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HP Promoting Social Innovation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

(Contributed by Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President of HP’s Office of Global Social Innovation)

 

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and HP announced a commitment to collaborate on projects across the globe that advance social innovation in education, entrepreneurship, health and more. Having already collaborated with USAID since 2002, we know that our objectives align and that USAID brings an innovative approach to private sector partnership in pursuit of social, economic and environmental outcomes in the developing world.


Why is this relationship important? Regardless of the time and resources we devote to making a difference, we can’t do it alone. That’s why HP advocates a collaborative approach to solving tough, complex global problems, one in which corporations, government agencies and NGOs share resources and expertise. USAID already brings extensive development expertise, funding and partners, and its reach throughout the developing world is considerable. But by tapping the skills of HP’s 325,000-strong employee base, our range of technological solutions, and our customer and stakeholder partnerships, we can be much more effective in tackling (together) root causes of global challenges such as education, infant and maternal ill-health, unemployment and poverty. And in ways that make good public policy and business sense too.


One of the first joint initiatives we’ll be embarking on is to strengthen global entrepreneurship. Around the world, young people are learning how to use technology to develop their own businesses, guided by training provided through HP and its HP-LIFE entrepreneur training program.  The HP LIFE program has already reached students and entrepreneurs in 48 countries. Under this new agreement, USAID’s EQUIP3 program (Educational Quality Improvement Program for Out of School Youth), managed by the Education Development Center (EDC), will support and more thoroughly measure the impact of the HP-LIFE program to enrich our understanding of how IT training and web-based mentoring and networking kindles the creation and success of enterprises.  These learnings will benefit not only our work but the initiatives of USAID missions, international donors and others committed to supporting enterprise development worldwide. 


That is just the beginning…we are charged up with additional ideas and are building out concrete programs in shared priority countries and key sectors.  Current initiatives that we might to look to for inspiration include: 

 

Our HP Catalyst Initiative, which is tearing down obstacles that prevent students from learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and, our partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), which is helping to reduce AIDS fatalities by bringing technology and healthcare together in innovative ways.

 

Founded in 1961, the USAID is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by honoring visionaries who have helped improve millions of lives in the developing world through innovation. For more info, go to: http://50.usaid.gov/ 

 

Read the USAID press release at: http://www.usaid.gov/press/releases/2011/pr111020_2.html

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