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History and Background


Pact was founded in 1971 as a membership organization of U.S. private and voluntary organizations (PVOs) to facilitate the distribution of small USAID grants to PVOs working in relief and development assistance. From the beginning Pact had as a goal for its members to empower local organizations in order to attain sustainable development.

By the early 1980s Pact had begun directly assisting local NGOs and support organizations with small institutional development grants and in 1985 opened its membership to local NGOs. In 1992 Pact dissolved its membership structure, revised its bylaws, and established itself as a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.

Since Pact''s annual operating budget has grown from some $3 million to nearly $115 million in FY 2007. Likewise our program reach has greatly expanded. Currently Pact implements over 100 projects in 46 countries in Asia, Eurasia, Africa and Latin America, with field offices in 26 countries. These projects include two large grants management programs addressing democracy and governance and HIV/AIDS that total over $53 million. Other priority program areas include livelihoods, natural resource management, and peace building. Technical assistance, capacity building and grants are components of most project designs.

Pact meets the challenges of its mission through leadership that encourages testing new ideas and taking risks and through program innovation. It has led the way in piloting and scaling up cross-sectoral development approaches, including pioneer work women''s empowerment. The program, known as WORTH has received six international awards, including being named as a finalist in the first ever Nonprofit Innovation Award given jointly by Amazon.com and Stanford University''s School of business.

Pact also established and is a founding member of the Impact Alliance, a global marketplace for capacity building service providers and those seeking their services. A web-based portal makes it possible to access service providers, browse a resource library, and discuss ideas in online learning communities. In addition the Impact Alliance supports face-to-face exchanges among leading thinkers and practitioners to strengthen relationships and shared vision.

Finally, Pact is developing a groundbreaking new alliance with a set of mining companies, NGOs and donors in DR Congo to further social development aims in the country and to increase the capacity of these companies to operate as good corporate citizens. The alliance is centered in Katanga province where it is tackling such tough issues as artisanal mining, health care and education, human rights and security.


Pact''s mission is to build empowered communities, effective governments and responsible private institutions that give people an opportunity for a better life. We do this by strengthening the capacity of organizations and institutions to be good service providers, represent their stakeholders, network with others for learning and knowledge sharing, and advocate for social, economic and environmental justice. Interdependence, responsible stewardship, inclusion of vulnerable groups, and respect for local ownership and knowledge are core values across all of our programs.


Pact envisions an interconnected world in which relationships of trust and mutual benefit among the state, the marketplace and communities provide the inspiration and foundation for taking actions to end poverty, ensure justice and achieve greater equity.


Pact''s mission is rooted in the following values:

- All people have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
- Local communities should be the driving forces for their own social and economic development.
- Democracy grows out of grassroots participation and enterprise.
- Gender equity is mandatory for social transformation.
- Stakeholder inclusivity and power-sharing inform decision making.
- Relationships are based on trust and respect.
- Program design is client-driven.
- Resource allocation choices are transparent and guided by sensitivity to the costs of operations and financial accountability to our clients, in recognition of Pact''s role as steward of resources intended for the poor.
- Enduring change defines the fundamental objective of all programs.

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