Cross-Fertilizing Organic Growth: Improving USAID Implementing Partner Engagement
There is a symmetry in the design of USAID portfolios for each respective implementing partner (IP) to understand services that can be provided to program participants. This design is to provide an organic framework of collaboration and support external collaboration and cross-fertilization across IPs. This organic linkage often does not happen because the requirements for each IP to implement their own programs are often prioritized due to time constraints. However, over the last four years, the USAID Tanzania Economic Growth (USAID EG) portfolio embraced and fostered an inclusive environment through pause and reflect sessions that have resulted in an aligned Feed the Future (FtF) portfolio. Their work proves how projects fit together like pieces of a puzzle to optimize the use of mission resources that assist all program participants on their Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR).
Additionally, ACDI/VOCA and Fintrac benefited from expanding our partnership following the USAID EG initiative. Our two programs, NAFAKA (ACDI/VOCA) and Mboga Na Matunda (MnM, Fintract), are the two Tanzanian flagship agricultural programs and following these discussions identified new areas of collaboration to expand agricultural services to Tanzanian horticulture and cereal farmers.
The case study also describes how following a USAID EG pause and reflect session the implementing partners set aside time and ensured their field staff began using collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) principles to leverage other program activities and design joint events. The learning which occurred across the portfolio both assisted in expanding access to resources to program participants, but also provided the initial outline on how to communicate with each other prior to and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.