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USAID/Jordan Health Office's Joint Work Plan: Driving Portfolio-Wide Coordination

Nicholas Kaufman

Finalist RibbonJordan is a small yet highly pressurized country under strain from a mounting Syrian refugee and humanitarian crisis. Jordan now hosts the world’s fifth-largest refugee population. In response to this situation, USAID Jordan’s Office of Population and Family Health (PFH) has dramatically expanded and realigned its program over the past 1.5 years to respond to these new challenges, expanding from just one family planning activity to a comprehensive sector-wide program that focuses on the resilience of Jordan’s health system. Managing this rapidly growing portfolio posed a challenge; in response, the PFH team developed and implemented a creative new management system based on the principles of the "Three C's": Coordination, Cooperation, and Collaboration. We implemented this new system over the past year, leading our partners—Abt Associates, Chemonics, and Palladium—through a collaborative process to map out areas where they needed to coordinate, increase impact through collaboration, and  co-implement critical interventions in ways that accelerated progress across the health sector. Our new management approach crystallized through a portfolio-wide annual joint work plan, submitted jointly from all implementing  partners (IPs) to USAID, with milestones and specific activities planned for joint implementation over the next fiscal year (FY17). We followed up with quarterly health IP meetings and monthly joint chief of party (COP) meetings with the PFH team. By prioritizing coordination and cooperation, and establishing a creative new management structure and systems designed to achieve those goals, the USAID/Jordan PFH Office has created a profound paradigm shift in how our IPs relate to USAID and to each other, catalyzed an unprecedented level of coordination among the IPs, and unified the portfolio into a clearly-focused integrated program. Moreover, establishing our portfolio-level joint work plan triggered a broader cultural shift within the USAID/Jordan PFH IP community, creating a more open and trusting environment where IPs now feel comfortable sharing and implementing innovative ideas.

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