Linking Projects, Driving Impact

This October, CDC Development Solutions (CDS) sent a team of 13 IBM Corporate Service Corps Volunteer Consultants to Arequipa, Peru for 30 days.  During that time, the CSC team had the opportunity to work with five different local organizations including  OGD Arequipa, a destination management organization,  CESEM, the non-profit arm of the local Chamber of Commerce, Peru 2021, a Peru-wide organization aligned around corporate social responsibility, and El Taller, an NGO improving the local capacity of Arequipa via innovative capacity building.

The fifth project was developed from a unique cross-organizational collaboration, driven by CDS, and based on programs run by IBM, Pfizer, and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). This project was particularly exciting because it built upon relationships from a previous project, based out of Lima, and worked to facilitate WSP’s project’s implementation, almost two years later, in Arequipa.  Drawing on diverse relationships, and crafting new partnerships from old, CDS was able to design and implement another cutting edge, impactful project.

In 2010, working with a Pfizer Global Health Team, CDS established a relationship with WSP, a multi-donor partnership administered by the World Bank to support poor people in obtaining affordable, safe and sustainable access to water and sanitation services.  In partnership with WSP, IBM volunteers assisted Peru’s ACOSAPP, an association of entrepreneurs providing sanitation products and services, to make the association’s business model more sustainable. Following on the success of the 2010 project, WSP was very happy to explore the development and delivery of a new project, this time taking place in Arequipa, Peru, aligned around the sanitation markets at the bottom of the pyramid, colloquially called Mi Baño.

We moved very quickly from an idea for a potential collaboration, to a fully developed project. My colleague Rodrigo, who had managed a prior project in Peru, mentioned WSP and their work with Pfizer’s Global Health Team in 2010, and recommended we reach out to the Lima-based WSP Project Leader, Malva Baskovich.  Malva was eager to once again work with a group of CDS’ volunteers, and let us know that WSP’s operating base in Arequipa would serve the project well, and he directed us to the WSP’s Regional Coordinator, Fernando Romero, who was responsible for the active projects in Arequipa.   Following an in-person meeting between Fernando and me, we were able to work through the specific focus of the project, to ensure we had the proper skill sets within our group of IBM CSC participants.

Because CDS has been implementing ICV programs for so many years, the breadth of our reach and experience allows us to call on relationships across diverse sectors and countries to augment the impact we can deliver to local organizations. For IBM alone, CDS has fielded almost 100 consultant teams benefiting more than 400 local organizations around the world. This, in turn, allows us to provide our corporate clients with a robust library of projects that are optimally align with their program goals and employees’ skills.  After a month of work, Malva Baskovich, the Project Leader of the WSP wrote to say:

This is our second experience [with CDS] and [I] hope it will be only one of many more, probably next time not only in Peru but in one of the 25 WSP’s country offices around the world. This kind of collaboration is really valuable and is clearly within a win-win framework.”

IBM has been deeply committed to ICV for the past five years, and more corporations are beginning to see the exceptional value it provides to the company, the employees, and the world.  It is collaborative initiatives like this one that remind us how important collaboration is across companies, across sectors, and across the globe.

Eric Schroeder

Eric Schroeder

As a Key Client Manager at PYXERA Global, Eric works with senior leadership to implement corporate social responsibility programs for the private sector focused on engagement in emerging markets, leadership development, and responsible supply chain development. Eric’s professional interests include driving new market growth, creating opportunities for engagement across sectors and measuring the impact of these efforts. Eric has deep personal and professional experiences in experiential learning such as Outward Bound, study abroad, and Peace Corps. He has worked in the US, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Guatemala, and is fluent in Spanish.

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