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Focusing
on a positive impact

Creating synergy in partnership funding models

12

Hand in Hand International has been a Secondment partner of Johnson & Johnson since 2016. The NGO supports the economic and social empowerment of women, youth and men and therefore the society, by supporting the creation of sustainable enterprises and jobs through the development of micro businesses.

To date, three J&J employees from across EMEA have been seconded to Hand in Hand International, sharing their skills and knowledge in long term assignments, to support the organization in business development and corporate fundraising.  

In 2017, Alona Perunova from J&J Consumer Ukraine was seconded to Hand in Hand International in London for six months to transfer her skills in logistics, to help expand Hand in Hand’s pipeline of prospective governmental and intra-governmental donors, foundations and high potential partners.

 

A key outcome of her secondment was to establish a partnership with GIZ, the international development arm of the German Government, which resulted in a four-month grant to Hand in Hand to implement a pilot program in Afghanistan to help 500 refugees and internally displaced people work their way towards a more sustainable future through the country’s growing poultry value chain. Since then, the partnership with GIZ has been further extended to reach a total of 2,000 beneficiaries.

“Alona’s contribution to Hand in Hand International was catalytic,” said Hand in Hand International CEO Dorothea Arndt. “Consider the difference she’s made. Some 2,000 returnees and IDPs in Afghanistan are well on their way to having strong, sustainable livelihoods. With the money they earn, they’ll pay children’s school fees and put food on the table. Accounting for their average family size of seven, then, that’s 14,000 improved lives. And none of it would be happening without Alona.”

 

Here Alona explains more about the partnership model that she helped to create.

Alona, what is GIZ and does it do?

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is the German government’s development agency. GIZ’s main commissioning party is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Ministry commissions GIZ to implement advisory projects that enhance the capacities of individuals, organizations and societies to improve their living conditions through the efficient and sustainable use of resources and achieve their goals.

GIZ portfolio of services includes:

  • provision of advisory services by experts
  • financial contributions
  • capacity development and support for project executing agencies
  • provision of equipment and materials for organizations receiving support
  • analyses, studies and reports

In simple terms, GIZ is BMZ’s implementing partner for different development projects on the ground.

Why is GIZ important to Hand in Hand International?

In 2013, Hand in Hand International pledged to `scale up job creation rapidly and effectively by co-operating with partners’. By the end of 2021, Hand in Hand wants to create more than 250,000 jobs by partnering with governments and like-minded NGOs. A strategic partnership with GIZ will definitely help Hand in Hand achieve this ambitious goal!

How did you make contact with them?

It was basically a four-step process I created aimed at delivering added value to both parties concerned. I wanted to look at funding in a different way and how to attract potential donors.

Step 1. First I analysed statistics relevant to Hand in Hand’s focus areas and identified the top 13 high potential donor countries that have a large share of aid focused on women’s empowerment and job creation and in the right geographical location (ie countries where Hand in Hand operates). The result was that Germany was No 1 in the list!

Step 2. I researched and mapped relevant German institutional stakeholders. However, the German state aid system is a real jungle! It took me more than a month to understand how the system worked and to identify key actors and institutions. The result was that GIZ and BMZ were the most relevant!

Step 3. I mapped appropriate entry points to both GIZ and BMZ and identified their contact details (via web site data, articles, LinkedIn etc).

Step 4. I created a new strategy for the first contact by inviting potential donors to join Hand in Hand in a shared learning experience (not for funding). And it worked!

When I contacted the GIZ Project Manager in Afghanistan, I offered him a knowledge sharing session. He agreed and during a Skype call we identified a definite synergy between the two organisations.

What was the result of this contact?

The key outcome was that Hand in Hand International and GIZ signed an agreement for a four-month pilot project in Afghanistan from Sept-Dec 2017 (200 k EUR), which aimed to help 500 returnees and internally displace people (IDPs) work their way towards a prosperous future in the country’s growing poultry value chain. In January 2018, the program was extended to reach an additional 1,500 returnees, IDPs and host community members by the end of 2018 (500 k EUR).

More information on the program can be found here

How does this partnership benefit the NGO?

As well as receiving valuable funding for Afghanistan – one of the most challenging operating countries with extreme lack of funding – the GIZ partnership also positions Hand in Hand as a trustworthy partner for other German donors, especially institutional German donors, who tend to support German-based NGOs only. In addition, the expanding partnership with GIZ means that Hand in Hand International can apply for BMZ direct funding and, finally, as GIZ and BMZ both support East Africa and India, this means that Hand in Hand could potentially expand collaboration in these regions too.

How do you feel about making this connection possible?

I always knew that everything is possible and limits are only in our minds. Stay calm and think logically, structurally and act-act-act. We all achieve by doing.

How did your skills and knowledge contribute to the role and what do you feel you learnt from the experience?

As a supply chain professional with 10+ years’ experience in logistics I am used to managing different projects. Achieving funding from the German government was my personal ambitious target for this Secondment and I decided to take it as a project. Step by step.

In my everyday job, I cooperate with different stakeholders including state authorities, and for that reason I clearly understood how to build relationships with GIZ from scratch.

Now I feel more confident in networking on an international level and have a deeper understanding of multicultural differences. I feel even more empowered, inspired and energized to meet new challenges and adventures upon my return to J&J.

Following her secondment, Alona was appointed to the position of Senior Distribution Specialist Johnson & Johnson Consumer Ukraine in February 2018. A new secondee from Janssen Germany begins a secondment in April 2018 with Hand in Hand Eastern Africa working in a public health role.

For more information on the Johnson & Johnson Secondment Program visit our website

For more information on Hand in Hand International visit here

 
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