EWING, New Jersey — InterAction is an alliance organization composed of over 180 NGOs, both faith-based and secular, that work to fight global poverty and the pernicious effects poverty exerts daily into our world. Based in Washington D.C., InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S. based NGOs and in this function serves as a platform through which these member organizations can take collective action on issues worldwide. However, along with fostering group action, InterAction also fosters group dialogue in which strategies, and techinques can be transmitted from one member organization to another as they work in concert to fight for the impoverished.
Its projects can be seen as being divided into three main categories: humanitarian action, international development and advocacy. InterAction mobilizes member organizations to work together on a number of issues in a concerted effort to create more long-lasting change.
Formed from two umbrella voluntary organizations on October 22, 1984 this alliance organization has remained committed to international development since its creation. What follows is but a short synopsis of its many achievements and works.
In 1987, it started a multiyear initiative termed the “African Partnership Project” in collaboration with FAVDO, an association of African NGOs, to help foster permanent connections between U.S. and African development organizations.
In 1989, InterAction began its Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) standards. These are a list of moral and ethical standards that all members must adhere to, in order to uphold InterAction’s international reputation as one of the upmost integrity.
On January 1, 1994, InterAction launched a long-term initiative dedicated to promoting female empowerment. In this initiative InterAction has developed a number of resources, including multiple training manuals and workshops, for member and donor agencies to utilize in order to help their promotion of gender equality during their subsequent projects.
In 2004, InterAction members helped respond to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the India Ocean tsunami.
In 2008, members of this alliance organization contributed to aid work in Darfur, and InterAction developed a security unit to help address safety concerns of those in the field.
Also in 2008, it published its first ever Foreign Assistance Briefing Booklet or FABB. This is intended to be used as a resource for members of Congress and the White House Administration. In the book is the U.S. NGO community’s best thinking on foreign assistance, and the varying challenges associated with it. A third edition of the book was published in 2013.
In January 2010, InterAction oversaw the development of an online course which is aimed to help members integrate gender equality into their respective disaster response programs. InterAction also helped respond to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, sending members on the ground to help those in need, and released a “step by step” guide designed to help member organizations prevent the sexual exploitation of aid recipients.
However, InterAction does more than simply one or two events every couple of years in its effort to fight global poverty. This is a prolific organization that, every year, achieves multitude of various achievements. In 2012 alone InterActon helped respond to critical humanitarian crises in Syria, Mal, and the Sahel; member organizations pledged to spend over one billion in private resources over the next three years on programs dedicated to promoting food security, agriculture and nutrition; and had over 100 meetings with congressional offices, as wells as compiling another Foreign Assistance Briefing Booklet.
One of InterAction’s current projects takes placed in Kyrgyzstan. Titled the Food for Education project, this is a 36 month school feeding program in all 40 rural regions of the Kyrgyz Republic . It also aims at improving the learning environment of schools through 300 infrastructures and equipment grants to improve kitchen facilities and sanitation at the involved schools. This should benefit at least 160,000 school children.
And so one can see, rather easily, that InterAction is an incredibly active organization that has brought vast amounts of positive change to the world in the past 30 years.
– Albert Cavallaro