Through USAID’s Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS), Making Cents is collaborating with RTI International to expand women and youth’s role in the local agriculture economy. The KCDMS team recently awarded grants to over 50 local women- and youth-led businesses and farmer associations that are reshaping their communities by putting women and youth at the forefront of agricultural activities. Their role, along with other KCDMS activities, has helped over 100,000 Kenyan women and youth increase their participation in agriculture. Additionally, the team has supported 18,000 women in reaching financial services to further their investment in agrobusiness through the revitalization and strengthening of Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
The USAID-funded Agribusiness Competitiveness Activity in Tajikistan (ACAT) is currently underway. Winrock International, with a team that includes Making Cents International, uses a market-driven, private sector-led approach to reach ACAT’s goal of improving the competitiveness of Tajikistan’s agribusiness enterprises, leading to increased economic development, employment, and livelihoods. Making Cents focuses on increasing women and youth’s meaningful participation in ACAT activities.
To that end, Making Cents recently conducted an inclusion audit of select ACAT grantees to better understand the pathways towards increasing women and youth’s inclusion within leading agribusiness companies. For this inclusion audit, we interviewed directors/CEOs and employees from 13 organizations, including dekhan or family farms; micro, small, and medium enterprises; commercial cooperatives; and other value chain actors. We also are working with ACAT partners to develop and implement a strategy to help women producers of kurat, a local fermented milk product, reach national and regional markets. In addition, we continue to review the status of loan disbursements to women and youth and anticipate piloting a youth internship program with ACAT’s financial institution partners in the summer of 2021.
Making Cents International, with its joint venture partner Development Professionals, Inc., has been awarded two task orders under the Analytical Services IV IDIQ to support USAID’s Center for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG).
The first, LACLEARN Task Order, is a four-year project aiming to improve USAID’s DRG work in LAC. The scope of work includes conducting assessments of impunity around gender-based violence in LAC; analyzing trends in democratic norms and values; and developing and disseminating visual, operational information products relevant to DRG and citizen security programming in the LAC region. The rapid response component will support USAID/LAC with analytical services by identifying and recruiting experts for analytical tasks, selecting partner organizations for grants supporting technical activities, and facilitating a collaborative and interactive process of scenario planning and transition deployment planning.
The second awarded task order, Analytic Task on Authoritarian Resurgence and Influence (ATARI), will develop and pilot a new diagnostic tool for assessing resurgent authoritarian influence (RAI) in USAID partner countries and work collaboratively with USAID Missions and select stakeholders to formulate effective responses. The diagnostic tool will support qualitative and quantitative research capable of assessing a country’s relative exposure to foreign influence and related vulnerability of its democratic institutions and principles.
We look forward to continuing our work with USAID/DCHA/DRG Center through these important projects.
Making Cents International is excited to be part of the team awarded the USAID-funded Ukraine National Identity Through Youth (UNITY) Activity. Led by IREX, this five-year activity is designed to foster vested ownership among the Ukrainian youth in their country’s democratic, European future by further mobilizing youth leadership of a values-based conception of Ukrainian identity grounded in innovation, engagement, and pluralism. To that end, UNITY will expand economic opportunities for youth through youth innovation, entrepreneurship, and career preparedness; broaden young people’s engagement in civic and community problem solving; support youth in driving pluralism and respect for diversity; and inform youth policy and programming.
Making Cents will support youth entrepreneurship through training, seed funding, and competitions and will lead private sector engagement activities aimed at increased youth employment. We will also undertake research and learning on youth-related data and build research capabilities of youth and youth-serving organizations engaged in the project.
We look forward to mobilizing Ukraine’s young leaders and entrepreneurs and to supporting IREX and USAID in this important endeavor.
We are excited to announce the award of the USAID EVAL ME II – Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Services IDIQ to Making Cents. This five-year IDIQ from USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning, with multiple holders and a total ceiling of $655 million, is aimed at strengthening USAID’s evidence-based decision making by providing high-quality and timely MEL services. These services will include designing and implementing quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies and assessments; conducting evaluation syntheses or synthetic reviews; providing technical assistance in performance monitoring; providing monitoring services, developing and delivering evaluation and monitoring training; supporting the agency in learning from evidence to adapt programming; and supporting implementation of knowledge management practices and services.
We are honored that this award recognizes the high-quality work Making Cents has been producing for the Agency under our other MEL projects, and we look forward to continuing to support USAID’s MEL efforts around the world.
Making Cents International is pleased to announce the award of USAID’s Strengthening Approaches for Collective Action to Address Gender-Based Violence (SACAA-GBV) Task Order, a new two-year project awarded to our joint venture with Development Professionals Inc. under the Analytical Services IV IDIQ.
The objective of SACAA-GBV Task Order is to strengthen the gender-based violence portfolio across the Agency through the development of strategic plans, research, training, and professional networking support. This Task Order directly contributes to USAID’s goal of promoting a path to self-reliance and resilience in developing countries by addressing gender-based violence (GBV), a cross-sectoral issue that inhibits inclusive economic growth, better health outcomes, democratic and stable societies, gender equality between men and women, and women’s empowerment.
We are excited to work on this important project as part of our continuing partnership with USAID.
In a typical year, our community convenes in the fall at the Global Youth Economic Opportunities (GYEO) Summit to share best practices and develop new ones. However, the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and our community requires a different approach. To adjust to this “new normal,” between now and September we will convene a series of five online engagements using a variety of formats with the GYEO Summit community and partners focused on how to “re-imagine” economic opportunity for youth in light of the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Watch the first installment of the series.
We congratulate our YouthPower Learning team for a job well done! For five years, the team made significant strides in deepening a shared understanding of positive youth development (PYD) within USAID and the broader development community. YouthPower Learning contributed a wealth of tools and resources and aggregated and disseminated a robust body of evidence and knowledge on PYD. Additionally, the project built a sense of community among youth practitioners around the globe through communities of practice, learning grants, and a PYD learning agenda, demonstrating the power of sharing collective knowledge and high-quality, accessible learnings. We continue to build on this work through our new YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation activity. Read the project’s final report.
As we navigate the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are all forced to become flexible in our ability to adjust to the ever-changing situation that affects all parts of our lives. Nimble by design, Making Cents International continues to deliver high-quality service to our clients remotely—from Kenya and eSwatini to Tajikistan and Ukraine—while making adaptations to ensure the safety of the people we serve, our clients, and our team when remote work is not possible.
Making Cents International was selected by DFID to design and deliver a Consultation Event on Education in Conflict and Protracted Crisis in New York City. The purpose of the event is to provide an introduction to DFID’s upcoming research program on education in emergencies and protracted crisis and serve as a venue for an open discussion on education in areas of conflict or crisis. Learn more.
Making Cents International was awarded the Support Which Implements Fast Transition 5-Long-Term Technical Assistance to Support OTI Program Operations (SWIFT-Support) IDIQ by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). The SWIFT-Support IDIQ will operate alongside SWIFT-Programs IDIQ to provide OTI with the means to support U.S. foreign policy objectives by catalyzing local initiatives to advance stability, peace, and democracy in response to complex political crises. The combined ceiling for both IDIQs is $2.5 billion over five years.
Through SWIFT-Support Task Orders, Making Cents will recruit and deploy long-term technical assistance to support OTI program operations and will provide support to program-funded USAID personnel. We are pleased to have FHI 360 as our subcontractor on this IDIQ.
All of us at Making Cents are very excited about this new partnership with OTI and the opportunity to expand our USAID project portfolio focused on advancing democracy around the world.
We are pleased to announce that Making Cents International, in a joint venture with Development Professionals, Inc., has been awarded the two-year USAID DCHA/DRG Center’s DRG Assessments Task Order under the Analytical Services IV IDIQ. The purpose of the task order is to provide USAID Missions and Bureaus with analytical services and products to inform the strategic planning, design, and implementation of DRG programs and to ensure that DRG strategies, programs, and activities are based on in-depth, well-informed analyses; valid data; and best practices in the field of democracy, human rights, and governance.
We look forward to serving the DRG Center in this important role!
Making Cents International is proud to announce that we have been awarded USAID’s Youth Power 2: Learning and Evaluation (YP2LE) contract! This new award from the E3 Bureau’s Office of Education, with three base years and two one-year options, will build on our success promoting cross-sectoral positive youth development (PYD) through USAID’s YouthPower Learning project since 2015. As the YP2LE implementer, we will support USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance by piecing together a puzzle of global PYD evidence building, stakeholder engagement, knowledge transfer, and application of learning to develop high-quality, impactful, and sustainable youth programs to achieve systems change. We look forward to working on this important project with our YP2LE consortium members Mathematica, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), NORC at the University of Chicago, FHI 360, Premise Data, The Cloudburst Group, Restless Development, Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), University of Washington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Melbourne, Cinecons, and YouthAlive Uganda. Stay tuned for updates on the many exciting activities we have planned for the YouthPower and PYD community!
We are honored to announce that Making Cents will receive the Distinguished Partner Award in Global Service from Atlas Corps, Inc. at their Fall Celebration on October 10. This award is given to partners held in high regard for their contributions to Atlas Corps, their commitment to the Atlas Fellows, and their passion for global service.
Making Cents has been an Atlas Corp partner since 2016. Atlas Corp connects young change makers with organizations working in the social sector for 12-18 months. The organizations benefit from having young leaders on their team to provide new perspectives, and the fellows are given insight into how leading organizations implement activities that promote change around the globe. To date, four Atlas Fellows have joined the Making Cents team working on the YouthLead.org platform.
Our work on the USAID-funded YouthPower Learning project has accelerated this summer as we have conducted a new set of assessments that are meant to bring greater understanding to the needs and aspirations of youth around the world.
Through the YouthPower buy-in mechanism, USAID missions in Armenia, Rwanda, and Somalia commissioned cross-sectoral assessments of youth to better understand young people’s needs and inform future USAID programming. The assessments will be used by the missions to design programs that better motivate youth and knock down existing barriers to full social, economic, and political participation.