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Community Contribution

Collaboration in Wartime: Delivering Generators to Hospitals in Ukraine

Allen Tullos, Megan Tingley, and Ryan Kilpatrick
CLA Case Competition Blue Finalist Ribbon

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and attacks on Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure left many health care facilities (HCFs) without power throughout the 2022-2023 winter. To address this, the USAID Energy Security Project (ESP) and USAID Health Reform Support (HRS) used the CLA approaches of External Collaboration and Adaptive Management to procure and deliver generators to HCFs throughout Ukraine. This was a new experience for both ESP and HRS, neither of which had worked together on an activity of this complexity: collaborating with national and subnational counterparts to urgently deliver life-saving generators in an active conflict zone across eight regions. The two implementing partners (IPs) navigated a complex security environment while bridging differences between each organization’s internal processes.

During implementation, both IPs were adjusting to dynamic conditions – they made judgment calls based on imperfect information and shifting timelines, and learned valuable lessons in external collaboration and adaptive management. ESP and HRS quickly adapted to respond to emerging challenges as they arose, particularly regarding the scope and delineation of responsibilities, communications, and technical expertise. Throughout the process, ESP and HRS developed new processes to address these challenges and collaborate more effectively over time.

As a result of their collaboration, ESP and HRS delivered generators to 34 hospitals in eight regions in Ukraine, which safeguarded access to critical health care services for approximately 12.6 million civilians. This effort taught ESP and HRS key lessons when collaborating with external stakeholders, including the importance of clearly delineating responsibilities between IPs, streamlining communications, and ensuring that each stakeholder understood the complete process flow. These lessons learned will help inform ESP and HRS’ future work in support of Ukraine in both the war and post-war contexts.

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