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Developing a Strategy to Engage Private Sector in Rwanda

Published 02/22/2016 by Global Communities

Developing a Strategy to Engage Private Sector in Rwanda

Marcela Valverde, Visiting International Professional in Rwanda, June-July 2015

Working with vulnerable populations in Rwanda, Global Communities gained considerable experience in building public-private partnerships (PPPs) to address the issues confronting the community and government institutions already functioning in that country. Building on these experiences, under the Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations (ISVP) Program, funded by USAID through PEPFAR, Global Communities focuses on further improvements and strengthening of services to vulnerable populations using PPPs as a vehicle for broader involvement in meeting these needs.

To achieve this result the ISVP team started looking strategically at what needed to be done. Several steps had to be undertaken. A broader ISVP strategy for public-private partnerships (or PPPs) needed to be developed, as well as support system built to implement such strategy. Also, capacity of the ISVP staff needed to be expanded since understanding the ramifications of potential partnerships, both legal and practical, are crucial for their future success. And, apart from internal actions, a series of stakeholder meetings needed to be organized to explore opportunities for PPPs, to identify and assess potential partnership opportunities and to select priority areas of engagement.

To help with these tasks Global Communities-Rwanda engaged a volunteer, Marcela Valverde, to serve as Public Private Partnership (PPP) Coordinator in June and July 2015. A student of the University of Texas at Dallas (B.S., Global Business Graduating December 2016) Marcela used her previous experience of working on a Dallas-based not-for-profit Akola Project dedicated to empowering women to fundraise for that project and to promote sales of handicrafts created by women in Uganda.

As Volunteer PPP Coordinator Marcela worked with ISVP team to draft a practical PPP Guideline covering issues ranging from different types of partnerships to potential benefits and risks and how to manage them, identifying partner interests, reaching out strategies, and ways to communicate to ensure the relationship is successful and beneficial to all involved. The guide also included a list of do’s and don’t’s to help ISVP staff in reaching out to potential local partners for the duration of ISVP program.

For Marcela, this was also a great learning experience.  Said Marcela: “As a volunteer for Global Communities, I worked with and learned from a wonderful team that went beyond anything I could acquire from a professor in an academic setting. I learned that it was important to gather a variety of experiences, view points, and knowledge from the ISVP team in order to build the PPP strategy.”