By cooperating with USAID, Sida wants to contribute to more innovations that benefit people living in poverty. One example is a method that allows the cultivation of pumpkins on previous waste lands in Bangladesh. The method was developed by the organization Practical Actions.
Photo: Nazmul Chowdhury
Partnership with the United States Agency for International Development USAID
Sida has entered into a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the goal to accelerate the eradication of extreme poverty in the world. The parties have decided to jointly stimulate innovative and scientifically tested solutions and also engage more investors for these solutions to reach out broadly to people living in poverty.
Sida has long collaborated with USAID, and in 2013 the strategic partnership was formalized. Key concepts for the collaboration are science, technology, innovation and partnership. The partnership is part of Sida's efforts to strengthen collaboration with other development actors, to employ new methods and to find new funding for development projects.
The long term goal of the collaboration is to use scientifically proven products or models to solve development problems, often designed using modern technology.
This is done through four joint challenge funds where contractors or other parties can seek support for innovations that can stimulate solutions for people living in poverty.
By engaging more partners, especially investors who dare investing in these products, solutions can reach out to a broader market and thus reach millions of people in developing countries. The investors may be companies or philanthropists such as the Gates Foundation.
Examples of solutions
A number of innovative solutions have been selected through the challenge fund Powering Agriculture. One example is a solar-powered water pump that will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 250 kilos per 1 000 square meters of irrigated land, compared to fuel-driven pumps. The solar-powered pump has the potential to reach 800 million farmers that are far away from the nearest well and are using buckets to water their crops.
Another example of an innovative solution comes from the challenge fund Securing Water for Food. The innovation makes farming possible in flood prone areas. Efficient use of water and new farming techniques help local farmers to cultivate nutritious pumpkins on what was previously waste lands.
Other initiatives in cooperation with USAID
In addition to the challenge funds there are also a smaller number of joint projects within the framework of the Sida-USAID partnership.
- LGBT Global Development Partnership: Strengthening the rights of homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
- Civil Society Innovation Initiative: Strengthening civil society.
- Global Resilience Partnership: Resilience.
The collaboration also includes an ongoing dialogue about the initiative Power Africa as well as initiatives dealing with institutional capital in development cooperation.