What We Do

Since its founding in 1965, Counterpart has focused on gender equity and social inclusion as guiding principles. We believe the voice of every community member matters, and everyone has the right to participate in their community’s well-being. In all our programs, we bring marginalized people into civic life, supporting their ability to influence decisions that affect their lives.

Democracy, Rights, and Governance
Organizational Capacity Building
Peace & Security
Food Security
Climate Resiliency

Over the past 50 years, Counterpart has implemented some 75 health-focused and integrated health programs, spanning Africa, the South Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Former Soviet Union.


Counterpart works with individuals, organizations, communities, and networks to develop assets, relationships, and structures where all people are included. We help communities identify and map complex challenges; develop durable social partnerships; implement innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions; and generate lasting impact.

Long before it became the gold standard in development practice, Counterpart’s central approach to program implementation focused on building the capacity of local partners and organizations to ensure sustainability, while fostering inclusive and participatory approaches to development. Partnering with local health non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, public and private health care professionals, ministries of health, and numerous other local stakeholders, Counterpart ensures transparent and participatory program design, implementation, and decision-making.

Counterpart’s Health Programming Technical Areas Include:

  • Maternal, newborn, and child health
  • Nutrition and food security
  • Behavior change communication
  • HIV/AIDS community treatment, care, and support
  • Malaria prevention and treatment
  • People living with disabilities
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Gender-based violence


Citizens must be at the center of their communities and their countries. Our efforts in more than 20 countries around the world help equip people to take up their rightful role in civic life. In many countries this requires intentional work with both citizens and governments to help establish new ways of working together. We help communities constructively engage with government and build the capacity of civil society leaders, organizations and networks who educate citizens on how to exercise their rights. We also assist governments in implementing transparent and accountable policies and in building more effective citizen-government partnerships.

What We’re Doing

Counterpart is committed to building the capacity of civil society organizations to improve the ability of citizens to have a full and participatory role in the civic life of their country. Our work aligns with Goal 16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

To advance Goal 16, Counterpart will continue to:

  • build the capacity of civil society organizations working on behalf of human rights and inclusive civic participation
  • amplify the voices of citizens advocating for government responsiveness and policy reform
  • help governments create the mechanisms to engage citizens in decision making
  • strengthen civil society organizations to sustainably serve community needs
  • promote partnership and mutual investment in community development among NGOs, business and government
  • strengthen the capacity of governments and civil society organizations to collaboratively fight corruption

For more than 50 years, Counterpart has burnished a reputation as a CSO that helps strengthen other organizations. Organizational capacity building is central to Counterpart’s original mission of investing in local capacities to create opportunities for self-defined and locally-owned development.

Counterpart was an early contributor to USAID’s Capacity Building (1.0 and 2.0) frameworks and tools. Our capacity building approach include (1) incorporating local systems principles and partnerships; (2) utilizing data-informed decision making for adaptive management; (3) adopting innovation and technology as change accelerators; (4) facilitating networked-based learning and collective action models; and (5) paving the way toward CSO sustainability and self-reliance.

The core elements of our capacity and performance framework are:

  1. Conduct contextual and systems analysis to develop a customized and appropriate capacity building effort;
  2. Customize and administer Participatory Organizational Development Assessment (PODA);
  3. Co-design Capacity Development Action Plans;
  4. Deliver and facilitate capacity development services to CSOs;
  5. Create systems and opportunities for networked-based learning and collective impact;
  6. Develop both the internal CSO skills and enabling environment for civil society self-reliance and sustainability; and
  7. Monitor, evaluate, learn, communicate, and adapt.

Counterpart International is a leader in the fields of civil society strengthening, community development, violence prevention, and good governance.  Our mission is to forge partnerships with local organizations to build inclusive, resilient, and sustainable communities in which people can thrive.

Counterpart brings decades of technical expertise, a global network of partners, and a fresh perspective to promoting peace and security.  Our learning by doing continuum of training, technical assistance, and grants has helped us empower thousands of civil society leaders, organizations, and networks around the world.

As an organization with the mission for learning and adapting, Counterpart developed a framework for situations when cause and effect are not fully understood. Complexity-Aware Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (CAMEL) framework, adapted from USAID’s Complexity-Aware Monitoring (C-AM) approach, is used to assess what is working or what needs improvement and adapt our approach accordingly.

You can read more about the CAMEL framework here.


Community-led Resilience Programs: With technical expertise in implementing evidence-based community-led countering violence extremism (CVE)  programs, we offer local CSOs community awareness training, strategic planning to develop effective prevention and intervention programs, and guidance on developing monitoring and evaluation metrics that can enhance sustainability of local programs.

Economic Development Opportunities:  From post-conflict reconstruction programs to community-oriented development, our initiatives are designed to promote socio-economic stability, improve social infrastructure, and decrease the appeal of financial incentives that violent organizations may offer.

Civic Engagement and Security Governance: Counterpart develops the institutional capacity of civil society and governmental institutions to form the backbone of peaceful, stable democracies.  Our civic education programs and initiatives to augment government accountability improves access and facilitates trust with the public sector, increases social responsibility, and expands service delivery.  In addition, our security governance initiatives enhance rule of law and narrow the space for violent organizations to operate.

Conflict Resolution and Social Harmony: Counterpart has developed facilitation guides for people-to-people peace building and has held multi-ethnic and religious dialogues to foster social cohesion and collective action.  In addition, we work with community leaders to coordinate social development programs and celebrate pluralism, and leadership training for women and youth, particularly those from marginalized communities.  By focusing on inclusion, we believe we can foster social harmony and undermine divisive narratives that threaten peace and social stability.

Media & Messaging Tools to Amplify Positive Voices: Counterpart has published a Civil Society Social Media User’s Manual that has been distributed or downloaded by more than 100,000 individuals.  Counterpart has also used counter messaging and behavior change communication tools and techniques in our school feeding program in Senegal, crime prevention program in Honduras, and civic advocacy program in Morocco.  These tools can be leveraged by local credible influencers to counter extremist messaging that fuels radicalization to violence.

Our strategy relies on:

  • Conducting field-based research to assess local drivers of conflict
  • Working with local stakeholders to identify local resources available for building peace and security
  • Building the capacity of civil society and government agencies to improve their service delivery
  • Coordinating multi-sector collaboration — with emphasis on inclusion
  • Facilitating community mobilization
  • Fostering collective responsiveness
  • Catalyzing positive change through social partnership and networks
  • Cultivating lessons learned to train others and create a global network of change makers

The only way to realize the full potential of any country is to have healthy and strong citizens, starting with children. Counterpart works with local partners around the world to improve the production of and access to nutritious food for children. We support community-led and school-based efforts to reduce malnutrition, implement sustainable agricultural practices and improve food security. We work closely with communities to identify and address the full spectrum of issues affecting food security and community health. In support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, Counterpart will continue to:

  • Increase the availability of nutritious food through community engagement
  • Increase the stability of the food supply
  • Improve farming techniques to generate more sustainable crop yields
  • Increase access to health and nutrition services, especially for pregnant women and newborns.

Related Impacts

McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program in Mauritania

CHALLENGE While 75% of the population in Mauritania depends on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism, the country has been facing drought exacerbated by climate change which …

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2018 — 2021

Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Project in Senegal

CHALLENGE In Senegal, the agricultural sector employs approximately 70% of the working population, yet in 2017 its contribution to total GDP was just over 16%. …

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2018 — 2022

McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Project in Senegal

CHALLENGE A large portion of Senegalese citizens rely on agriculture and pastoralism for their livelihood. Unfortunately, a persistent drought in 2017 severely impacted crop and …

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Food Aid for Disabled Children in Niger

We provided meals to poor children with disabilities to reduce malnutrition and keep kids in school.

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Food for Education in Cameroon

We engage schools to mobilize parents and communities in health, nutrition and the value of education.

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Food For Progress in Guatemala

We build the capacity of local farming cooperatives to improve agriculture productivity and livelihoods.

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The challenges facing people in many of the countries where we work are made worse by the impacts of climate change. Long-term drought keeps communities in poverty and languishing with the effects of malnutrition. Warming oceans in coastal communities reduce the livelihoods of fishermen and threaten the tourism industry with more violent storms. The management of natural resources, that all rural communities must rely on, becomes more difficult as a consequence of climate change impacts. 

The World Bank has estimated that 75-80 percent of the cost of climate change damages will fall on the developing world, likely to lead to a permanent reduction in developing world GDP levels. Our work on climate resiliency is integrated in many of our health and nutrition programs, as well as our natural resource management projects. This work supports UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

What We’re Doing

We work directly with local communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change through effective natural resource management. We also develop climate resiliency strategies that involve policy, education and community interventions that can reduce the impacts of climate change while protecting the livelihoods of coastal communities. Our projects…

  • Develop mitigation strategies to protect at-risk coastal communities
  • Develop sustainable tourism strategies that protect coastal fisheries and other marine life
  • Educate communities about the value of sustainable managing coastal resources
  • Engage youth in marine sciences and coastal restoration efforts
  • Restore mangroves to improve coastal resiliency and store carbon

Related Impacts

Coastal Community Resiliency in the Dominican Republic

We help youth and organizations develop community-led strategies that protect their local ecosystems.

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Fisheries and Marine Conservation in the Dominican Republic

High unemployment and underemployment are serious challenges in the Dominican Republic.

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Food For Progress in Guatemala

We build the capacity of local farming cooperatives to improve agriculture productivity and livelihoods.

Read More


Together with our local partners, we are improving health and nutrition, expanding access to education, strengthening climate resiliency, enhancing people’s livelihoods, and ensuring communities are governed more inclusively. In each project, we track our goals, monitor the progress, and evaluate impact.

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Citizens around the world who are working to improve their lives.

Exploring Currently


Working alongside local partners to address challenges and opportunities.



In more than 20 countries around the world.



By developing leaders, strengthening organizations and building networks.

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