Degree Name

MS in Management

First Advisor

Aqeel Tirmizi


Coined as Country-Led Development, President Barack Obama’s administration, through USAID, has put a priority on shifting the development approach. The administration is now focusing on directly funding local institutions to assume ownership of their development needs, as opposed to the traditional model where funding is given to international institutions to assist and work with LOs. The organization examined in this research is one such international institution that thrives on the traditional model.

The topic addresses a critical component about the way in which USAID allocates funding by soliciting bids to organizations seeking funds. USAID determines a suitable candidate through a competitive process in which proposals submitted by organizations are reviewed. In an attempt to push funding into the hands of local organizations (LOs), solicitations are incrementally requiring LOs to act as the primary lead on the proposal while demanding international non-governmental organizations to provide support as the sub-prime partner; an effort to stage capacity building efforts at the program’s inception. As this approach causes organizations to realign business models and reprioritize efforts, successes and challenges are inevitable while ushering development into a new era.

Not explicitly stated in the solicitation, both parties understand that the power shift necessitates capacity building measures. Using a case study approach, a small purposeful sample of individuals from Management Sciences for Health, and a few select local partners were interviewed. The purpose was to reflect on experiences during select proposal development processes. The outcomes identified lessons learned (e.g., critical need for holistic approach, beginning at the relationship’s inception), common strengths (e.g. the combined skills and resources), and where additional support is needed (e.g., continual nurturing of the relationship).


International and Intercultural Communication | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Social Influence and Political Communication