Panagora Celebrates our One Year Anniversary

Panagora Awarded Subcontract under Chemonics’ USAID-funded Bangladesh Smiling Sun Franchise Project

Panagora is thrilled to announce that it will assist Chemonics in carrying out the final year of work of the Bangladesh Smiling Sun Franchise Project. “SSFP is a unique public-private partnership,” said Betsy Bassan, Panagora’s President. “It is the world’s largest social franchise and is paving the way for worldwide use of this unique approach to providing quality and accessible health care services for the poor in an increasingly sustainable way through national organizations with local ownership.” Bassan has been associated with this program from the proposal stage.

New mom and newborn -- two lives saved through emergency obstetric care at Smiling Sun Clinic.

SSFP is a unique program for USAID. Besides being the world’s largest social franchise, it is the only social franchise at clinic scale providing the full range of essential services. The network includes 26 national Bangladeshi NGOs, many of which have been providing health services to poor and under-served people for decades. It includes 323 static clinics and 8,800 satellite clinics that rove to different pre-selected sites, many deep into rural areas. In addition, the network has a cadre of 6,400 community services providers (CSPs) who bring health services and products directly to communities. The CSPs form community-based health groups that meet regularly to learn about live-saving healthy practices like hand-washing, breastfeeding, good nutrition, and so on.

The network has more than 30 million service contacts annually. More than 30 percent of its clients are poor who pay no or marginal fees. Through a disciplined business planning process supported by an MIS system that tracks service statistics and revenue, the network has achieved more than 40 percent internal cost recovery. The network has carried out more than 66,000 safe deliveries, often in cases requiring emergency obstetric care, saving the lives of thousands of women and babies.

Family planning consultation at Smiling Sun Clinic


USAID’s funds are heavily leveraged through more than almost 30 public-private partnerships, spanning the Government of Bangladesh. The partnerships include demand-side financing and commodities; international and national companies providing clinic construction and operating costs, third-party payments, donations, event sponsorship, and drugs and other critical supplies directly to clinics at pre-negotiated discounted pricing; as well as multilateral agencies that underwrite clinic services.

Panagora will support a new initiative to intensify capacity-building with the member NGOs and the network as a whole. We will be working closely with the Capacity Building Services Group (CBSG), an organizational development company formed out of a past USAID funded activity with PACT. Panagora and the CBSG share capacity building philosophies and will work together to ensure that the ambitious work is successful, culminating in direct funding of selected NGOs by USAID. This is a superb example of an national and international partnership, deepening capacity of a national company while building the capacity of local NGOs to carry out the technical work and perform under direct awards from USAID – exactly in line with USAID FORWARD and procurement reform.

Emdad Moslem, Panagora’s new employee and an organizational development specialist, will support the work from within the SSFP team, which is ably led by Chemonics’ Chief of Party, Dr. Zafarullah Gill.

For more information on SSFP and the path-breaking work it is carrying out, visit and be sure to view the videos of SSFP’s work included in this website. 

Happy Holidays from Panagora Group

Panagora President helps form new Coalition of International Development Companies — CIDC

Panagora President Betsy Bassan was front and center in the formation of the new Coalition of International Development Companies (CIDC), and now serves on its Executive Committee. The purpose of CIDC is to bring the deep knowledge and experience of international development companies – small, medium and large – to any table where development is being discussed. The advent of CIDC fills a long-existing need, an especially important need during these times when the future of foreign assistance is being hotly debated and recast. Fifty-four companies have already joined the organization.

International development companies represent more than 40 percent of USAID’s implementation force. They bring highly skilled and very committed development practitioners – international and national alike – to help create sustainable outcomes at scale through demand-driven solutions that are carried forward by local partners, whether government, the private sector, or NGOs. They are entrepreneurial by nature – reflecting American values of innovation, compassion, and results that are close to the heart of the private sector. They are committed for the long haul – taking forward massive economic and social programs, building national capacity to carry solutions forward, and turning our talents to the next challenge. 

“CIDC represents a long-held dream of mine. I have worked for local and international NGOs, USAID, and international development companies,” Bassan said. “We are all staffed by dedicated and knowledgeable people who are driven to alleviate poverty and make the world a better place. Never before has it been more important to have all voices with development expertise at the table to craft ever more effective ways to squeeze out the most development impact possible from every dollar.”

“Moreover, as our profession of international development evolves, it is critical that we bring forward all evidence of what works and what doesn’t – from NGOs, international development companies, and other implementing agencies – so that policy decisions are based on the full spectrum of USAID and other donor experience.”

CIDC is superbly led by Chair Charito Kruvant, President and CEO of Creative Associates International. The convening companies include Abt Associates, Chemonics International (whose President and CEO, Richard Dreiman, hosted our first planning meeting), Creative Associates International, DAI, Development and Training Services, INTEGRA LLC, International Resources Group, The Kaizen Company, MSI, and Panagora Group. We receive excellent communications support from the Podesta Group. We are hosted by the Professional Services Council, whose President and CEO, Stan Soloway, serves on CIDC’s Executive Committee.

CIDC carries out its work through a number of task forces staffed from the ranks of its 54 member companies. CIDC’s task forces make sure the group’s voice is present in print, electronic, and social media, and that its members interface on the substantive issues of development with key stakeholders in the Administration, the Hill, other consortia, think tanks, universities, and NGOs. Bassan leads the task force on outreach to coalitions, think tanks, and universities; and supports the membership and fundraising task force.  

To learn more about CIDC and stay current on its activities, visit Along with compelling and clear presentations on foreign aid achievements and a list of members, it contains all of the group’s media placements to date, including an editorial by Betsy Bassan in the Huffington Post on June 22, 2011, the day CIDC was launched.


Follow CIDC on Twitter: @intDevCompanies




A Chat with Panagora’s New Director, Pamela Pine

Stacyann: Hi, Pam. We’re so glad that you’ve joined Panagora.  Tell us why you were interested in being a part of this organization.

Pam: I really liked the organization’s orientation and its focus on the changes that are occurring in international health and development, and the fact that it’s a new organization.  There are incredible opportunities with a new group, and particularly one led by smart, creative, concerned, driven people (i.e., Betsy!)

Stacyann: Tell us a little about your background.

Pam: I’ve had a pretty eclectic life and career. I’ve focused on serving the underserved in a number of different locations throughout the world, with a primary focus on women and children given the need. I have an entrepreneurial and creative bent, so I’ve tended toward involvements that are outside of the ordinary, that use methods that bring together evidence-based program elements that have not been put together previously.  For example, to address an issue of coca sales and use in the Northern Border area of Ecuador, a communication project I designed and for which I was the Project Director brought together a coalition of organizations who agreed to brand themselves under a unifying logo. The project focused on positive development messages and licit economics, never once mentioning coca.  The project was really able to reach far and wide through different types of media and brought awareness to large groups of various publics – and ended up being awarded a prestigious international prize for the work!  On another front, to address the need for awareness and understanding and catalyze action on child sexual abuse, my colleagues and I used theatre with after-show discussion, which was able to generate empathy and understanding and intent to act in a way that providing training often just cannot.

Stacyann: What other types of health issues have you worked on?

Pam: Lots: reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, leprosy, TB, immunization, nutrition, maternal and child health, societal violence, and in a number of different locations throughout the world including Albania, the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Morocco, Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Yemen, Zambia. I’ve provided technical assistance on research, training, community outreach and education, community mobilization, media outreach, advocacy, social marketing, policy development, and evaluation, in addition to organization, program and project leadership. I’m really proud of what I’ve helped accomplish and very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had to be a part of other cultures and environments.  I lived in Yemen in the late 70s, when it had been open to the world for less than a decade!  It was like walking into the Bible.  I am fortunate.

Stacyann: So, what’s next at the Panagora Group for you?

Pam: Well, I’m off to India to gather information about possible programming there.  I’m watching it all unfold, and look forward to the opportunities with a truly innovative and impassioned growing group of professionals.