At Pact, we describe the people and communities we serve as our shareholders. We chose this word because they are the true owners of Pact, our bottom line, who we are ultimately accountable to.
From Colombia to Zimbabwe to Cambodia, they are the heart of Pact.
In 2018, we made transformational changes within our organization and programming to ensure that our shareholders are always our center – to make certain that we are listening, truly understanding their needs and challenges, co-creating innovative solutions, and working together to end power imbalances, including in international development. Pact’s new Shareholder Council and our recently launched global energy program are just two examples you’ll read about in the pages that follow.
At the end of the day, Pact measures its worth by how it improves the state of the world. Only when all of our shareholders are heard, capable and vibrant – when everyone owns their future – will we consider our work a success.
Green Invest Asia
USAID Green Invest Asia, which Pact implements, made marked strides in connecting investors with sustainable agriculture and forestry businesses in Southeast Asia. Unsustainable agriculture and land use are a leading cause of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. USAID Green Invest Asia improves sustainable commodity production and manages environmental risks, matching companies with the project’s network of financial institutions and investors looking for environmentally and socially-friendly, profitable land use businesses. Through USAID Green Invest Asia, Pact is helping to mobilize hundreds of millions of dollars in private finance and reduce carbon emissions by tens of millions of tons.
Transformation at Pact
In 2018, Pact made unprecedented, strategic changes in our work and in our organizational governance to ensure we are using every tool possible to end poverty, marginalization and global power imbalances. Our Board of Directors approved the creation of a first-of-its-kind ‘Shareholder Council,’ which will be comprised of people from the communities Pact serves and will play a key role in deciding priorities, approaches and accountability for results at Pact. We also launched Pact’s Transformation Lab to commercialize transformative ideas for exponential social impact.
In Ukraine, Pact’s ENGAGE project (Enhance Non-Governmental Actors and Grassroots Engagement) continued to advance democratic reforms across the country, building demand for fundamental European values and forging a robust civil society. ENGAGE also supports marginalized groups, including people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community, empowering them to protect their rights, make their voices heard and take an active part in Ukrainian society.
In Zambia, as in many parts of the world, girls often miss school during their periods because they can’t afford proper sanitary supplies. Our growing social enterprise, Kozo Girls, continued to tackle this problem head-on. Led by young Zambian women with support from Pact, Kozo Girls makes reusable pads known as Kozo Pads. This creates economic opportunities as well as an easy, affordable way for girls to manage menstruation and stay in school. Now with its own workshop and storefront in Lusaka, Kozo Girls is raising capital to expand and to distribute Kozo Pads to women’s prisons, schools, orphanages, hospitals, refugee camps and more. In Lozi, Kozo means “peace and comfort.”
For more than 20 years, Pact’s micro-banking program, known as WORTH, has helped millions of women across 15 countries lift themselves out of poverty. This year, Pact piloted the program’s next generation, an app called MyWORTH that is taking WORTH digital. Co-created with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the MyWORTH app replaces paper-based ledgers and savings records, helping WORTH groups function more effectively and efficiently.
Ready, Resourceful, Risk Aware
In Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Pact kicked off a critical effort to prevent new HIV infections and reach epidemic control. Known as Ready, Resourceful, Risk Aware, the project is reducing vulnerability among two key groups: orphans and vulnerable children and adolescent girls and young women. In partnership with local civil society organizations, Pact is building socio-economic resilience to the impact of HIV and increasing use of sexual and reproductive health services.
Mines to Markets
Pact’s Mines to Markets program grew in 2018, improving the lives of more than 80,000 artisanal and small-scale miners from Colombia to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Myanmar. In partnership with miners, governments and industry, Mines to Markets is making the small-scale mining sector safer, formal and more productive. In addition to continuing our mineral traceability work, we built our programming in gold and gemstones as well as our efforts to reduce child labor in the cobalt supply chain.
Energy for Prosperity
Limited access to electricity drives poverty in communities around the globe. In listening to our shareholders in Myanmar, this was a challenge Pact heard about again and again. So we created a program to help bring affordable solar home systems to rural, off-grid communities. Building on that success, Pact launched a new global program this year, Energy for Prosperity, to end energy poverty around the world. With a focus on innovation and social enterprise, Energy for Prosperity is expanding access to affordable, reliable and sustainable power. The program collaborates with governments, companies, investors and civil society organizations to connect supply and demand, remove market distortions and build a future where all people have the skills and resources they need to enjoy the many benefits of modern energy. In addition to Myanmar, Energy for Prosperity works in Kenya and Tanzania, with plans to expand to Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nepal and beyond.
In partnership with USAID, Pact launched Hay Tao, the U.S. government’s largest environmental investment in Madagascar in nearly a decade. Meaning “Know How” in Malagasy, Hay Tao empowers local communities to lead the way in the management of their natural resources. The project is using a systems approach to build effective, lasting community-based wildlife management and conservation of biodiversity.