ACDI/VOCA’s partnerships with the private sector promote nutrition and food security, enhance income generation, support gender equality and social inclusion, and address environmental sustainability challenges in communities around the world. In order to create these transformative partnerships, ACDI/VOCA developed an initial suite of tools:

  • Partner Identification & Engagement
  • Co-Creation with the Private Sector
  • Conducting a Due Diligence on the Private Sector
  • Developing Meaningful Milestones
  • Partnership Health Assessment
  • Conducting Partner Exit Interviews

Please reach out to Mark Sevier for additional information on the tools.

Catalyzing Localization Through Adaptive Partnerships

To facilitate the transformational changes we seek through our systems approach, we need to be more adaptive in how we partner. The Operational Guidance to Working With And Through Local Partners Across the Partnership Cycle equips the practitioner to identify, design, and manage local partnerships that allow us to work at the speed of our partners.

Partner Identification & Engagement

Identifying diverse partners is key to strengthening connections to market systems. This includes incorporating an MSD lens into the identification of private sector companies and the design of partnerships in order to understand the capacity to effect systemic change. The Partnership Identification and Engagement Tool equips practitioners with “tips and tricks” for identifying, assessing incentives, and mapping market actors to create a shared understanding of who and what stage to engage with.

Co-Creation with the Private Sector

Co-creation is “a design approach that brings people together to collectively produce a mutually valued outcome, using a participatory process that assumes some degree of shared power and decision-making.”  ACDI/VOCA’s Co-creation tool allows us to go beyond knowledge sharing or learning from various stakeholders and move toward interactive and ongoing engagement with those who are affected by or are well-positioned to address an issue. Through using this tool, implementing development partners will be well equipped with tips and tricks to more effectively collaborate with key partners, creating transformational partnerships by leveraging the capacities and incentives of a portfolio of actors.

Conducting a Due Diligence on the Private Sector

Due diligence is critical to understanding the incentives and capacities for a firm to engage with ACDI/VOCA. Through using this tool, development partners will be equipped with the knowledge to ensure that the firm has internal structures and capabilities to successfully carry out the proposed partnership activities, and to help ACDI/VOCA identify any reputational risks that may arise from the proposed collaboration. This is a key part to making sure we understand each other’s approaches and incentives for engagement.

Developing Meaningful Milestones

The development of meaningful milestones results in benefits for the donor and the private sector by establishing clear expectations with clearly negotiated results, milestone deadlines, and means of verification for each milestone.  The milestones development tools will allow development partners to understand best practices in milestone development and means of verification, allowing for flexibility for the project and firm to respond to challenges and achieve their overall goals, while also lowering donor risk as payments are tied to the achievement of mutually agreed-upon outcomes.

Partnership Health Assessment

Healthy relationships are essential for effective collaborations with the private sector. Strong relationship health leads to collaborations that are more likely to exceed expectations in their progression toward agreed-upon outcomes, and that can better navigate the inevitable challenges that arise in these types of collaborations and can lead to transformational partnerships. The Partnership Health tool and accompanying user guide is intended to develop the capacity of development practitioners to understand what areas to focus on to develop healthier relationships, ongoing practices that support relationship health, as well as provide a framework/tool for capturing the resources, behaviors, and relationship health factors that lead to partnership success.

Conducting Partner Exit Interviews

As the partner approaches the end of its partnership agreement, an exit interview will help  ACDI/VOCA staff and the partner assess and understand how the activity’s funding and other assistance supported the partner in reaching both development and business goals; and what elements of the partnership the partner will continue to do and/or invest in going forward. This will also help inform ACDI/VOCA’s ability to adapt future activities as a means of creating more transformational partnerships.