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Learning from “Backbone Mechanisms” to Advance HDP Coherence

Group of people seating in a circle
Mark Njuguna / Save the Children
8:00am - 10:00am ET

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“Backbone mechanisms” are independent entities that support partners in maintaining strategic coherence, and facilitate learning, collaboration, and coordination in a geographical area. This session explored how these mechanisms are advancing collective impact for HDP coherence through collaboration, coordination, and joint learning, and what implementing partners can learn from this work. 

Participants heard from backbone mechanisms in Kenya, Somalia, and the Sahel about models and approaches to coordination that contribute to HDP coherence. Central to this conversation were approaches to coordinate and engage with different levels of local partners working to bring together humanitarian, development, and peace programming efforts.

This session was moderated by Karine Garnier, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning Advisor at USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. Panelists for this session include:

  • James Flock, Chief of Party, ACDI/VOCA, Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) Kenya/East Africa/Somalia
  • Alissa Karg Girard, Chief of Party, Mercy Corps, Sahel Collaboration and Communication (SCC) Activity
  • Mesfin Molla, Chief of Party, Tufts University, Karamoja Resilience Support Unit II

This event is part of the thematic area: Communication and Coordination for HDP Coherence

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Speaker Bios

Karine GarnierKarine Garnier is a Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning advisor in USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), serving as the Activity Manager for the USAID IDEAL Activity, and a member of the Applied Learning Team at BHA’s Office of Technical and Program Quality since 2019. She joined USAID in 2015 initially with the Center for Resilience, where she supported institutionalizing resilience, building staff technical capacity, supporting collaborating, learning, and adapting, and engaging in partnership development. Prior to that she was a Deputy Officer in Charge at UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Resilience Hub for East and Central Africa based in Kenya and held various positions at FAO from 2004 to 2014 in the subregion. Karine has an MA in Public Administration from Clark University, and a law degree from L’Université du Maine, Le Mans, France. 

James FlockJames Flock is an agribusiness and humanitarian development professional with over 15 years of experience leading agricultural and humanitarian projects that strengthen collaboration, market systems, and sustainability throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Currently, he is ACDI/VOCA’s Chief of Party for the USAID Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) that operates. He holds an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.

Alissa Karg GirardAlissa Karg Girard works for Mercy Corps as Chief of Party for the USAID Sahel Collaboration and Communication Activity. She has over 20 years experience leading design, implementation, and close-out of humanitarian response and economic development programs supported by USAID, the EU, UN agencies, local governments, and the private sector.

Mesfin MollaMesfin Molla works for Tufts University as the Chief of Party for the Karamoja Resilience Support Unit II in Uganda. Mesfin has over 20 years of experience in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda, and previously worked for ACDI VOCA, Mercy Corps, FARM Africa, Save the Children, ACTIONAID, and CHF Partners.