World Vision Internet National Aids Initiative

REV: MAY 17, 2005


World Vision International’s AIDS Initiative:
Challenging a Global Partnership
On January 19, 2002, Ken Casey, director of World Vision International’s HIV/AIDS Hope
Initiative, walked into a safari lodge in South Africa to present the final session of a conference
attended by 40 senior staff from 17 countries with the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Africa
and nearly 20 senior executives from worldwide support offices. As he stretched his back, he felt a
sharp pain from wounds he had received during a vicious attack by a baboon on the hotel’s patio the
day before the conference began. Badly cut and bruised, Casey had staggered to the conference center
where he had been wrapped in towels and rushed to a hospital. It had required 135 stitches and 27
staples to close the wounds.
Determined to proceed with the conference, which he saw as a potential turning point in his yearlong struggle to get the Hope Initiative off the ground, Casey had returned the next day. Largely
driven by the senior leaders of World Vision International, the initiative was an ambitious attempt to
implement common goals and strategies in fund-raising, programming, and advocacy across the 48
independent members of the World Vision Partnership. But its future was unclear. Not only did its
focus on HIV/AIDS represent a major shift in World Vision’s programming, but in many ways, the
initiative’s top-down implementation challenged the federated organization model the partnership
had pursued throughout the 1990s. As he addressed the conference, Casey worried that if it did not
go well, the Hope Initiative might well be dead in the water.

Birth of World Vision International
World Vision International was a $1 billion Christian relief and development partnership linking
48 national members in a global federation. In 2002, the partnership raised over $732 million in cash
and nearly $300 million in commodities. (See Exhibit 1...