NPI EXPAND is designed to provide a number of core services for new and underutilized partners in line with our expected results. Capacity strengthening of local organizations in all areas of their operations, grant making to provide resources for program implementation, and technical support to ensure that programs are implemented in line with global best practices.

Capacity Development

Strengthening the organizational capacity and sustainability of new and underutilized partners (NUPs) is one of the key result areas of NPI EXPAND. We develop the organizational, technical, and relational capacities of local organizations, in order to ensure that they are sustainable and able to support the delivery high-quality, high impact services, information, and supplies to their communities.

NPI EXPAND implements a comprehensive capacity development program, which is comprised of detailed and tailored capacity assessments to identify and prioritize the capacity needs of a NUP, drawing an organizational transformation roadmap, and implementation of tailored interventions to transform the NUP. NPI EXPAND implements a combination of tools to identify a NUP’s capacity needs, such as: Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA), Organizational Network Analysis (ONA), Organizational Performance Index (OPI), and USAID’s Non-U.S. Organization Pre-Award Survey (NUPAS). Capacity development interventions will be tailored to the level of organizational maturity (i.e., nascent, emergent, or mature) of a NUP. Guided by the principle of local ownership, NPI EXPAND will ensure that the NUP plays an active and effective role in all the capacity development processes and activities.

The following figure summarizes NPI EXPAND’s capacity development approach:


Along with capacity development support, NPI EXPAND also provides grants to support the NUP’s organizational development and their ability to deliver high-quality, high impact services, information, and supplies to their communities. Ultimately, the journey to self-reliance depends on the ability to manage financial resources effectively and produce results. NPI makes extensive use of fixed amount awards which pays local organization for each key result or milestone it achieves. Grant milestones are set for capacity development results as well as program outputs, so that these two aspects of the project are mutually reinforcing. Capacity development is not an end in itself, but a means to improved and more sustainable performance in the delivery of health activities.

The project uses a streamlined grant making process for prospective grantees and sub-awardees and enables co-creation with NPI EXPAND for better design and focus on USAID’s expected results. At the same time, NPI EXPAND customizes its sub-award management process and approach depending on each organization’s circumstances and capacity level. Implementing its comprehensive capacity development approach, NPI EXPAND provides organizations with customized support to successfully implement and monitor the sub-award while meeting compliance and reporting requirements.

Thought Leadership

As one of USAID’s larger investments in the New Partnership Initiative, NPI EXPAND has a mandate to promote learning and sharing of best and promising practices with other USAID implementing partners and the wider development community. NPI EXPAND will document lessons learned in all of the project’s result areas, but especially with respect to capacity strengthening of local organizations. Working in eight countries with over 30 local partners, NPI EXPAND will collect a wealth of experience and data as we assess capacity and performance, test different capacity strengthening strategies, and support local partners to become more sustainable and successful in realizing their missions. In addition, NPI EXPAND will develop, test, and share capacity strengthening activities and assessment tools with the wider capacity strengthening community.

NPI EXPAND has identified three priority learning questions to be answered throughout implementation of the project:

  1. What strategies for revenue generation and diversification work best for New and Underutilized Partners (NUPs), and under what conditions?
  2. What capacity strengthening activities contribute most to improved performance and/or outcomes of NUPs?
  3. To what extent does the adoption of the minimum 10% rate for overhead improve management capacity and resource diversification?

These questions will be answered through documentation of project activities, key informant interviews, organizational assessments, and qualitative feedback mechanisms.

In addition to these learning questions, NPI EXPAND documents and shares operational lessons learned on a continuous basis. For example, NPI EXPAND has made extensive use of fixed amount awards with its local partners and through this experience, we developed some practical do’s and don’ts to ensure successful execution of grants. These were shared in a webinar during Year 1.

NPI EXPAND will use a variety of channels to share knowledge and catalyze dialogue among our local partners and other organizations working in local organization capacity strengthening. In addition to our website and social media, NPI EXPAND will organize webinars, peer exchanges, working groups and seminars. NPI EXPAND expects to produce several primers, case studies, and lessons learned documents that will be vetted and shared widely.

NPI EXPAND welcomes contributions to our website in the form of blogs, announcements, success stories or other ideas that are related to our mission. We hope our communications and activities will catalyze learning and dialogue on these important topics. Feel free to send us your contributions via the “Contact Us” page.