In 2011, the Ayala Foundation was chosen to implement the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Strengthening the Capacity of Philippine Civil Society Organizations Project, a 40-month initiative in line with USAID Forward’s objective to improve aid effectiveness by increasingly going local.
The project, according to Chief of Party Marissa Camacho, “could not have come at a better time.” The role of partnerships has been a main focus of the administration of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who has emphasized the potential of expanding civil society collaborations.
The Strengthening the Capacity of Philippine CSOs Project itself is a reflection of this increased cooperation. The project is being implemented with various consortia and networks of CSOs: the Association of Foundations, Caucus of Development NGO Networks, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Council for NGO Certification and the University of the Philippines’ National College of Public Administration and Governance.
At 40 percent, the USAID Forward 2015 localization target for the Philippines is higher than the standard 30 percent that it has set for most USAID missions. The Philippines is also home to an active civil society, making it a suitable country for a CSO capacity-building project.