USAID’s localworks program promotes locally-owned and led development by connecting local resources to local actors. It aims to pilot approaches and methods to strengthen local systems and networks, testing the theory that increasingly capable networks of local actors can own and lead development. Under the Local Systems Practice (LSP) three-year activity (2017 – 2020), LINC leads a consortium of five organizations to directly assist United States Agency for International Development (USAID) missions and local actors with using systems-based approaches to address complex development challenges. These approaches will foster a deeper understanding of the overall system; the local constituents, their priorities and relationships within the system; and how a development activity or intervention changes the system over time. Go to project page.
LINC and a consortium of partners are breaking new ground in the USAID Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) Learning Partnership, a $15.3 million activity being implemented from 2016 to 2021. The partnership seeks to generate and apply evidence on how systems approaches can improve the sustainability of WASH programs. This activity tests new ideas, approaches, and tools to overcome barriers for improving WASH service sustainability in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Go to project page.
Youth under 24 years of age comprise 42% of Kosovo’s population. Youth unemployment is high, with 52% of youth without jobs and 30% of the economy informal. Brimming with ambition and the desire to fully integrate into the global economy while frustrated with the opportunities available to them, youth will play a key role in determining both the political and economic future of Kosovo. The USAID-funded Kosovo Up To Youth project works with Kosovo’s youth aged 16-24 that are vulnerable to social exclusion, mobilizing and empowering them to effect positive change. The project targets marginalized youth, particularly those under-served by current and past youth-focused initiatives grappling with unaddressed stress and trauma, or vulnerable to developing risky behaviors. Taking a “Positive Youth Development” lens, the program works to build the assets and agency of youth, enabling youth to contribute to and play leadership roles in their communities, build and support networks and an enabling environment for positive youth development. Go to project page.
The Transforming Market Systems (TMS) project in Honduras is a seven-year activity to foster competitive, resilient, and inclusive market systems that provide increased economic opportunities for poor and marginalized populations who are often excluded – or even exploited – by traditional market systems. Working on sub-contract to ACDI / VOCA, LINC leads TMS’s systems thinking and capacity development components. Our work actively engages local businesses, associations and individuals, harvesting their ideas and perspectives, training, networking, and mobilizing resources for more inclusive market development. Go to project page.
The Strategic Program for Analyzing Complexity and Evaluating Systems (SPACES MERL) project is an activity funded by USAID’s Global Development Lab and the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) as part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations Program (MERLIN). This three-year activity leverages a suite of systems analytical tools and methodologies, including Social Network Analysis, systems mapping, modelling and qualitative approaches. The activity is being implemented from 2015 to 2018 by a consortium of organizations with expertise in systems and complexity, including the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University (Prime), Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), LINC and Resilient Africa Network (RAN). Go to project page.
LINC initiated its partnership with national NGO Fondo Unido Mexico (FUM) in 2014 to support efforts to increase the management capacity of the local organizations it partners with throughout Mexico. Our partnership was scaled-up in 2015 with the support of USAID/Mexico, launching the three-year Local Capacity Development Activity (LCDA). LCDA is dedicated to strengthening the local capacity of Mexican Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to more effectively serve and advocate for their constituents. LCDA addresses systemic constraints to improving local CSO capacity by creating a locally-managed, locally-resourced capacity building program. Go to project page.
In March 2017, LINC kicked off Facilitating Financial Sustainability (FFS), a three-year research and testing initiative under the USAID localworks program. FFS will support local “Action Learning Groups” to develop and activate strategies and practices for civil society organizations (CSOs) and donors to improve financially sustainability and reduce dependence on international donors. Bringing together LINC, Peace Direct, and the Foundation Center, the FFS team began by conducting an in-depth research project to identify the most effective strategies for CSOs and donors to catalyze financially sustainable practices. This research serves as the basis for the creation of Action Learning Groups (ALGs) in Uganda, DRC, and Colombia to analyze and act on their situation compared to the strategies and factors identified through the research. The combined research and on-the-ground testing will be synthesized into a toolkit for donors and CSOs to use to develop strategies to facilitate improved financial sustainability. Go to project page.
LINC is working with Mercy Corps on the five-year, DFID-funded IMAGINE project in Eastern DR Congo, leading a five-year M&E component tracking social capital and accountability for public utility service provision among local actors engaged by the project. LINC’s network analysis methodology is being leveraged to facilitate an understanding of formal and informal networks for collaborating, resolving issues and influencing decisions related to water and sanitation service provision. A baseline was completed in the municipalities of Goma and Bukavu in 2016 to inform design, and follow-up endline in 2019 to assess program impact. Go to project page.
Selected Past Projects
In Nicaragua, 65% of the unemployed are under 30. Services provided by training institutions, employment agencies, and other workforce development actors are only weakly aligned with the demands of employers and job-seekers, and there is little apparent collaboration among them. This provided the scope for LINC’s Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) tool to assess existing relationships, and identify opportunities for youth workforce development network strengthening as part of the USAID-sponsored “Workforce Connections” Community of Practice. Go to project page.
LINC was engaged from 2014-2015 by Adeso (Africa Development Solutions, formerly Horn Relief), a rapidly expanding Africa-based international development and humanitarian NGO. Driven by the goal to sustain and grow this dynamic, mission-driven organization within the current competitive market, LINC assisted Adeso to undertake a comprehensive review of its opportunities and operating environment, and refining its strategy for achieving long-term impact and attracting new and diverse funding sources. Adeso partnered with LINC to support and facilitate an organization-wide process to identify and preserve its core strengths while improving program quality and back-office efficiencies, keeping in mind the specific and changing needs of the entire organization, including field offices. Read more.