Around the world, small-scale farmers work hard to produce enough food for their families and
communities. However, among the 1 in 9 people who are chronically hungry, an estimated 70% rely
on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. For over 35 years, ECHO has worked to equip these
farmers with agricultural resources – training, information, and seeds – that improve crop
production and reduce hunger. Clearly, there is much more to be done!
In order to multiply the impact of ECHO’s work, this Strategic Plan outlines two bold new goals. By 2021:
• Over 500,000 people will benefit annually from ECHO’s direct trainings; and,
• Over 17,500 development workers will benefit from ECHO’s global resources.
This plan’s first big goal is to increase the number of people who annually benefit from ECHO’s direct trainings from an estimated 300,000 in 2016 to over 500,000 in 2021.
Simultaneously, ECHO will expand its engagement with, and resourcing of, development workers around the world – increasing those directly served from over 11,000 in 2016 to more than 17,500 in 2021.
In late 2015, ECHO was actively resourcing 10,000 of these development practitioners who reported that through them ECHO had benefited over 5.8 million women, children, and men around the world. Expanding ECHO’s global services to over 17,500 of these development practitioners may enable them to benefit over 10 million people with ECHO resources.
Two additional strategic steps are integral to the increases in engagement and impact:
1. The incorporation of ECHO’s training modules into an online agricultural curriculum; and,
2. The development of a Regional Impact Team to serve South Asia (inc. India).
ECHO is uniquely positioned to provide technical support in a global, noncompetitive fashion. For over 35 years, ECHO has been building its network of international development workers as well as its repository of proven techniques, plants and farming systems.
ECHO's core asset is its global network of international development workers and organizations. The impact of the ECHOcommunity network is substantiated by the over 3,000,000 page views the site has received. A survey among network members revealed that each member impacts on average 116 other people with ECHO resources. This leveraging effect has allowed ECHO resources to reach hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers.
As an organization, ECHO is well-equipped with a committed staff of 65, and over 400 volunteers per year. Charity Navigator recently ranked ECHO among the top 100 in the United States, based on governance practices, financial accountability, donor policies, and management of administrative costs.
To measure the number of people trained, ECHO defines “direct training” as formal training conducted by ECHO staff, and consisting of at least 7 hours of participatory learning. Most ECHO trainings are 2-4 days and include 16-36 hours of participatory learning. The number of people trained at each event is tracked by ECHO-Florida and each Regional Impact Center/Team.
This goal to nearly double ECHO’s global resourcing impact to more than 17,500 development workers will be assessed on a biennial basis using the same anonymous survey and statistical analysis techniques that were used in the initial 2015 assessment, in which respondents were queried about the number of people with whom they shared ECHO resources.
In late 2015, ECHO was actively resourcing 10,000 development practitioners who reported that through them ECHO had benefited over 5.8 million women, children, and men around the world. In 2018, our membership had grown to over 14,000.
Expanding ECHO’s global services to over 17,500 of these development practitioners by 2021 will enable them to benefit over 10 million people with ECHO resources.
The virtual presence of ECHOcommunity.org and the physical presence of Regional Impact Centers allow ECHO to collect more systematic and detailed information about its impact on reducing hunger among small-scale farmers. Beyond survey results, ECHO staff now have greater means for corresponding with or personally visiting farmer families whose nutritional and economic well-being has significantly improved by applying ECHO knowledge.