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Engaging Community Service Providers Towards Localization

Photo of a woman reading to a woman and child
Robert McKechnie / Save the Children Australia
6:30am - 8:00am ET

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This event was a session at the Food Security COVID-19 Learning Event.

Across different sectors, working through community service providers (CSPs) is a common mechanism for cascading training, catalyzing behavior change and facilitating access to essential services and linkages with public and private sector actors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of CSPs has become even more critical as implementing partners relied on frontline actors for programming continuity in light of the public health restrictions. During this session, attendees explored how food security programs are adapting their strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the sustainability of service provision through CSPs as a key element towards localization.


Gitau Mbure, Food Security Technical Advisor, IDEAL 

Gitau Mbure is a Senior Technical Advisor for Food Security on the  IDEAL Activity. He has close to two decades of experience in international development, working both on program management and in facilitating technical thought leadership. In his current role, Mr.Mbure directs efforts to ensure integration across IDEAL’s content focus areas and also leads IDEAL’s Localization Task Force.

Alex Bekunda, Chief of Party, Nobo Jatra Program, World Vision, Bangladesh 

Mr. Alex Bekunda is the Chief of Party for USAID’s Resilience Food Security Activity ‘Nobo Jatra-new beginning’, led by World Vision Bangladesh. Alex comes with 16+ years of experience in the private sector, international development and humanitarian programs in fragile, post-conflict, and conflict settings. Prior to World Vision, he worked in Mercy Corps in Yemen/Uganda/Nigeria in similar roles. Alex has expertise in Program management, market systems development, economic development for financial inclusion, and alternative income-generating opportunities.

Saeqah Kabir, Director of Knowledge Management and Communications, Nobo Jatra Program, World Vision, Bangladesh 

Ms. Saeqah Kabir is the Director – Knowledge Management and Communications, for USAID’s Resilience Food Security Activity ‘Nobo Jatra-new beginning’, led by World Vision Bangladesh. Saeqah leads a diverse team to capture and communicate impact and strengthen collaborative processes for adaptive learning to increase impact and reach. Saeqah and her team are responsible for quality assurance, strategic communications and visibility. Before joining World Vision, Saeqah worked in research and communications roles in the UK and Bangladesh with Asia House, British Asian Trust, Save the Children, United Nations Development Programme, and Hellen Keller International.

Rita Larok, Chief of Party, Graduating to Resilience Activity, AVSI, Uganda  

Rita Larok is a public health specialist with a social work background. Rita is currently the Chief of Party for the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Graduating to Resilience Activity in Uganda that aims to graduate extremely poor refugee and Ugandan households from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. Rita has worked within both the development and humanitarian settings for over 16 years - starting off as a social worker and serving various positions spanning; management, advisor, Chief of Party, and Director of Programs.

Telesphore Kabore, Senior Advisor for Community Health – Breakthrough Action/Save the Children  

Dr. Telesphore Kaboré currently serves as the Community Health Senior Advisor under Breakthrough ACTION, the USAID-funded global SBC flagship Project representing Save the Children in the consortium. In this role, he serves as Save the Children’s portfolio Director, providing technical leadership and overseeing the project management in over 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Astha Thapa, Director of Programs, DevWorks 

As the Director of Programs at DevWorks International, Astha Thapa oversees the implementation of DevWorks’ project portfolio in agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene, youth, governance, and natural resource management. Her program management team provides backstopping support for effective program implementation in all aspects of quality in design and implementation and ensures that DevWorks has all necessary infrastructure in-home office and field to support the projects effectively.