The goal of development – improving lives in the poorest communities in a sustainable way – has long remained elusive. In fragile settings like Afghanistan where risks and uncertainty are great, engaging the private sector as an engine for development makes this even more difficult. Now the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a new type of partnership that mobilizes public and private sector capital to catalyze enterprise-driven development programs, which harness the combined strengths of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Afghanistan and the wider Central Asia region. The partnership recognizes that for landlocked countries such as Afghanistan regional connectivity is vital. “Public-private partnerships like this one are the right way to do development,” observed Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides. “They can have a huge, sustainable impact and a significant return on investment,” both socially and economically. This brief is the first in a series that will describe the new development approach and explore how the model unfolds over time, to encourage further learning and replication. 2013.
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