Most of USAIDs partnerships with southern donors are either of a multilateral (including international financial institutions) or bilateral nature. USAID also works with and support a number of international and regional organizations (African Union, East African Community, ASEAN…). We also finance a number of mechanisms whereby a client has a say in selecting technical assistance of training capacity form a southern country. However, with respect to TCB, USAID has some examples where we cooperate with a southern donor to implement TCB activities in a third country. The USG has a wide variety of TCB programs managed through trilateral processes; processes where by it facilitates cooperation between a “southern” donor and a “southern” recipient. The list and variety of programs are numerous with the following being some recent examples:
On February 23, 2012 USAID and Chile’s International Cooperation Agency, signed an agreement to improve Paraguay’s export promotion capacity, customs administration, and agricultural and rural credit extension services. Chile’s successful experience in these sectors is considered particularly relevant and replicable in Paraguay, a country where roughly a quarter of its 6.5 million people derive a living from the agriculture industry, much of it subsistence farming. USAID is working with the governments of Chile and Paraguay to address issues in three governmental agencies.
First, USAID’s work under the MCC Threshold program to reduce corruption in Paraguay, is working with Paraguayan Customs to strengthen internal controls and audit functions. The government of Paraguay has already seen significant increases in customs revenue collection. Under the trilateral initiative, further gains in revenue and reductions in corruption are expected.
Second, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), USAID and Chile are working to improve the delivery of agricultural extension services, which are currently haphazardly provided to less than 20 percent of the farmers in Paraguay. Chile is helping the MAG to refine their strategy for service delivery. USAID will provide training to the agricultural extension workers in best agricultural practices.
Third, the Paraguayan Export Promotion Agency (REDIEX) is a rather young agency with fairly basic capabilities. Chile, which has a well-developed export promotion capability, is providing training to REDIEX to improve their capabilities in this area. To complement this training, USAID is developing a registry of exporting firms and their offerings complete with product attributes, quality levels, and production capacity. Paraguay plans to develop a Web-based tool to store the export registry data, and enable export promotion officers to access and analyze the data. This will allow the officers to promote Paraguayan products abroad in a more systematic way. As part of the effort, all three countries provide resources to implement programs and exchange staff.
Trilateral agreements involving the United States and Chile are also being deployed in other parts of the region. In Guatemala, officials hope to transform the current pre-inspection system for agriculture so that importers of products from Guatemala can be assured that the plants and warehouses these products are processed at comply with sanitation and food safety standards of the importing country. The systems will become more sustainable, and will be able to accommodate more products and assure the safety of the products for export markets. Guatemalan officials already have visited their counterparts in Chile and begun to learn how Chile has successfully improved the quality and sanitation around their export products.
USAID has also established a trilateral relationship with South Africa’s development partnership agency to provide assistance to the broader region. This partnership is broader than trade capacity building. Funding levels were 30m Euro in 2008, and up to 45m Euro in 2011-12 period and some of the clients included regional organizations, such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Coordination is carried out through regular meetings. It furthers aid effectiveness principles of mutual ownership, alignment and accountability by joint USG-SAG review of proposals to assist third countries based on demand. Examples of programs include Malawi pathogen free potato research and sea cage farming technical assistance in Mozambique.
In a final example, on January 27, 2012 USAID-Brazilian cooperation Agency (ABD) partnered to begin support to improve productivity in Mozambique’s agricultural sector. The kick-off focused on how to best leverage the expertise of the various institutions, including the University of Florida and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), who had assessed how farmers in Mozambique could benefit from new practices in the production of food, especially the introduction of Brazilian cultivars that are adapted to the tropical climate, and from improvements in the processing of their production.
The researchers believe that the way to achieve these improvements is to train technicians from the Mozambican Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM), who could in turn train farmers and small scale producers. Embrapa researchers also identified problems in the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers and in the irrigation systems, which can be corrected with training. They also expect to improve the distribution of the products to local markets, including schools, which will contribute to increase the quality of meals served to students.