CRS’ Central Africa Regional Office (CARO) 2020-2025 Partnership Strategy commits our country programs (CPs) to empowering local institutions as leaders for sustainable change at scale. In Cameroon, CRS pursued this vision by leveraging a USAID/PEPFAR award to help prepare the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) to become a prime recipient of US government (USG) funding.
Between 2014 and 2023, CRS, NECC, and 26 sub-recipient partners implemented the Key Interventions to Develop Systems and Services (KIDSS) project to improve the capacities of government, community networks, and caregivers to provide high-quality care and support services to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). In 2020, NECC was selected as the award “transition partner” and a second cost extension began, focused both on programmatic expansion and NECC’s prime readiness capacity strengthening. By closeout, the $36M project had extended to all 10 of Cameroon’s regions, cumulatively reaching over 87,000 individuals.
Thanks to a robust capacity strengthening process to transition prime leadership to NECC, the local partner applied for and secured a five-year follow-on project (termed a PEPFAR “transition award”) – Consolidating Systems and Services for the Management of OVC in Cameroon (CoSMO) – which launched in January 2023.
Based on key informant interviews with CRS and NECC staff, this learning brief describes key milestones in the process CRS/Cameroon undertook to accompany NECC on their journey to becoming a USG prime recipient, including lessons learned and recommendations, as CRS expands its local leadership efforts.