The United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, is determined to diversify its partner base to help countries on their journey to self-reliance, a key goal of U.S. development efforts. Under its New Partnerships Initiative, USAID is focused on increasing and sustaining relationships with new or underutilized partners, especially those who are locally established.
One such group of partners is faith-based organizations, said USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick:
“The faith community is well positioned in so many countries to serve the local population. Fundamental to all religions is the caring for others; so it’s part of their religious mission to begin with. But they also frequently in developing countries, are the closest to the local populations in need. And so they’re a ready-made network for us to be able to do our work to help local communities advance.”
Deputy Administrator Glick said that under the New Partnerships Initiative, USAID is establishing different forms of contracting and grant-making for groups that for the past several years were “not really invited to engage in USAID programs:”
“It’s a way that these smaller, often faith-based organizations can engage with USAID without having to put together a 400 page proposal. Instead, they can submit to us ideas, concept papers that are three pages long about what their ideas [are] to have an impact in the communities in which they serve.”
Six local organizations in Northern Iraq were recently selected as part of the New Partnerships Initiative. The grants will be used to help religious and ethnic minorities targeted by ISIS.
USAID Deputy Administrator Glick said it is very important for diverse organizations, including small, local faith-based groups around the world, to know that the United States is eager to support them in their efforts to lift up communities in need.