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Community Contribution

Tripling Reach & Scope of Civil Society Advancement in Ethiopia Using CLA Approach

Shumet Chanie, Danica Gebru

Using integrated CLA approaches, The Kaizen Company (Kaizen) brought an innovative methodology to a traditional capacity development project in Ethiopia. The Local Capacity Development (LCD) project is a five-year (2014-2019) USAID/Ethiopia-funded activity implemented by Kaizen to strengthen the organizational capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ethiopia. The original scope of the project focused on addressing the immediate challenges of USAID/Ethiopia in managing 28 direct awards to Local Implementing Partners (LIPs). These LIPs struggled to comply with USAID’s management requirements while trying to achieve development impact. During the two-year base period, LIPs’ average capacity scores increased by 48%, unlocking additional USAID resources for locally-led and implemented development solutions. LCD used continuous learning and adaptive management approaches to build upon initial successes and streamline operations, resulting in the opportunity to increase the scale of the project without needing additional resources than  originally planned. In collaboration with USAID/Ethiopia staff across multiple offices, beneficiaries, and other international implementers and donors, LCD conducted a scenario planning exercise to present multiple options to USAID/Ethiopia to choose the approach that most aligned their needs with those of beneficiaries, thereby maximizing the value of LCD’s services. Ultimately, LCD tripled its reach from 28 to 111 LIPs with no budget increase and broadened the project’s scope to better align with USAID’s overall goal of enhancing Ethiopian civil society.

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