID Forward”, the Agency’s change management agenda.
Procurement reform is one of seven priority areas in the USAID Forward agenda, and a recommendation from President Obama’s Faith/Neighborhood Advisory Council. It is intended to make it easier for non-governmental organizations to do business with USAID by increasing competition, strengthening the capacity of local organizations, and expanding partnerships with a larger number of NGOs. To fulfill these goals, USAID is deploying Local Capacity Development Teams in five pilot countries – South Africa, Peru, Philippines, Egypt and Kenya.
Earlier today I led a training session for the Local Capacity Development Teams on engaging religious actors and communities as a way to increase local capacity. After sharing insights from our office and the ways in which are here to provide support, I was struck with four key sentiments in the crowd.
Ari Alexander is the Deputy Director at the Center for Faith-based & Community Initiatives and the Coordinator of Global Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development.