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Summary of Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS)
USAID/Southern Africa is working towards a goal of a more integrated region for an improved quality of life for Southern Africans. As a comparative advantage of a regional mission, USAID/Southern Africa is able to provide regional analysis of and a regional approach to development challenges. Work conducted by the Regional Mission strengthens the regional enabling environment, develops the regional capacity through networks and institutions, and builds upon already successful regional programs such as the Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH). USAID/Southern Africa will achieve these goals through partnerships with regional organizations and institutions, some of which are based in South Africa. Regional efforts will complement USAID’s bilateral work with the South African Government in delivering trilateral assistance to countries in SADC and beyond. The trilateral assistance program will continue to be managed as part of USAID’s bilateral partnership with the South African Government as they move towards the establishment of the South African Development Partnership Agency. The regional mission will also strive to work closely with the U.S. State Department and other U.S. Agencies to harmonize regional diplomacy and development goals under the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. Furthermore, the USAID/Southern Africa Regional Mission provides holistic, strategic guidance for programs that seek to integrate into the Southern Africa region, both politically and economically, across national boundaries without creating disjointed and redundant interventions. The Regional Mission serves to multiply the individual efforts of bilateral missions by leveraging complementary projects, identifying program and project gaps, and offering technical support to client missions.
Southern Africa has taken steps towards greater regional integration in areas such as economic growth, resource management, and social service provision, but has yet to solidify these gains. Throughout all of USAID/Southern Africa’s development objectives there is a concerted effort to improve regional collaboration, capacity, and economic competitiveness. The Mission’s ultimate goal is to create the conditions where its work is no longer needed. This goal can only be attained if the assistance delivered strengthens the local actors and institutions that are ultimately responsible for transforming the Southern Africa region. As such, the USG, through USAID’s regional strategy and assistance agreements, will commit to strengthening the capacity of Southern African regional organizations. The Mission views regional economic, social, and political integration as key to the lasting success of development efforts in the region, including the work of USAID’s bilateral missions. Being able to move goods across borders, peacefully settle disputes regarding cross-boundary resources, and share best practices from one country to the next will create an environment for sustainable growth.
Reducing poverty is a key objective of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), but it is unlikely that any SADC country will achieve all eight of the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date. Significant threats to the quality of life of Southern Africans exist in all countries in the region, whether they relate to the lack of respect for rule of law and basic human rights, policies that hinder growth, or lack of access to adequate health care. All of these challenges can be addressed through a regional approach that complements bilateral efforts. Many of the foreign assistance programs presented in this strategy will capitalize on the Mission’s strategic partnership with the Government of South Africa as a regional success and donor nation in its own right. South African private and civil society sectors will also be key partners in achieving the objective of this strategy.
Central to the Mission’s goal is the importance of regional integration, which benefits several countries through synergies of regional approaches and effectively addresses development challenges that are truly regional in nature. The Mission’s development objectives reflect this regional integration through a cross-cutting program that address food security and climate change; the role of migrant populations, regional networks, and health systems in the fight against HIV/AIDS; rule of law and human rights issues that are regional in nature or too politically sensitive to handle on a bilateral level; and quality administrative and support services, technical assistance, and human capacity development that supports USAID operations and greater non-governmental organization capacity across the region. These development objectives were created through ongoing collaboration with regional US Embassies and USAID missions and in consultation with international donors working in the region. Moreover, the implementation of the strategy is consistent with the standards of USAID Forward, ensuring that USAID/Southern Africa focuses on strengthening regional organizations and local organizations throughout the region, including those in South Africa, and enhancing their capacity as implementing partners.
The four Development Objectives (DOs) presented in this strategy are:
· DO1: Increased sustainable economic growth in targeted areas
· DO2: Reduced impact of HIV/AIDS on the region
· DO3: Improved rule of law and respect for human rights
· Special Objective 4: Effectively support USAID Missions and programs