Conrad N. Hilton Foundation President and CEO Peter Laugharn and Director of Strategic Partnerships Shaheen Kassim-Lakha traveled to the Philanthropy European Association (Philea) Forum to support our commitment to advancing locally-led development. Ahead of the 2024 Philea Forum, nine European foundations officially endorsed USAID’s Donor Statement on Locally-Led Development. These organizations join 15 other U.S. foundations and 20 donor countries in a shared commitment to shift and share power with local leaders and organizations, channel high-quality funding as directly as possible to local communities, and publicly advocate for locally-led development efforts. 

Representatives from Philea’s Funders Forum on International Cooperation Partnerships (FFICP) and Enabel endorse USAID and NORAD’s Donor Statement on Supporting Locally Led Development, alongside foundations including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Increasing direct funding to local organizations is a shared responsibility, and we are proud to be collaborating with our philanthropic peers and other partners to support locally-led development. In February 2024, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with USAID Administrator Samantha Power to advance locally-led efforts in areas of shared interest, such as early childhood development, youth empowerment, disaster response and humanitarian assistance, safe water systems, and engagement with faith-based and community organizations.

USAID is committed to increasing locally-led development by recognizing that local leadership and ownership are essential for fostering sustainable results across our development and humanitarian assistance work. The Hilton Foundation’s leadership was instrumental in bringing 15 foundations together to endorse the Donor Statement on Supporting Locally-Led Development on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2023.

To learn more about USAID’s efforts to ensure our work puts local actors in the lead, strengthens local systems, and is responsive to local communities, visit