Jennifer Prillaman | Palladium - Sep 17 2019
Helping Countries in Transition: USAID Awards SWIFT 5 to Palladium

Source: USAID Office of Transition Initiatives

"The nature of conflict has changed," reports the United Nations. Today, we have fewer conflicts across the globe but they are increasingly complicated and more deeply rooted. "Peacekeeping" was originally backed by military operations, but today it includes complex tasks, from building sustainable institutions of governance, to human rights monitoring, security sector reform, reintegrating former combatants, improving economic stability, and more.

$2.5 Billion Contract

For the United States, the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) is responsible for catalysing local initiatives through adaptive and agile programming to support political change in countries transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy, from violence to peace, or following a crisis. OTI strategically designs its programs for each unique country and situation, which requires constant innovation and adaptation of its initiatives and responses. To help do this, OTI has awarded a large, USD 2.5 billion-ceiling Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to 10 implementing partner organisations, including Palladium.

This IDIQ is called "Support Which Implements Fast Transition" – or SWIFT 5, a seven-year program to support OTI in assisting and stabilising countries undergoing transition or emerging from crisis. This work helps to lay the foundation for long-term development by promoting reconciliation, jumpstarting local economies, supporting emerging independent media, and fostering peace and democracy.

OTI's IDIQ is a unique funding and procurement mechanism that will allow it to launch programs quickly, adapt to changing environments, and work with non-traditional partners. This mechanism also allows Palladium to co-create and manage country programs in partnership with OTI, which gives the necessary flexibility for rapid response in dynamic, ever-changing situations.

Rapid Response

Palladium's global experience in this space runs deep, and the team is looking forward to supporting OTI’s programs.

"We're well positioned to create networks and engage with local communities, which is crucial to building the trust and the relationships needed for long-term engagement in transitional states," say Maria Martinkov, Managing Partner of Palladium.

"We’ll be working on the ground, looking for those opportunities for engagement and responding immediately to needs as they arise, which is something we've been doing for our company's entire history."

Since 1987, Palladium has served as the preferred supplier of emergency response and logistics for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Palladium also delivers stabilisation services, worldwide, for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

As an awardee of SWIFT 5, Palladium is adding the U.S. government as its third major client in this space and will be able to use its extensive global reach to stay fast and flexible.

"We’ve helped advance the transitions to peace and democracy in Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq, Nepal, the Palestinian territories, and the Solomon Islands, to name a few," explains Martinkov. "Everyone at Palladium is very proud to support this work, because we will be contributing not just to conflict prevention but also longer-term peacebuilding and reconciliation."