Better, Faster, Stronger

Shannon Green and Daniel Runde at the Center for Strategic and International Studies highlighted in their most recent commentary the argument to keep United States Agency for International Development (USAID) outside of the U.S. State Department. Green and Runde look for lessons from the consolidation of the U.S. Information Agency under the Department of State and prophesy that if USAID suffers the same fate the resulting loss of expertise, knowledge, and priorities would hurt development efforts just as they hurt public diplomacy. USAID has the structure and capacity to engage with partners from other sectors and to allow innovators to bring sustainable market solutions to fruition – while creating value for the United States. But, with the Trump Administration proposing a 30% cut to diplomacy and development budgets there needs to be a concerted effort on USAID’s part to show why they’re special. It’s not easy, but now more than ever development experts should look to multi-stakeholder collaboratives as sources of vision, funding, and action. By bringing in partners across sectors USAID can create more resilient development initiatives that highlight the unique skills and functions of an autonomous development agency.

How can development experts both inside and outside of USAID help make the case for keeping USAID separate from State? First, look to examples and lessons learned from the ongoing and past projects that the agency and partners around the world have helped lead . They can arm themselves with tools and knowledge, like our open-source Collaboration Canvas Toolkit and the Partnership Engagement System. And finally, for those looking for a deep-dive into the world of partnership, there’s CollaborateUp Academy. The Academy is a crash-course in collaboration which arms change-makers with the skills and know-how to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. This summer, you and your colleagues can attend the Academy on July 25-26th, and prepare yourself to face a budget-constrained world with innovation, collaboration, and lasting impact. 

By Richard Crespin, CEO of CollaborateUp

Title image by Gary J. Wood

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The course actually aids with more than just collaboration - it helps drive thinking into issue clarification, meeting handling and setting up, communicating with stakeholders. I loved it! - CollaborateUp Academy Participant
The course was great! Great value and great insights into collaborating with various partners in multiple situations. It really change my thought process and how I view situations with our clients and stakeholders. - CollaborateUp Academy Participant
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