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Locally led development in the spotlight as RTI and First Consult embark on new strategic partnership

Collaboration will help both organizations support locally led solutions for a sustainable future

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. & ADDIS ABABA — RTI International, a nonprofit research institute and leading international development organization, signed a memorandum of understanding with First Consult, a prominent development consulting organization implementing economic development projects in Ethiopia. Both organizations will work together to identify inclusive solutions that lead to sustainable economic growth, climate resilience, improved food security, quality education and health care, environmental protection and greater prosperity.

“Prioritizing the knowledge, skills and perspective of local actors is the heart of locally led development,” said Paul Weisenfeld, executive vice president for international development at RTI. “Long-term partnerships in the countries where we work are key to identifying solutions that lead to sustainable success across local networks and systems.”

RTI and First Consult will jointly invest in research, exchange evidence and insights, and work together to respond to emerging issues across multiple sectors in Ethiopia through locally led solutions. This collaboration will bolster local expertise and networks around a variety of research areas.

"This strategic partnership will help us make a larger impact by reaching more communities,” said Nebil Kellow, First Consult managing director. “We're proud to enter into this agreement to grow our technical and operational support to public and private sectors in locally led development.”  

Currently, First Consult is working in partnership with more than 200 government and private local partners and more than 20 international partners. Since its inception in 2006 the firm has supported the creation of more than 700,000 jobs in Ethiopia, mobilized $403 million worth of investment and facilitated $150 million in credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In doing so, they have supported the formation and growth of more than 120,000 MSMEs.  

Learn more about RTI’s work in international development