We work through relationships based on trust, respect and equity. We are diplomatic and sensitive to cultures. We work and employ locally. We believe that equality, shared responsibility and complementary strengths are at the core of our partnerships. We are accountable and insist upon ethical behavior in how we interact with the world around us.
We do what we do because it is the right thing to do. We work with passion, enthusiasm, a belief in our mission and in our people, and we are determined to ensure our work results in tangible, long-term good worldwide.
We bring together communities, the private sector, governments, organizations and the full range and resources of our networks to improve dialogue, create prosperity, stability, peace and positive change. We learn from each other. We embrace technology as a means to better connect the world around us.
We are a resolute, forward-looking organization that embraces change in the world and among ourselves to drive new ways to achieve our mission. We bring clarity to complex issues. We are smart and responsive, business-like, and determined to innovate and find ways to partner more effectively for the benefit of our community partners worldwide.
In 2014, the sudden and rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa caught the world off guard and was at the top of all our minds. Global Communities, USAID, and many organizations and governments partnered with communities to find the solutions that stopped the spread of Ebola in its tracks. Now, while the threat from Ebola remains, the worst of the crisis is behind us. However, we currently face a very different crisis, one that has not threatened our communities with a deadly, contagious disease, but that nonetheless is a humanitarian catastrophe of even greater magnitude: Syria. Building on our experience from previous conflicts over the last 20 years, Global Communities is working to build the resilience of those displaced internally and help refugees who have fled to neighboring countries (read more on page 25). Until a resolution to the crisis is found, Global Communities will continue to work to ensure that those affected have access to the goods and services they need to live with dignity.
Whether an outbreak of disease of epidemic proportions, an intractable conflict with horrific consequences, or in working to meet many of the longer-term Sustainable Development Goals, we at Global Communities base our work on what we know is effective and will have the greatest sustainable impact on people’s lives. But how do we know what that is? We believe in partnering and listening to the communities we work with to understand how we can help—and then documenting and learning from our experience. From behavioral economics to global health and financial inclusion, our approach to global development is based on evidence from our decades of partnership. You can read about some of our evidence-based programming and research in these pages, from agricultural innovations to combat the effects of climate change, to life-saving water and sanitation measures, to understanding what brings people together to cooperate toward achieving their aspirations (see pages 18-23). All of these and more inform the work we do to ensure we have the greatest sustainable impact.
But we cannot accomplish all of this on our own. We are always seeking partners to work with us, donors who share our values, and experts and approaches that enable us to have the greatest impact possible. By bringing together diverse groups from across civil society, government, and the private sector to help change people’s lives, we always strive to exemplify our organizational identity: Global Communities, Partners for Good.
David A. Weiss
President & CEO
On September 25, 2015, at the UN General Assembly, the countries of the world came together to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the cornerstone of a new agenda for global development over the next 15 years. Organizations like Global Communities are called upon to work to achieve many of those goals, including ending global poverty and hunger, providing clean water and sanitation, and building sustainable cities and communities. But how can we hope to achieve such lofty goals? From 35 years of experience in the private sector and over three years as President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, I am certain that development cannot be just about donors and aid. It must be about partnerships between the public and private sectors, for-profit and non-profit organizations.
One of Global Communities’ top priorities is partnering with the private sector to assist in the tasks that businesses cannot, or will not, undertake on their own. This includes helping run small and medium enterprise (SME) loan guarantee programs in the Middle East and Africa. These facilities assist those traditionally overlooked by the financial sector, and demonstrate that SMEs are bankable and good business. It also includes helping connect poor communities to the job training they need to find employment in emerging industries in places like Ghana and Lebanon. This is done in consultation with business advisory groups, so the job-skills training received is directly linked to the needs of commercial enterprises. Global Communities understands how to bridge the gap between commercial and community needs and how to work with the private sector, whether through corporate foundations or directly, in a shared value approach with the businesses themselves.
If, after 15 years, we look back on the SDGs and think that real progress has been made, it will be because of organizations like Global Communities, who recognized the limitations of aid and helped enlist private sector players in partnerships designed to benefit all stakeholders. It is through these kinds of partnerships that we can ensure that prosperity can be within reach for communities and individuals all across the world.
Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr.
Global Communities is a global development organization committed to working in partnership with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable, impactful changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable.
Development is not something we do for people; it is something we do with them. We believe that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself.
We make a difference by engaging with communities, governments, the private sector, and NGOs as partners for good—bringing together complementary strengths and shared responsibilities to work toward common goals.
Global Communities has existed for more than 60 years. Until 2012, we were known as CHF International and, before that, the Cooperative Housing Foundation. We are a non-profit organization.
The power of what we do lies in our ability to develop relationships that put the people of the community at the forefront of their own development. Enriched by the ability to build trust and understanding, it is our heartfelt focus on community and partnership that distinguishes our work.
Vitas Group is at the core of our commitment to financial inclusion around the world. Vitas Group is a commercial holding company created by Global Communities to provide responsible micro, small, and medium enterprise finance to populations that are underserved by traditional sources of capital. Learn more at www.vitasgroup.com.
Where We Work
From October 1, 2014 to March 30, 2016
Click countries below to read more about our countries on our website:
BBC 100 Women
Global Communities’ West Bank and Gaza Country Director Lana Abu Hijleh was named one of the BBC 100 Women, an annual worldwide initiative to highlight inspiring women who are advancing change in their communities.
InterAction 2015 Humanitarian Award
Global Communities’ Burial Team Supervisor George Woryonwon received the InterAction 2015 Humanitarian Award for his work assisting communities in Liberia in their fight against Ebola, overseeing burial teams across the entire country.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s 2015 Impact Award for Access to Finance
Global Communities and its microfinance institution in Lebanon, Vitas Lebanon, received the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s 2015 Impact Award for Access to Finance for its support of entrepreneurs in Lebanon. Catalyzed by a $20 million financing commitment from OPIC, Vitas Lebanon has made over 36,000 loans worth over $69.5 million to underserved entrepreneurs and households since its inception in 2007.
Continue reading the Global Communities 2015 Annual Report: