What RTI is looking for in local partners

    RTI International looks at partnerships strategically. For the U.S.-based nonprofit, the success of any organization working in international development depends on the nature, quality and types of collaboration it develops.

    That means, according to Aaron Williams, executive vice president for international development at RTI International, the organization needs to do a careful analysis of the environment and who it might work with in a particular sector.

    “Even though, we’re a broad, global organization working in some 70 countries, we need to understand the local environment before we can be effective working in other countries,” Williams told Devex following a panel discussion Thursday (Oct. 17) at the Devex International Development Partnerships Forum in Nairobi. “And so the identification and working with local partners is absolutely crucial to everything that we do.”

    Williams said RTI International is looking for partners who can provide intellectual leadership, understand the sector they work in, are connected to industry, thought and national leaders, and demonstrate they can successfully carry out projects, whether large or small.

    He also noted that RTI, as a learning organization, wants partners that share its mission of turning knowledge into practice to improve human condition.

    “We want to be able to learn and use those lessons learned in other countries in the world to build up our practice and we hope that our partners will grow with us and also develop that intellectual capital,” Williams said.

    Watch the above video for more of our interview with Aaron Williams.

    Learn more about the Devex 2013 Partnerships Forum & Career Fair in Nairobi.

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    About the author

    • Raj Kumar

      Raj Kumar is the Founding President and Editor-in-Chief at Devex, the media platform for the global development community. He is a media leader and former humanitarian council chair for the World Economic Forum and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has led him to more than 50 countries, where he has had the honor to meet many of the aid workers and development professionals who make up the Devex community. He is the author of the book "The Business of Changing the World," a go-to primer on the ideas, people, and technology disrupting the aid industry.