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Spotlight On: Transitioning Local Organizations to Self-Sufficiency

Transitioning Local Organizations to Self-Sufficiency

As a provider of technical assistance (TA), Abt recognizes that the measure of our success ultimately is the ability of TA recipients to operate on their own. Sustained improvements in health, education, economic status, and other areas over the long-term are likely when TA recipients can independently, effectively, and sustainably plan, finance, perform, and monitor the functions needed to carry out their mission.

Abt provides TA across a range of local organizations and institutions with the goal of building their self-sufficiency by ensuring that they have the capacity and leadership necessary to operate on their own. In this way, we help create a strong foundation for long-lasting improvements in people’s health and well-being around the world and work to end reliance on external technical or financial support.



Abt employs a comprehensive approach to transitioning organizations from being TA dependent to self-sufficient. We view TA recipients as partners, creating a shared vision of what self-sufficiency looks like in our partner’s context. We then employ a full suite of tools and interventions to identify and address capacity gaps or other challenges. We also apply change management principles to help increase the commitment of leadership and staff at our partner organizations to this new vision and way of doing business. We have applied this approach to a wide range of sectors, including health, agriculture, education, and economic development. Key elements of our approach include:

  • Working hand-in-hand with TA recipients to co-identify an overarching vision for their future, to understand where they are now, and to build a map that uses tailored, evidence-based “best fit” solutions to bridge the two.

  • Using a data-informed, iterative approach to understanding and strengthening an organization’s capacity across multiple aspects, including technical, administrative, leadership, management, and financial.

  • Applying change management principles to help organizations build effective, innovative, and resilient leadership; engage with stakeholders; accelerate momentum; and address barriers to change within their organizations.

  • Recognizing contextual factors that can influence the organization’s transition to self-sufficiency; they can range from existing policies and regulations to the landscape and political economy among external stakeholders to the availability of external resources and systems.

relevant expertise

Relevant Expertise

Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS)
Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Building on more than 20 years of experience leading USAID’s flagship health systems strengthening projects, Abt is the prime implementer of the global Local Health Systems Sustainability Project  It supports local country health system efforts to move toward self-reliance. Under previous iterations, Abt has supported public sector agencies and nonprofits as they mobilize and manage financial and human resources, set policies and strategic visions for the health system, and create visions for sustaining their health sector programs. For example, the predecessor Health Finance and Governance Project helped the Ministry of Health’s HIV/AIDS program in Burundi strengthen its internal capacities and transition to become a prime recipient of funding from the Global Fund.

sustaining health outcomes

Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus
Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID’s flagship global health private sector health project, SHOPS Plus, supports private sector health organization efforts to improve their technical efficiency and financial sustainability. TA recipients include social marketing organizations, social enterprises, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The project provides financial investments and TA to help organizations adopt new business practices, use data to improve their technical efficiency, and improve their leadership, management, and administrative functions. For example, in the Dominican Republic, the project supports NGOs that have traditionally been funded by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief as they adopt new commercially oriented business models. This work includes improving management and administrative practices, implementing new revenue generating activities, and reorienting themselves toward more sustainable financing sources.

senegal health

Senegal Health Systems Strengthening Plus (HSS+) and Government Technical Assistance (GoTAP) Projects
Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Through these two projects, Abt is supporting the Government of Senegal as it moves along the pathway to a self-sufficient health system. HSS+ supports USAID’s direct health financing in Senegal’s six regions. HSS+ also is working to strengthen community engagement in health care and to provide an enabling environment for universal health coverage. GoTAP supports USAID and the Senegal Ministry of Health (MOH) in providing analytic, management, and logistic support services that enable the MOH to accelerate and sustain health gains with the help of government-to-government funding.

west africa trade

West Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Client: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

The West Africa Trade and Investment Hub bridged skills and investment gaps for West African firms in agriculture and apparel so that they could meet key quality requirements. The project trained more than 11,000 West Africans to improve product quality, financial management, and marketing approaches while convincing buyers and financial lenders to be first movers in emerging West African industries. The Trade Hub supported three private sector alliances, helping them improve their capacity and manage partnerships that sought to create sustainable platforms for economic growth and investments in target sectors.

Contact Us

Caroline Quijada

Principal Associate
International Development
Rockville, MD
(301) 347-5106 (O)

Sean Callahan

International Development
Rockville, MD
(301) 347-5908 (O)

Shipra Srihari

International Development
Cambridge, MA
(617) 520-3919 (O)

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