Plan International hopes new acquisition will strengthen M&E

A team of aid workers from Plan International, working to help Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. Plan International USA has acquired the Africa Business Unit of consulting firm Danya International. Photo by: Lucianasabbag / CC BY-SA

Plan International USA has acquired the Africa Business Unit of communications, technology and research consulting firm Danya International, the charity announced this week.

“I think we’re in an era of consolidation of the industry,” Tessie San Martin, president and CEO of Plan International USA, told Devex, adding that while acquisitions tend to take place in the for-profit space and will continue to do so, international nonprofits too are bolstering their market share by merging or absorbing smaller entities at a time of increased competition.

San Martin hopes the move will strengthen the charity’s technical capabilities in information and communications technology and monitoring and evaluation.

“M&E in particular is an area that we want to strengthen so this was one step in a longer journey on our end,” San Martin said.

Plan USA already has a large presence in Africa, particularly East Africa where Danya’s Africa Business Unit is based, and as San Martin told Devex, such an acquisition serves to deepen that regional footing as well.

Plan and Danya have a history of collaboration which began last year when they were awarded a $41 million project funded by U.S. Agency for International Development that aims to support and protect children affected by HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

“We are very pleased to select Plan International USA to acquire Danya’s Africa Business Unit as we focus on growing our U.S. domestic consulting operations,” Jeff Hoffman, CEO of Danya International said in a statement. “We have had a very collaborative relationship with Plan International USA and have been very impressed with the outstanding positive social impact work they are doing around the world for children, families and communities.”

Aaron Sundsmo, Danya’s vice president for the Africa region, joined Plan as part of the acquisition, which was announced Monday. Sundsmo will be charged with integrating Danya’s capabilities into Plan’s programs in 51 countries. Other technical experts from Danya will be joining Plan in coming months.

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About the author

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    Jeff Tyson

    Jeff is a former global development reporter for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers multilateral affairs, U.S. aid, and international development trends. He has worked with human rights organizations in both Senegal and the U.S., and prior to joining Devex worked as a production assistant at National Public Radio. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from the University of Rochester.

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