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Counterpart International (Counterpart) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. According to the organization's mission statement, "Counterpart partners with local organizations - formal and informal - to build inclusive, sustainable communities in which their people thrive."
Counterpart International was originally established to assist those in the South Pacific after World War II. It has since established programs and activities in nearly 60 countries on six continents.
The organization was established in 1965 as the Foundation of the People of the South Pacific (FSP) by an Australian Marist missionary priest, Stanley Hosie, and actress Elizabeth "Betty" Bryant Silverstein. Silverstein and Hosie focused on providing those in the post-World War II South Pacific region with resources to ease the post-war devastation, operating out of a New York City thrift shop.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with the encouragement of Congressman Ted Kupferman, registered FSP in 1968 as a Private Voluntary Organization, also known as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). During the 1970s, FSP obtained more grants in order to expand the foundation's staff and to transition field offices into indigenous, independent NGOs that were locally staffed. The first program to transition to a local NGO was FSP Fiji in 1981.
FSP provided institutions in the South Pacific with skills to rebuild infrastructure and sustainable solutions to poverty, improved local organizations, improved on the model of international aid, and facilitated local economic growth. In Samoa, for example, FSP offered tools to expand the fishing industry to increase sustainability and profit for the local fishermen and their communities. The organization expanded their programs globally when the Soviet Union fell in early 1991.
In 1992, Hosie changed the organization's name to Counterpart International to better reflect their mission.
Programs and goals
Counterpart International currently has programs in the fields of civil society, economic development, environment and conservation, food security and sustainable agriculture, global health and child survival, and humanitarian assistance.
Government and civil society strengthening
Counterpart International works to support individuals, communities and institutions through access to partnership, knowledge and tools to build vibrant and sustainable civil societies, based on individual initiative, pluralism, civic consciousness and participation. Their key practice areas include institutional development, advocacy, community mobilization, community foundation development, and conflict prevention and mitigation.
Nutrition, health and humanitarian services
The organization focuses on improving access to and quality of care for the most vulnerable. Counterpart works at both the policy and community level implementing urban and rural health programs in partnership with local Ministries of Health and NGOs. Through behavioral change approaches, Counterpart promotes sustainable solutions in the areas of maternal health and child survival, reducing malaria and tuberculosis, enhancing hygiene and sanitation, encouraging good nutrition and breastfeeding, and managing diarrheal disease, acute respiratory infections and HIV/AIDS.
Counterpart acquires, delivers and distributes goods to end users based on their needs. Counterpart has delivered and distributed more than 6,000 containers valued at $800 million to 45 countries.
Livelihoods and economic development
Counterpart achieves this through community-driven programming.
Staff and Board of directors
Counterpart has a staff of 500 people in 24 countries. The organization is overseen by a board of directors who are responsible for the legal and fiduciary operations of the organization. The current board of directors consists of:
- Jeffrey T. LaRiche, Chairman, Counterpart International; President & CEO, CASTLE Worldwide, Morrisville, North Carolina
- Joan C. Parker, Ex Officio Member, President & CEO, Counterpart International, Arlington, Virginia
- Brenda Broz Eddy, Vice President, Eddy Associates, Los Angeles, California
- Thomas Lovejoy, Heinz Center Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center for Science, Washington, D.C.
- Eric Meade, Vice President & Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative Futures, Washington, D.C.
- Deborah Nolan, Partner, Ernst & Young, Oak Hill, Virginia
- Marcia Silverman, Chair, Ogilvy PR, Washington, D.C.
- Les Wallace, President, Signature Resources, Aurora, Colorado
- David Wickline, Managing Partner, Alchemy Ventures Group, Occidental, California
- Judith H. Whittlesey, Executive Vice President, Susan Davis International, Washington, D.C.
In 1991, President George Bush awarded FSP co-founder Betty Silverstein with the U.S. Presidential End Hunger Award for Individual Achievement. First Lady Hillary Clinton also commended Silverstein at Counterpart's 500th humanitarian Airlift at Andrews Air Force Base in Virginia in early 1998.
Since 1993, Counterpart has delivered over half a billion dollars worth of aid to countries in former USSR, Central Asia Republics, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
Counterpart's Armenia Office was involved in the announcement of the Civil Society Fund 2009 winners. The office is also part of Counterpart International's Limited Intervention Program Statement (LIPS) grants.
In May 2009, Counterpart was granted a five-year Cooperative Agreement with USAID. Through this Leader with Associates (LWA) agreement, USAID has expressed its confidence in Counterpart to implement the "Global Civil Society Strengthening" (GCSS) program that simplifies designing and delivering civil society programs overseas. The LWA will serve USAID Missions, Regional Bureaus, and Offices in the implementation of civil society, media development, program design and learning activities around the world.