The International Faith-Based and Community Initiative: Growing Food Aid PartnershipsCreating and Sustaining Successful Partnerships David Evans Vice President, Government Resources and Programs and Director, Washington DC Office Food for the Hungry, Inc.
Food for the Hungry (FH) Food Aid Programs • First grant in 1983 – Title II food aid in Bolivia • USAID PL 480 Title II Programs: Bolivia, Kenya, Mozambique, Congo (emergency program), Rwanda (sub-grant under WV), and Ethiopia (lead agency with ORDA as sub-recipient). • USDA Food for Progress program in Bolivia. • Title II: Integrated Approach in Agricultural Production and Marketing and Maternal Child Health and Nutrition
Positioning your organization for food aid funding • In Partnership or Solo? USAID Title II has proven difficult to break into solo. USDA appears to be easier in this regard. • Consider a sub-recipient role first. Propose an attractive package to a lead partner that is a good organizational fit for you. • Play to your strengths: geographical presence, partnerships and relationships with local CBOs, niche technical capacity, programmatic strength, private funding match, etc. • A few factors that make for successful partnerships: • 1) Complementarity (I need what you have and you need what I have), • 2) Clear, non-overlapping roles and responsibilities for each organization, • 3) Fulfill your commitments (under promise and over deliver), • 4) Be very clear and detailed about funding, budgeting, and financial reporting (detailed sub-award agreements), • 5) Mutual respect, and • 6) Mechanism for mediating and resolving conflicts.
The Importance of CBOs • One of the key strengths of US-based FBOs working in food security is our ability to partner with and mobilize large numbers of local CBOs (including churches). This is very attractive to PEPFAR donors. USAID Title II guidance cites importance of FBOs/CBOs. Example of Federation of Churches in Marsabit, Kenya. • If you bring 1000 local churches to the table, you create significant leverage for yourselves. The caveat is that these CBOs need to have a certain level of existing organization and experience.
Next Steps • Do your homework. Who is conducting food aid programs (USAID and USDA) in the countries that you have a competitive advantage in? How could you add value to their program? What about USAID and USDA priority countries? Which ones should you target based on comparative strengths? Are there niche areas that you could develop or strengthen that would be attractive to successful lead agencies? • Look for small opportunities that arise that would help you to break into food aid (example of the recent Breedlove grants). • If you’ve tried many times unsuccessfully to enter into a partnership in a food aid program, consider submitting a proposal on your own. • Alternatively, consider offering a substantial private funding match to a potential lead as a way of “paying” for the right to gain experience.