Five years is a milestone. I remember my first five years at Intel and the intense period of learning it entailed–learning a new organizational culture, the language of Intel, and how to get things accomplished in a new environment. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Intel is about to celebrate our 5th year anniversary working together. As I reflect back on what we’ve accomplished since we signed our MOU in 2006–I’m overwhelmed by how much we’ve learned. We’ve successfully built off our differences, leveraged our strengths, developed our relationship, learned a mutual language and accomplished more than we could have imagined when we started.
Intel has a global vision to create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth. When we came together with USAID five years ago, we had extensive discussions recognizing the value of what coordinated joint efforts could achieve for development and our mutual goals of bringing technologies to reach “the next billion.” USAID has significant expertise in development issues like education, agriculture, and health, as well as deep on-the-ground local knowledge through its 80 country offices. This coupled with Intel’s core competencies in innovation and technology solutions enable us both to have far-reaching impacts on economic and social development.
Over the past five years, we have launched and scaled 20+ projects with USAID. This included projects that have trained teachers in the effective use of ICTs, provided technology support for schools, aimed to improve the quality of education, and brought PCs, connectivity and digital content to youth. Within the first year of signing our MOU, we launched two project-level collaborations in Vietnam and Indonesia. This was certainly a learning process for Intel. We gained an essential understanding early on of how we could move forward and extend the relationship more broadly, while meeting our individual goals.
We’ve worked together in a collaboration that spans the globe from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and beyond. In Indonesia we created a three-year alliance to train more than 15,000 teachers on classroom use of computer technology to improve basic education. In Nigeria, Intel and USAID are collaborating to train 50,000 teachers on how to use ICT technology and effectively integrate it into the classroom. These programs don’t just teach students or teachers about technologies. They create aspirations for individuals, families, and communities to strive to learn and understand the transformative potential technologies can have in their lives and that of their children.
In 2011, I’m proud to say that we’ve launched incredible projects in Kenya, Guatemala, Egypt, Tanzania, and Yemen among many other countries. We’ve learned that public-private partnerships are most effective with clear, candid and upfront communication, consistency, mutual trust and ongoing discussions. Now that we’ve reached our 5 year anniversary, we are already looking ahead to some innovative new alliances with USAID that will focus on girls and women, entrepreneurship, maternal health as well as broadband. Given the increasing complexity of the local and global social challenges the world faces–public private partnerships such as this one become essential to creating both social and business value.