EXPLORING OUR IMPACT
Year by year, our efforts and partnerships around the world produce results in four impact areas. These areas align with 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Click below to explore some examples of our long-term impact in these areas and snapshots of our impact in 2022.
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EXPANDED ECONOMIC WELL-BEING
For 25 years, ACDI/VOCA and our affiliates have operated in Central Asia — first providing humanitarian assistance and now witnessing sustainable market-led growth in the region.
We began implementing programs funded by USAID and USDA in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to help launch microfinance institutions. Our affiliates’ combined loan portfolio was $6.3 million.
With USAID funding, we set up four associations that still operate today and founded Frontiers, a wholesale lender based in Kyrgyzstan. Soon, agricultural finance institutions began to grow under local ownership funded by loans and investments. By the 2010s, Central Asia’s microfinance sector graduated from donor-funded to market-led solutions. Our affiliates’ loan portfolio grew to $275 million.
The scaling up of the non-banking investment sector started to take off. We launched the Central Asia Impact Fund, managed by our affiliate AV Ventures, with the goal of financing the “missing middle” of enterprises either too large to secure microfinancing or too small to secure commercial investment. These efforts began in Kyrgyzstan with the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project, which ACDI/VOCA implemented and leveraged to launch the Fund. During its life, the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project leveraged $75 million of private capital investments for business expansion and created more than 25,000 new jobs. At the same time, our affiliates’ combined loan portfolio passed $600 million.
Looking ahead, we aim to continue our 25-year trajectory in Central Asia by seeking new partners in AV Ventures-managed funds, growing our assets under management, and supporting the competitiveness of the microfinance sector.
INCREASED EQUITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
COLOMBIA: OUR IMPACT OVER TIME
Previous decades of conflict divided Colombian communities, but a 2016 peace deal ushered in the hope for social and economic reconciliation. ACDI/VOCA has seen how removing economic obstacles and bringing communities together has fostered greater inclusion of Colombia’s marginalized groups.
Our work in Colombia began with support for farming cooperatives in the 1970s and 1980s. As the security situation improved, in 2002, we began implementing the USAID-funded Specialty Coffee Program. This program provided critical assistance to coffee producers and created a viable alternative to illegal coca and poppy production. By 2007, nearly 7,400 families with small farms received support, and 86 percent of coffee growers saw an increase in production volume, helping make the transition to licit and inclusive economies.
In 2011, the ACDI/VOCA-led Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program was the first standalone USAID-funded program with the sole purpose of increasing the socioeconomic and political inclusion of Afro-Colombian and indigenous persons. The progress made through this program continued with others implemented by ACDI/VOCA, including the USAID-funded Program of Alliances for Reconciliation, Youth Resilience Activity, and Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Colombian Empowerment Activity.
In 2018, ACDI/VOCA founded Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latin America (FAVLA), based in Bogotá, Colombia, to advise private sector companies on promoting greater social inclusion in the region. In 2022, FAVLA implemented 22 projects for 12 public and private sector partners. These projects reached 183 Colombian municipalities and six Central American countries, strengthening relationships between communities and partners for more inclusive and sustainable development.
Looking ahead, we’ll continue to address harmful social norms and behaviors and champion local ownership and leadership.
RESILIENCE OF PEOPLE AND PLANET
For nearly 50 years, we have worked alongside Kenyan partners, especially in Northern Kenya, a region facing exceptional challenges due to its remoteness and arid climate. In that time, Northern Kenya has undergone a transformation. ACDI/VOCA and our affiliates have helped revitalize the livestock sector, build marketplaces, improve drought management, and more.
In the early 2000s, we supported smallholder farmers growing staple crops. From 2002 to 2012, households we supported increased their incomes by 22.8 percent. We helped Kenyan and other African regional organizations build their capacity to scale up and reduce poverty through agriculture. We also teamed up with our affiliate Tanager to solve the problem of deadly aflatoxins that grow on crops through proper storage and the design of an affordable crop drying device called the EasyDry M500.
ACDI/VOCA constructed 20 new livestock markets, set up associations to manage them, and supported 36 businesses with $2.6 million in grants that spurred $15.5 million in incremental sales and 150 new jobs.
We implement the USAID-funded Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity to improve the livestock sector and resilience of communities in East Africa. Along with our affiliate AV Ventures, we also implement USAID Kuza, a program that provides financial support to Kenyan businesses and has created 14,000 jobs, partly through the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund. This fund is a fully sustainable wholesale financing vehicle managed by AV Venture that lends capital to financial institutions for on-lending to businesses. Meanwhile, our affiliate Tanager implements the Impacting Gender & Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE) mechanism, helping a network of Kenyan institutions integrate a gender and nutrition focus into their businesses.
Looking ahead, we’ll continue to work with local partners on market-led approaches and impact investing to build more resilient communities in Northern Kenya.
ENHANCED AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY
INDIA: OUR IMPACT OVER TIME
Major progress has been made toward sustainable food security in India. ACDI/VOCA and Tanager have supported this journey in India, beginning in the 1960s and continuing to present day.
The organization that later evolved into ACDI/VOCA helped found a cooperative called the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) with USAID support. Today, IFFCO is one of the largest fertilizer businesses in India. While its five plants offer products to 600,000 rural villages, IFFCO also supports initiatives for soil rejuvenation and holistic growth of smallholder farmers.
We implemented USAID’s first enterprise development program in India in 2004, during which time we developed a value chain approach we still apply today. (The progression of this approach opened doors to more evolved concepts, such as market systems development, of which ACDI/VOCA is a leader in the sector.)
In 2009, as India’s struggles with food insecurity and poverty remained unsolved, our affiliate Tanager supported vegetable farmers in India through a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project raised incomes by 111 percent for more than 25,000 people, with women and men experiencing similar levels of increase. Crop yields increased by 40 percent for most crops with a resultant 43 percent decrease in post-harvest losses, creating great levels of food security. This project led to future collaborations of Tanager with market leaders such as Walmart, Mars Wrigley Confectionary, Symrise, and others.
Looking ahead, Tanager aims to expand its partners to include top organizations like Bayer, PepsiCo, and others as well as leverage its relationship with AV Ventures to attract impact investment and improve food security levels in India.