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USAID is primarily a foreign-service organization, meaning most work is done by field missions overseas under the leadership and oversight of USAID Foreign Service Officers (U.S. diplomats) and Foreign Service Nationals (citizens from the host country where we work). USAID has approximately 100 field missions, mostly in the developing world. Increasingly, USAID missions are co-located in an U.S. Embassy compound. Most of USAID’s work is carried out through, and in coordination with our, development partners--the host country government, private and voluntary nongovernmental organizations, US firms, along with private sector and multilateral organizations.
USAID takes a long-term vision of development, usually programming for a three to five-year period. USAID strategies and programs are country-centered and country-led, requiring intense consultations with host-country governments and reformers. Our presence depends on bilateral agreements with the countries in which we work. USAID is focused on sustainability and strategic results, meaning we measure and evaluate our work through a system of targets and indicators.
The Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) reflects USAID’s commitment to multi-year strategic planning, based on strong analysis and an appreciation of the value of explicit priority-setting. These strategies ensure that USAID implements programs and activities in a way that coordinates effectively with other U.S. Government agencies and donors to support sustainable development.
The CDCS builds upon inclusive input from other USG agencies, host-country governments, other donors, private sector, and local civil society stakeholders. The CDCS seeks a division of labor with other development actors while ensuring USAID resources follow a strategic vision to ensure that critical development goals are achieved and the needs of people are met in the most efficient manner.
Last updated: January 15, 2013