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In 2008, following a first phase of the Emergency Capacity Building Project, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accepted a proposal from CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Save the Children, and World Vision International worth $12.3 million for a further five year joint programme. Stepping outside their traditional grant making strategy to support this innovative project, the Gates Foundation provided $5 million of core funding and the agencies pledged to fundraise together the remaining $7.3 million. While CARE manages the contract with the Gates Foundation, the other five agencies signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the project’s management structure and ways of working for the five‐year joint venture. This case study recounts the agencies’ attempts to together close the $7.3 million funding gap, while launching and sustaining a $12 million programme. Three years in, the ECB Project is almost fully funded, but it has not always been a smooth journey.

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