Development organizations may be tempted to compete for overseas funding to grow their business. But winning work with foreign bilateral donors requires a long-term commitment, smart partnerships and the ability to adapt to a new client's demands.
"It's always hard to break in," said Emerging Markets Group President Andy Dijkerman.
EMG is a U.S.-based firm that serves American, European and multilateral donors.
"Even though the apparent barriers have come down," Dijkerman noted, referring to a trend by governments around the globe to allow contracting with foreign firms, "the hidden barriers are still there. And a lot of those hidden barriers are related to relationship development, being known and having credibility [with donors] and so on … One needs to be a bit patient in one's attempt to break in because it's not fast - it's slow."