GDA APS Frequently Asked Questions

Dates and Deadlines

1.      Where do we submit our concept paper and, if requested by USAID, a full application?

Applicants are required to submit concept papers to Missions and B/IOs (i.e. regional bureaus, pillar bureaus, offices) and will receive instructions on whether or not to provide additional materials or proceed with a full application.  Upon invitation, full applications should be sent to the same USAID Missions or B/IOs for review and potential funding.  See the APS for detailed instructions. See also http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-1 for Mission and B/IO points of contact.  Applicants must use the Concept Paper Template at http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1880/GDA_APS_Concept_Paper_Template_FINAL_020814.docx and follow the directions and requirements set forth in that template.

2.      Is there a deadline for concept papers?

USAID will consider alliance concept papers as they arrive throughout the issuance period of the APS until the APS closes.

3.      When will USAID resources become available?

For Mission or B/IO funding, it is anticipated that the funds may become available in late spring, depending on the timing of appropriations by the US Congress and time needed to negotiate the assistance award. In some cases, Missions/B/IOs may have multi-year funding or carry-over funding, in which case funds might be available earlier in the fiscal year.

4.      Will USAID funding be available exclusively during 2014 or will it be disbursed over the timeline established for the project?

If USAID makes an award to an entity implementing the alliance, the agreement officer negotiating the terms of the award agreement will determine, subject to funding availability, and with the grantee, the appropriate timing for disbursement of funds from USAID. Most of USAID’s programs are incrementally funded on a year-by-year basis (subject to available funding) until the award is fully funded.  USAID expects that funded programs may last from 12 to 60 months.

5.      Does the alliance have to be finalized at the time a concept paper is submitted?

Extensive private sector engagement must be evident, private sector resource commitments should be clear, and the private sector resources leveraged must meet the 1:1 requirement under the GDA APS.  While the alliance between non-USAID partners does not have to be finalized prior to submitting a concept paper, the level of partner engagement and commitment will be evaluated.  Letters of support, intent or commitment from prospective resource partners are valuable indicators of such commitment, as are draft MOUs that describe the roles, responsibilities, and contributions of each of the alliance partners. USAID recognizes that alliances may change over time; indeed, discussions with USAID after a concept paper is submitted are specifically designed to allow for further development of the proposed alliance and typically lead to important changes. However, concept papers should reflect extensive private sector engagement and collaboration.

6.      Where do I submit a concept paper that is regional, involves more than one Mission or is in a non-presence country?

This depends on how many Missions would be involved and if all Missions are within a single region.  In general, it is a good idea to submit individual concepts to the Missions with which you wish to collaborate.  For concept papers proposing activities that are truly regional or global in scope, you may want to submit to the appropriate Regional Mission responsible for the particular country or a B/IO such as the relevant regional bureau.

With regard to concept papers for alliances involving presence and non-presence countries, prospective partners should consult with USAID personnel in the presence countries to determine where to submit the concept paper.

USAID is unlikely to support alliances proposed for an individual country where USAID does not have a Mission presence.  Concept papers regarding alliances in individual non-presence countries should be directed to the relevant Washington bureau or regional Mission.

The Role of USAID

7.      Will USAID only allocate resources for the alliance or will it form a part of the alliance?

The intention of these alliances is to create a working relationship between the partners.  USAID intends to enter into true partnerships with other resource partners in carrying out alliances that achieve USAID’s developmental objectives.  USAID’s role will vary from alliance to alliance. USAID may be an active member of the alliance governing structure, and/or USAID may administer the award through the reporting done by the recipient (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually).   Please see http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-0 for an illustrative list of partner roles and responsibilities.

8.      Does USAID perform the monitoring and evaluation of the project?

In general, traditional implementing partners that receive an award to implement an alliance will have significant monitoring and evaluation (M&E) responsibilities.  USAID’s role in M&E efforts will vary from alliance to alliance.  Other partners may have roles in monitoring and evaluation as well.  There may also be midterm and final evaluations.  All of the above will be negotiated in the final terms of the award and may be detailed in the MOU.  For more information on USAID’s Evaluation Policy and approaches, please see http://www.usaid.gov/evaluation/.

9.      Is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with USAID signed by all the members of the alliance or only with the lead partner? In addition, is the award agreement with USAID signed by all the members of the alliance or only with the lead partner?

Upon favorable review of the full application, partners including USAID will determine the appropriateness of signing a non-legally binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) or other document to finalize the roles and responsibilities of each alliance partner.  The resource partner(s) always sign (if there is an MOU); if the implementer is included in the MOU, the implementer may sign as well. The award agreement – which is distinct from the MOU - is signed by the entity (e.g. the implementing partner) that is entering into a legal relationship with USAID to execute responsibilities set forth in the award.

10.  How is the implementing partner’s role defined?

The implementing partner typically enters into an award agreement with USAID which creates a legal relationship with USAID and sets out its responsibilities in helping carry out the alliance.  The implementing partner may also be included in the MOU (see FAQ #9 above) and sign the MOU if the Parties think it helps further the alliance.  See also http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-0 for an illustrative list of partner roles and responsibilities.

Funding

11.  Does the Global Partnerships (GP) Office of the Center for Transformational Partnerships (CTP) provide any sort of core funding, matching funding or incentive funding in support of this GDA APS?

No.  Funding for alliances is provided by the Mission/B/IO with which you are seeking to partner and collaborate.  As with any Mission/B/IO, GP may occasionally elect to build and develop an alliance consistent with GP’s programming priorities and objectives. However, GP does not provide a central pool of funds to support the GDA APS, match Mission/B/IO funding, or incentivize Mission/B/IO funding.  Under the GDA APS, funding and implementation of partnerships comes directly from the relevant USAID Missions or B/IOs.

12.  Can private sector funding intended for equity investments count as leveraged private sector resources that count toward the 1:1 private sector resource requirement?

Please refer to Appendix I, Section B.2 of the 2014 GDA APS.  In addition, even if the funding intended for equity investment(s) is not counted toward the 1:1 private sector resource requirement, the existence of the funding and the planned investments might increase the potential impact of the alliance and or the feasibility of achieving the intended results of the alliance. As a result, the application might be more likely to win an award over an application which did not have funding intended for equity investments.  Additionally, an alliance involving equity investments might be evaluated to have better scalability or potential for replication.

13.  Must the level of funding for equity investments satisfy the 1:1 private sector resource leveraging requirement regardless of the level of other private sector resources contributed to the alliance?

If the funding for equity investments is the only source of private sector resources being provided, then yes.  However, as noted in Appendix I, Section B.2 of the 2014 GDA APS, the level of funding intended for equity investment must actually be five times the level of the USG contribution in order to count toward meeting the private sector resource leveraging requirement.

Note: If the equity investors, or other private sector partners, were providing resources beyond equity, then those would count as well.  The total of private sector resources must equal or exceed the amount of funding provided by USAID.

(This FAQ will be updated with examples in March 2014).

14.  Are loans considered leveraged private sector resources?  Can funding meant for loans count toward the 1:1 private sector resource requirement?

Please refer to Appendix I, Section B.2 of the 2014 GDA APS.  In addition, even if a loan is not counted toward meeting the private sector resource requirement, the existence of the loan might increase the potential impact of the alliance and or the feasibility of achieving the intended results of the alliance. As a result, the application might be more likely to win an award over an application which did not have a loan.  Additionally, an alliance with a loan might be evaluated to have better scalability or potential for replication.

15.  Alliances seek to leverage private resources. Can public resources be included in Alliances? Can they ever be counted toward meeting the 1:1 private sector resource requirement?

USAID recognizes that there are certain cases where PIOs (e.g., the World Bank or UNDP), donors, host country governments and other public resources might make a critical contribution to the alliance.  While such resources can NOT be counted toward the 1:1 private sector resource requirement, they can be counted toward the overall level of resources that are mobilized in support of the alliance.   See FAQ 14.

16.  Can contributions from Public International Organizations (PIOs), donors, or host country governments (HCGs) be counted toward meeting the 1:1 private sector resource leveraging requirement?

USAID recognizes that there are cases where a Public International Organization (PIO), bi/multilateral donor and/or Host Country Government (HCG) act as strategic resource partner(s) and make critical contributions to an alliance.  In those cases, USAID will not count those contributions as part of the private sector resources mobilized and leveraged by the alliance because the contributions are not private in nature and origin as specified in Appendix I of the GDA APS.  However, such resources can be counted toward the overall level of resources that are mobilized in support of the alliance.

17.  Can funds being counted as leverage towards the Public Private Partnership (GDA) component of a project also be counted as cost-share?

Please see Appendix I, Section D of the 2014 GDA APS.

18.  Do the financial contributions from private partners have to be entirely in cash, or can they also be in the form of services, equipment, vehicles, etc.?

In-kind resources such as services, property, equipment, and supplies are valuable contributions.  Alliance proposals must clearly specify what each party is contributing and indicate the estimated cash value of in-kind support. In-kind contributions should also represent new resources available to and necessary for a project.  Alliances that offer quantifiable in-kind resources that a project would otherwise have to buy will be more competitive. It is the responsibility of the contributing resource partner to value and verify the contributions. The implementing partner will be called upon to validate and/or assist in tracking resource flows within the alliance.  Guidance and templates for tracking private sector resources leveraged under an alliance are available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-0.

Valuations of the private sector resource contributions should be grounded in objective measures and meet a “reasonable person” standard, keeping in mind that USAID is a USG agency whose programs are subject to Congressional review and significant public attention and scrutiny.  Various partners have sought assistance in valuing and tracking the resources they propose to mobilize and leverage under an alliance.  As a result, USAID has provided some illustrative guidance and a resource tracking sheet for use if an applicant is asked to submit a full proposal and subsequently receives an award under this APS.  While use of the tracking sheet may or may not be required as part of an alliance award, it will undoubtedly be a valuable tool for many partners.  The guidance and worksheet are available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-0.

19.  Does the cash contribution from alliance partners have to be made available at the beginning of the project or can the sums be allocated periodically if such a commitment is made among the partners?

Private sector resource commitments, including commitments to cash contributions, should be secured and established prior to an alliance award or agreement.  In addition, the appropriate timing of the actual contributions, whether cash or in-kind, should be decided among the alliance partners, preferably prior to an alliance award or agreement. It is acceptable for partners to provide their funds periodically over the life of the project.  However, to qualify as a GDA under this APS, over the life of the partnership, the value of the resources (both in-kind and cash) provided by private partners must equal and preferably should significantly exceed the value of the resources provided by the USG.    It is also acceptable for partners to decide to increase their contributions beyond initial commitments and to seek the engagement of additional partners.

20.  Can an organization submit a concept paper prior to securing resource commitments from prospective resource partners, in hopes the concept paper will receive a favorable review and that review can be used to seek and secure private sector contributions sufficient to meet the leverage requirement?

While recognizing that private sector contributions and resources may continue to develop after submission of a concept paper, and while the nature of the proposed alliance will also develop over the course of discussion among USAID and the partners, the concept paper should demonstrate significant collaboration with the private sector.  The concept paper should also reflect and demonstrate clear contribution commitments from the private sector sufficient to meet the 1:1 private sector resource requirement.

21.  If you are doing a regional program whereby individual Missions contribute to a program, does an organization have to meet the 1:1 leveraging in each country or in the total aggregate of the grant?

In the aggregate of the award; therefore, an alliance might have greater than 1:1 leveraging of private sector resources in some countries and less in others.

22.  It is difficult to launch new partnerships in a one-year time period. Could implementation of a program be extended over a second year with FY14 awarded funds?

Yes.  Awards made in FY14 may be implemented in FY15 and beyond.  Any award under the 2014 GDA APS can be for multiple years, up to a total of 5 years.

Forms and Eligibility

23.  How do I propose a regional program?  If I have a proposal dealing with regional or cross-country ideas, where should I submit the initial concept paper?

Concept papers that describe activities that are regional in nature should be submitted to the regional points of contacts listed at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-1.

24.  Could you please send me the grant forms for this funding opportunity?

The only forms not specifically included in the APS are the SF424, 424a, and 424b. They can be found at: http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/FormLinks?family=15.  All other items are to be supplied in a written manner in accordance with the instructions in the APS.

25.  Could you send me any related information that will help us to understand what is required for the APS?

For general information on public-private partnerships and the GDA model, please see: http://www.usaid.gov/gda.  If any of the requirements described under this APS (see http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/get-grant-or-contract/opportunities-funding/global-development-alliance-annual-program-0) are not clear, please contact the GDA APS Activity Manager with specific questions (see contact information provided in the GDA APS).

26.  We are a Land-Grant Institution; are we eligible to participate?

Yes.  Please refer to the Eligibility and Proposal Criteria as there are requirements that all applications must meet.

27.  Can an organization submit more than one application for this APS announcement?

Yes. Please make sure that each application is consistent with the guidelines set out in the APS.

28.  Which countries have Feed the Future, Global Health Initiative or Global Climate Change projects?

Please refer to the appropriate USAID website:

29.  The APS states that Missions and Bureaus may issue solicitations for their own particular alliance-building activities.  Where can I find information on Mission and Bureau solicitations?

Some Missions will issue their own Addendum to the GDA APS which will be posted on the Mission website, grants.gov and the GP website. For other USAID competitive grant solicitations please refer to USAID postings at http://www.grants.gov .  Missions overseas and offices within USAID/ Washington post their competitive solicitations at that site.

30.  In the proposal we are developing, one of the proposed private sector partners is a local firm.  How are non-U.S. partners viewed?

USAID is committed to engaging local partners, as evidenced by the IPR initiative under USAID Forward.  Non-US organizations and companies can be alliance partners and can contribute resources to an alliance.  They can also be direct and sub-recipients of USAID funds.  Through consultations with the relevant USAID Mission, an applicant under this APS can confirm the eligibility of proposed alliance partners. If a non-U.S. partner is being proposed as a recipient of USAID funds for a program outside of its own country, please seek guidance from the relevant USAID Mission/B/IO.

31.  In the APS, are there any requirements regarding the use of volunteers to participate in our project?

No.  USAID encourages the integration and utilization of highly skilled volunteers in program implementation. The Agency facilitates the use of skilled volunteers through a number of volunteer programs including:  the John Ogonowski Farmer to Farmer Program; the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA); the Volunteers for Prosperity Program VfP), and the International Corporate Volunteer Program, which is an innovative, new partnership with IBM.  USAID is keen to create partnerships with the private sector, foundations and NGOs that enable USAID to integrate volunteers more strategically and effectively into USAID programs.  USAID hopes to engage a greater number of professional, student, and NGO volunteers in support of USAID partners globally, including NGOs, SMEs (small and medium enterprises), universities, municipalities, and government ministries. See also FAQ 30.

32.  Can volunteer hours be counted toward the 1:1 private sector resource requirement?

While USAID recognizes that various types of volunteers can add value to the implementation of an alliance, the value of volunteer time typically does not count toward meeting the 1:1 private sector resource leveraging requirement unless it is provided by employees or technical consultants who work for or with one of the private sector institutions listed in Appendix I, Section B.1 of this GDA APS. If an organization wishes to seek an exception to this practice, the organization would have to provide reliable objective data capable of supporting a clear and specific valuation of the services to be rendered by the volunteers, being sure to account for known or likely variations in the expertise, experience and performance of the various volunteers.  However, exceptions are highly unlikely.

33.  Does this APS include people with disabilities or underserved communities?  Should applicants address in their proposals how they will include this vulnerable population within their proposed program and activities?

Yes, USAID welcomes applications for alliances under this APS that demonstrate sustainable approaches to including people with disabilities or underserved communities in the Agency’s assistance activities.  This APS fully supports USAID’s Disability Policy and policy directives which state that all of USAID funded programs will not discriminate against people with disabilities and will work to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in their program and activities. USAID is also very interested in partnerships that address development challenges facing women and girls, and youth generally. In addition, all new construction and major renovations to existing infrastructure that are funded by USAID must be made accessible for people with disabilities.  For more information, refer to the USAID disability website at: http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/democracy-human-rights-and-governance/protecting-human-rights/disability and http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment.

34.  Can a corporation use this APS to enter into a partnership with USAID?

Yes. If the private sector entity is willing to provide new resources to address a specific, significant development challenge, then the entity should contact USAID to discuss if and how USAID might partner with the corporation to tackle the specified challenge.  If the company already has a NGO/ implementing partner with which it wishes to work and the company is seeking funding for the implementing partner as part of the alliance concept, then it would likely be best for the corporation and the preferred implementing partner to jointly submit a concept paper under this APS.

35.  If we have applied for a GDA before, or received a GDA award previously, can we still apply under the current GDA APS?

Past applicants are welcome to apply.  Alliance partners that were funded under previous GDA APSs and RFAs are also eligible to apply.

Development Credit Authority (DCA) and Global Development Alliances

36.  Are DCAs considered GDAs?

No.  While DCA activities might be conducted as a complement to activities being conducted under a GDA, the DCA program is a distinct program.  For more information on DCA, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/economic-growth-and-trade/development-credit-authority-putting-local-wealth-work.

37.  Can an alliance proposed under the 2014 GDA APS include DCA partial credit guarantees or a DCA activity as part of the alliance?  Would the value of the credit guarantees count toward the USG contribution to the GDA, thereby raising the level of private sector resources the applicant must leverage and mobilize under the alliance?

DCA partial credit guarantees or DCA activities can complement activities being conducted under an alliance. The value of the guarantees would NOT count toward the USG contribution to the GDA and would therefore NOT raise the level of private sector resources the applicant must leverage and mobilize under the alliance.  However, if USAID provided funding to support activities aimed at fostering the success of the DCA partial credit guarantees, and such activities were deemed part of the alliance, the funding would be counted as part of the USG contribution to the GDA and would thus raise the level of private sector resources required.

38.  Can loans that result from a DCA be counted as leverage?

No.  Loans arising from a DCA cannot be counted as leverage.  See Section B of Appendix I to the 2014 GDA APS.

39.  Is the due diligence conducted for a DCA the same as the due diligence USAID conducts with regard to prospective alliance partners?

No. The DCA due diligence process is a distinct and separate process.  Please see http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/economic-growth-and-trade/development-credit-authority-putting-local-wealth-work for more information.

Development Innovation Ventures and Global Development Alliances

40.  What is the relationship between USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures program and Global Development Alliances?

The Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program is a separate and distinct program at USAID.  More information can be found at http://www.usaid.gov/div. For directions on how to apply to the DIV program, please see http://www.usaid.gov/div/apply/how-to.   Application under the DIV program does not preclude application under the 2014 GDA APS, nor does application under the 2014 GDA APS preclude application under the DIV program.

Last updated: February 20, 2014

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