ACDI/VOCA is proud to celebrate 60 years of operating in global development. Since our founding on July 12, 1963, we’ve been mobilizing volunteers, promoting farming cooperatives, strengthening market systems, mitigating climate change, supporting food security, and more. It’s been a long road, with many advances and achievements. And, although we still have a long road to travel toward our mission of achieving better lives for communities through economic prosperity and social inclusion, we are energized and inspired by all the progress and impact we have made in our history.

Over the decades, we have achieved significant milestones and evolved as an organization — even founding several affiliate organizations, including Tanager, AV Ventures, and Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latin America. This year, we’re celebrating the highlights of ACDI/VOCA’s 60-year history operating in more than 150 countries. Check out our major milestones below:

The 60s:

1963: ACDI is founded to spread the U.S. farming cooperative model to other countries (Photo: Armenia)

The 70s:

1970: U.S. co-op leaders found the Volunteer Development Corps, VOCA’s predecessor 

1971: Mobilizes first VOCA volunteers (Photo: Lesotho)

The 80s:

1983: Implements its first development activities designed for women (Photo: Honduras)

1986: VOCA pilots USAID’s new Farmer-to-Farmer Program 

1989: VOCA receives the Presidential End Hunger Award from Former President George H. Bush (Photo by White House; United States)

The 90s:

1992: ACDI and VOCA help privatize over 1,600 rural co-op banks in Poland 

1993: ACDI establishes affiliate organization Agribusiness Systems International, now Tanager (Photo: India)

1995: ACDI helps draft Hungary’s first farm bill  

1996: Assists 25,000 Ethiopian co-ops in paying dividends to members for first time  

1996: ACDI and VOCA merge to become what is now ACDI/VOCA

1997: Helps form largest national farmer association in Malawi (Photo: Malawi)

1998: Helps draft grain storage and trade laws in Bulgaria  

The 2000s:

2000: Helps establish the Russian rural credit system  

2002: Launches SUCCESS Alliance for cocoa development with the World Cocoa Foundation and Mars, Inc., to train over 185,000 farmers in five countries (Photo: Ecuador)

2003​: Called “premier agricultural development NGO in the world” by USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios (Photo: Tanzania)

2004: Leads development of USAID’s value chain approach to economic growth with poverty reduction  

2005: Helps Ethiopian co-op produce Starbucks Black Apron Exclusives™ coffee (Photo: Ethiopia)

2008: “This is the one program that is in fact working in Iraq. No one disputes it,” said Congressman Christopher Shays, speaking about the USAID-funded Community Action Program, led by ACDI/VOCA from 2003 to 2012. (Photo: Iraq)

The 2010s:

Beans are picked in the pod, dried in the sun, beaten from the bod, and ultimately sorted. Five haitian farmers beat the beans on Arnauld Jean Baptistes farm in Morne-a-Bruler, Haiti.

2010: Responds with short- and long-term assistance to Haiti after major earthquake (Photo: Haiti)

2012: ACDI/VOCA’s signature tool Sell More For More™ receives Best Practices and Innovations Award from InterAction and International Fund for Agricultural Development (Photo: Ghana)

2012: Former President Barack Obama praises ACDI/VOCA’s work with Afro-Colombians (Photo by White House; Colombia)

2013: Completes 11,000th volunteer assignment (Photo: Armenia)

2013: Joins the Better Cash Alliance and commits to transforming payments from cash to electronic 

2013: Selected by USAID to lead milestone project Leveraging Economic Opportunities, fostering inclusive growth through markets (Photo: Nepal)

2015: Former President Barak Obama praises ACDI/VOCA’s work in Ethiopia “With just a few smart interventions, a little bit of help, [Ethiopian farmers] can make huge improvements in their overall yields.” (Photo: Ethiopia)

2016: Launches for-profit subsidiary AV Ventures to promote impact investing  

2018: Launches Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latin America as nonprofit regional entity based in Bogotá (Photo: Colombia)

The 2020s: 

(Yam G-Jun/ USAID)

2020: AV Ventures launches impact investing funds in Central Asia and Northern Kenya (Photo: The Kyrgyz Republic)

2020: Responds to COVID-19 crisis and promotes awareness of the disproportionate impact on women and girls (Photo: Bangladesh) 

2021: Former ACDI/VOCA Tanzanian staff create the NGO NAFAKA Kilimo and begin working with affiliate Tanager on gender- and nutrition-sensitive approaches (Photo: Tanzania)

2021: Celebrates 50years of mobilizing volunteers (Photo: Tajikistan)

2022: Signs the Pledge for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development and joins the Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED) as a first endorser and core member (Photo: Colombia)

2022: Commits to United Nations Global Compact and its principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption