Date(s) - 16/11/2017
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


The Center for International Private Enterprise

1211 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC

It is widely recognized that civil society plays an important role in improving the economy, health, and security around the world. Yet, only four of the 70 countries included in USAID’s Civil Society Organization (CSO) Sustainability Index have civil society sectors that ​were deemed financially sustainable.

Donors have traditionally focused civil society support on short-term objectives, with concerns for sustainability addressed only at a project’s end. Rarely is CSO sustainability part of the initial design. Can development partners strengthen local organizations to be financially independent and mission-driven, especially in a time of shrinking donor funding?  

Fortunately, some CSOs have succeeded in breaking the donor dependency cycle. Using a range of examples from village polytechnics in Kenya to healthcare associations in Afghanistan and rural utility providers in the Philippines, we will examine how they did it and how we can use these lessons to influence how development projects should be designed and how they should engage local CSOs differently.

  • Richard C. O’Sullivan, Principal, Change Management Solutions
  • Shannon N. Green, Senior Fellow, Human Rights Initiative, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
  • Maryanne Yerkes, Senior Civil Society and Youth Advisor, Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, USAID
  • Lars Benson, Regional Director, Africa, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) (discussion moderator)
See CIPE website for speaker bios. RSVP here!