USAID Philippines Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner leads the launch of four new projects under USAID's Local Works program. Joining him are project representatives (clockwise) Jenina Joy Chavez, Chief of Party (COP) of Coalescing Organizations Towards Locally Led Actions to Boost Development (COLLABDev), implemented by Action for Economic Reforms (AER); Laura Thisted, for Assets, Agency, Trust, implemented by Global Giving; Magdalena Lopez, COP, Capacitating Strategic Organizations to Strengthen the Civil Society Organization Sector (CSO2), implemented by Save the Children Philippines; and Flor Paragas, COP, Facilitating Local Access to Water (FLoW), implemented by Alay sa Kapatid Foundation (AKAP). 

 The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched four new projects worth Php280 million ($5.7 million) to promote locally-led development solutions in the Philippines.

USAID Philippines Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner inaugurated these projects with other government, civil society, private sector, and academia partners at a virtual event on Friday, May 7.

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Philippines diplomatic relations, we look forward to furthering our productive collaboration with Philippine civil society organizations as we continue to pursue inclusive and resilient growth for Filipinos,” said Deputy Director Wesner.

The four projects will empower local organizations to try new, unique approaches to address development challenges in their communities:

· The “Coalescing Organizations towards Locally Led Actions to Boost Development” project will employ data and evidence to advance development in ten sites located in Sorsogon, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Misamis Oriental, and Sultan Kudarat over a period of two and a half years.

· The two-year (2021-2023) “Facilitating Local Access to Water” project will help local partners in Tublay, Benguet achieve reliable access to safe drinking water.

· “Assets, Agency and Trust,” a two-year action-research project, will use consultations and networking activities to mobilize local resources and drive development activities across the country.

· The three-year (2021-2024) “Capacitating Strategic Organizations to Strengthen the Civil Society Organization Sector” project will empower civil society organizations to effectively deliver services and sustain development results initially in Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City.

These four projects join the Generating Rural Opportunities by Working with Cooperatives program, launched last year to expand rural livelihood opportunities and increase food security, as part of Local Works. Local Works is USAID’s flagship locally-led development effort, which utilizes the creativity and resourcefulness of local communities and enables them to drive their own development.