Project Profile

PEPSE: Development Impact Through Private Sector Engagement

Project Name

Promoting Excellence in Private-Sector Engagement (PEPSE)


USAID U.S. Global Development Lab Center for Transformational Partnerships (CTP)/Private-Sector Engagement (PSE) Team

Prime Contractor


Implementing Partners

Chemonics International, FSG, Informatics Studio, and The Partnering Initiative (TPI)



Time Period

August 2017 - August 2023


Private enterprise is a powerful force for improving lives, growing economies, and building communities worldwide. Today, private capital represents nearly 90 percent of financial flows into developing countries. Increasingly, the development sector seeks to accelerate impact by harnessing markets and partnering with companies.  Private sector-driven development approaches tap into markets to create jobs, strengthen economies, and deliver vital products and services. When done right, we’ve seen that collaboration with the private sector can enhance the efficiency, scalability, and sustainability of critical development investments.

In December 2018, USAID announced a new Private-Sector Engagement (PSE) policy, with a mandate to dramatically expand the Agency’s collaboration with the private sector across its global development portfolio. USAID is deepening engagement with companies, investors, and diverse stakeholders to achieve more sustainable development outcomes worldwide. For USAID, this is a major Agency-wide operational and cultural transformation – one that represents a fundamental shift in the design and delivery of U.S. development and humanitarian assistance.


Resonance works at the intersection of the business and development communities. Since 2005, we have been leaders in engaging the private sector in global development, and we forge cross-sector partnerships that deliver results. Resonance leads the Promoting Excellence in Private-Sector Engagement (PEPSE) project, to help USAID’s Private-Sector Engagement Hub achieve greater development impact through strategic collaboration with the private sector.

PEPSE works directly with USAID’s Missions, Bureaus, and independent offices around the world. We provide support across the following key areas:

Uncovering Partnership Opportunities and Developing PSE Strategy

  • Through Private Sector Landscape Assessment (PSLAs), we help USAID identify specific opportunities to harness private sector collaboration for development results. We map relevant companies across sectors, industries, or geographies. Through research and interviews, we identify areas of aligned interest between companies and USAID. We then work to define actionable collaboration models, as well as high-potential private sector partners.
  • Our expert facilitators lead visioning and action planning sessions with USAID teams and the private sector, to shape PSE strategy and prioritize PSE opportunities within USAID’s country-, regional-, or sector-specific strategies.
  • We deploy PSE experts to work with USAID as part of specific activity-design teams, to ensure that PSE is baked into new development activities from the outset.

Advancing PSE Training and Tools

  • PEPSE trains and supports USAID staff to identify PSE opportunities, forge relationships with private sector partners, and translate public-private collaboration into real and long-term development impact. Our trainers and facilitators lead USAID staff in a range of Agency-wide trainings, including PSE 101 and Mobilizing Finance for Development (MF4D). We also offer tailored training modules, designed to fit a USAID Mission or Operating Unit’s particular context and needs relative to PSE.
  • We offer field-based and/or virtual guidance and coaching for USAID staff working to design and implement activities with the private sector.
  • We build, maintain, and deploy knowledge management systems for PSE. Through PEPSE, USAID staff have access to the latest PSE resources, from sector-specific background briefs, to analysis of PSE opportunities, to the latest data on private sector partnerships from across the Agency.
  • We are helping build a PSE community of practice that connects global USAID staff in peer-to-peer exchanges, to share best practices for company partnerships.
  • Finally, we are creating and sharing tools for PSE practitioners. PEPSE helps USAID staff access and customize the tools and resources they need to build, manage, and monitor partnerships with the private sector.

Building and Implementing Strategic Partnerships with the Private Sector

  • We facilitate co-creation workshops with USAID and the private sector, to jointly define a partnership vision and action plan in advance of partnership launch.
  • We support partnership negotiations, agreement development, and launch.
  • For active partnerships, we can support communications and relationship management. We also design and track partnership monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems, to help USAID and its partners ensure that a partnership initiative is driving impact on the ground.

Key Results

Since 2017, PEPSE has been pivotal in leading and supporting the following PSE-oriented activities:

  • We work with USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) to develop a PSE implementation plan for partnering with companies to advance agricultural development and fight hunger worldwide. We’ve also supported the design and launch of two new partnerships between USAID/RFS and multinational companies. These include:
    • A partnership with Mars Company focused on agricultural livelihoods; sustainable, nutritious, and safe food systems; and women’s economic empowerment
    • A partnership with John Deere focused on access to capital; training on mechanization, and digital inclusion.
  • We’ve conducted over 25 private sector landscape assessments (PSLAs) and targeted research assignments to identify opportunities to engage the private sector in USAID’s global development programming. We have interviewed well over 500 companies to explore collaboration for disaster preparedness and humanitarian response, economic growth, environment, education, health, energy, agriculture, and democracy and governance. We have advised over 22 USAID Missions, Bureaus, and offices to identify concrete ways to partner with companies to enhance development activities.
  • We revised USAID’s core PSE 101 Training and delivered over 12 of these five-day trainings to USAID staff in Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Senegal, Tanzania, Thailand, and the U.S. Since Covid-19, we have moved trainings online and to-date, 970 USAID staff have taken the online PSE prerequisite course, and over 300 USAID staff have taken the PSE 101 course.
  • We designed and delivered PSE action-planning workshops for USAID Missions in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • We developed resources and knowledge products – including USAID’s monthly PSE newsletter – to put USAID’s PSE policy into practice, drawing on the latest PSE data on private-sector partnerships from across the Agency. 
  • We co-designed and coordinated seminal PSE events, including the 2018 Private-Sector Engagement Forum, the 2019 USAID Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Implementing Partners Workshop, and a 2022 workshop among National Security Council (NSC) members on partnership co-creation approaches. 

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