Who We Are

A nonprofit that means business

ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth, higher living standards, and vibrant communities in low-income countries and emerging democracies.

ACDI/VOCA has always had a food security focus, and former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios once called us “the premier agricultural development NGO in the world.”

We are an industry leader in value chain-oriented poverty alleviation and enterprise development. We have hard-won experience in conflict-affected and fragile states and proficiency at managing the transition from relief to development. Our innovative approaches to food aid and financial services contribute to economic development and meet the test of the market.

We specialize in building local capacity and thereby providing sustainable solutions to the most pressing and intractable development problems. Our activities span the development continuum, from meeting basic needs to highly interactive market integration.

We do not address single problems in isolation but rather integrate approaches from our five practice areas

ACDI/VOCA retains a grassroots orientation from its beginnings in cooperative development. While we still work people-to-people to increase household income and food security, we also design and implement multidisciplinary economic development projects of significant scale and complexity. We advise decisionmakers as they navigate toward a market-based economy and democracy, and we enable organizations, whether enterprises, financial institutions, cooperatives, or associations, to manage and finance themselves.

View an interactive timeline of ACDI/VOCA's history >>

It takes a village

…but also a city, a cooperative, an NGO, an industry association, a multinational corporation, a global standards and certification body, a legislature, a university….

We make a point of partnering with local and multinational private sector companies, industry associations, and other value chain actors and stakeholders to leverage public funding and create synergies. They contribute market knowledge and interest, and we contribute mobilization at the grassroots as well as coordination of inclusive, sustainable, and socially conscious development.

We also strive to ensure that women, youth, indigenous populations, and other marginalized groups have a voice in, and benefit from, our interventions.

Finally, drawing on our mission orientation and 50 years of experience we provide knowledge, opportunities, and choices that enable people to improve their lives.

What distinguishes ACDI/VOCA?

Balance: Development acumen blended with humanitarian concern

Values: Dedication to beneficiaries as true partners, wise stewardship of resources, and a knowledgeable, experienced, diverse, and effective team

Innovation and Learning: A commitment to well-managed development activities, the application of best practices to deliver the highest quality results for our beneficiaries, and technical leadership for our industry

Sustainability: Beneficiary-driven solutions that foster self-sufficiency, build skills and capacity, integrate development strategies and players, and focus on the bottom line

Readiness and Resiliency: Quick, appropriate response to emergencies in countries where we operate, combined with a capacity to transition from short-term emergency needs to long-term economic growth

Accessibility, Integration, and Scale: Facility working on projects of any size under a variety of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and teaming agreements, and the ability to organize and lead large consortiums and mount complex, integrated projects

Learn more about our roots.

See where we work today.

1963-2013: 50 years of ACDI/VOCA.