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Community Contribution

Funding and Support for Local Partners: Restructuring Grand Challenge

Erin Williams & Shelly Hartman Sunyak

All Children Reading: Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) leveraged the collaborative learning and adapting (CLA) approach to listen to awardees, understand barriers to accessing funding and successful implementation, and adapt to support their success. In 2020, ACR GCD initiated a CLA Strategy that enabled ACR awardees and Partners to collaborate and share knowledge and experiences more openly. It also supported them in adapting their designs or implementation approaches based on ongoing learning or changing circumstances. Over nearly 11 years, ACR GCD solicited 1200+ applications for approximately $24 million in funding. However, until 2023, less than half of these applications came from organizations in developing countries, and none were from local Disabled Persons Organizations (DPO), despite ACR GCD’s explicit focus on children with disabilities.  

This case study illustrates how ACR GCD used CLA to leverage its mechanism and put into practice USAID’s commitment to localization and enacted it with awardees in Malawi and the Philippines.      

Through trial and error, ACR GCD found solutions that increased the number of DPO applicants and their chances of receiving funding from ACR GCD

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