The United States marked the completion of its five-year Local Capacity Development project that invested in helping over 100 local organizations improve their performance and enhance the Ethiopian civil society sector. Through this project, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided training to strengthen financial and project management capacity to help Ethiopian institutions improve the quality of services they provide to their communities, and contribute to the country's democratic reforms.
Over the past five years, Ethiopian civil society organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, and private enterprises completing Local Capacity Development training demonstrated an increase in their capacity to manage projects, mobilize resources more transparently, and deliver services more effectively. As a result, participating organizations won 246 grants worth a combined 616 million Ethiopian birr to implement various projects, such as helping families access clean water and training birth attendants to ensure babies are born in a safe environment.
Closing out the event, USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed encouraged representatives from civil society organizations to expand their roles in Ethiopia's socio-economic development. "As your development partner, USAID will continue to build on existing partnerships and seek new partnerships being made possible by the opening of space for greater involvement of civil society organizations and the media in driving development and democratic reforms," said Reed.
The United States has invested approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia over the past five years to help people across the country lead healthier and more prosperous lives. The USAID Local Capacity Development project was implemented by The Kaizen Company, a U.S.-based small business, in partnership with Target Consulting PLC, a local consulting firm that provided the financial expertise.