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Lasting Impact: 5 Ways Dexis has Strengthened USAID’s Private Sector Engagements

Lasting Impact: 5 Ways Dexis has Strengthened USAID’s Private Sector Engagements

Since 2010, Dexis has supported USAID’s Center for Transformational Partnerships (CTP) in its mission to build partnerships with the private sector to develop innovative, cost-effective strategies that generate long-term results for the developing world and the American people.

Through its contract with CTP, Dexis has played a critical role in increasing the Agency’s private sector engagement (PSE) capacity through data analyses and research, training and advisory services support, internal and external communications, and managing the Devex Impact partnership.

As CTP’s communication experts, data analysts and training specialists, Dexis has developed a suite of tools, processes and knowledge products that have impacted the way USAID views and does partnerships and private sector engagement.

Here are the five accomplishments of which Dexis is most proud:

1. We led USAID’s most comprehensive public-private partnerships data collection and analysis to date. Since 2001, USAID has collected information about its partnerships with the private sector from around the world. And, since 2013, Dexis has aggregated, fact-checked, analyzed, and shared this data with the Agency and the public. Thanks to Dexis-led data analysis and dissemination, through bureau tours and brownbag events to share partnership data insights within the Agency, the number of offices that report partnerships data nearly doubled between FY14 and FY16, from 44 to 71 operating units.

Today, USAID’s partnerships data, available publically at the Development Data Library, is the most accurate it has ever been. Dexis has led comprehensive outreach and engagement with points of contact throughout the Agency’s Missions, Bureaus and Offices, leading to clear and transparent data collection. In FY16, Dexis collected data on more than 690 public-private partnerships. And since each partnership has 87 data points, that is no small task! Thanks to Dexis, USAID now has Agency-wide, regional, and sector analyses for internal use, as well as infographics and blogs for the public.

This partnerships data helps USAID better understand how businesses, governments, and nonprofits are collaborating to solve development challenges and allows for additional analysis and insights into partnership trends and opportunities.

2. We helped to convene a robust PSE community of nearly 1,200 USAID staff.  A main pillar of CTP’s work is serving USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Offices in their private sector engagement activities through tools and resources, technical assistance, and analysis and assessment services. Dexis used its communication expertise to expand the PSE community of practice within the Agency. Since 2014, the PSE community of practice has grown from 800 to more than 1,200 USAID staff that receive monthly email updates, partnership highlights, examples and news through quarterly conference calls and regular reminders of the tools and resources available. Additionally, Dexis has supported 27 trainings in 18 countries since 2014, through the production of materials and logistical support, which resulted in nearly 600 USAID staff developing partnerships knowledge and expertise.

3. We increased USAID’s online presence through our #USAIDPartners social media campaign. In September 2016, Dexis launched the #USAIDPartners social media campaign. Dexis led the creation and the implementation of the campaign, which aimed to showcase the work USAID does with traditional and non-traditional partners, including the private sector, universities, nonprofits, diaspora organizations and others. Dexis engaged various parts of the Agency to get buy-in, gather content and support widespread adoption of the campaign.

These efforts resulted in the hashtag being used more than 1,125 times by more than 475 unique authors on Twitter, reaching a potential 12 million social media users. The campaign resulted in a 72 percent increase in views of USAID’s partnerships webpage over the course of the campaign and generated greater awareness of USAID’s private sector engagement.

4. Our communications and event planning expertise solidified USAID’s role as a partnerships thought leader. To further promote PSE, Dexis has produced multiple reports and blogs that highlight the Agency’s partnerships work, including the first-ever externally-facing publication to feature USAID’s partnership work, Partnering to Impact: USAID and the Private Sector (first published in 2015 and updated in 2017). Additional publications have included: Global Challenges, Local Actors: The Global Goals and USAID’s In-Country Private Sector Partners (2016), USAID and Diaspora: Partners in Development (2016), the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week and Global Partnerships Week blog series and our latest report, USAID Partners: Private Sector Engagement (2017).

Dexis has positioned USAID as a thought leader in the partnerships space through large public events, such as the 2014 and 2015 Global Diaspora Week launch events, the 2016 Diasporas in Development Forum, the annual Global Partnerships Week launch event, as well as article and op-ed publications, and multiple speaking opportunities at key global events, such as the African Philanthropy Forum, the InterAction Forum, the Concordia Annual Summit, the Social Capital Markets Conference and more.  

5. We published nearly 900 articles and videos through Devex Impact. In October 2012, Devex and USAID launched Devex Impact, an online platform created to meet a growing need to acknowledge, report on, and build a community around the increasing role of the private sector in international development. As an online resource for practitioners working in this space, Devex Impact bridged an information gap for companies, donors, recipient governments, implementers, NGOs, and other professionals.Dexis supported the partnership by providing reporters to cover content, and a relationship manager to work with Devex and USAID.

Over the four-year partnership, the team published nearly 900 articles and videos on Devex Impact, with contributions from partnership and additional Devex reporters, as well as government and industry thought leaders. The team engaged its audience by covering practical information, as well as new and innovative trends in private sector engagement—from Uber’s vision of sustainable transport, to explaining niche topics such as blockchain technology. Devex Impact also reached its audience through social media, growing its Twitter following to more than 5,000 by the end of 2016. For more information on how that relationship was built, maintained and sustained- check back next month!

Dexis has been a proud partner of USAID’s Center for Transformational Partnerships—a relationship that has lasted through changes in staffing, moves between Bureaus, new Administrators and priorities, and Dexis’ own growth over the past several years. As partnerships with the private sector have become even more critical to the goal of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies, Dexis’ impact extends beyond this contract—we have enhanced the Agency’s awareness of and capacity for private sector engagement.