The DRG Center serves to elevate and integrate democracy, human rights, and governance within the Agency’s overall development portfolio.

Learn, Serve and Influence: Leading a Global DRG Sector

As the hub of global DRG programming, the Center focuses its efforts on application of policy and best practice as well as cutting edge research to enable innovative foreign assistance programming in over 90 field missions. The Center works with a vibrant network of academic partners and implementing organizations as well as 26 global mechanisms and funds to strengthen DRG programming globally. The Center also supports field missions in the design of DRG strategies and field assessments, provides technical support during periods of crisis or opportunity, and conducts evaluations of mission programs.

The DRG Center will pursue this goal through three strategic objectives:

LEARN: Increase knowledge on the global advancement of democracy, human rights and governance to determine what works and does not work.

The Learning Agenda includes:

  • The USAID Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) Learning Agenda is a set of key research questions in priority program areas to inform DRG programming.
  • The initiative organizes and disseminates existing knowledge and generates new evidence through quantitative and qualitative academic research, program evaluations and learning activities.
  • Evidence produced by the Learning Agenda informs USAID DRG strategic planning, project and activity design, and staff training efforts.

SERVE: Improve the quality and impact of the democracy, human rights, and governance technical assistance that the Center provides to USAID Missions abroad.

The DRG Center serves the field by:

  • Providing effective technical assistance as requested by Missions which applies best practice based on evidence and research.
  • Offering global mechanisms that provide state-of-the art programming, expertise, and urgent funding.
  • Creating practical knowledge, through its learning agenda, to improve technical assistance at every stage of the program cycle — from assessment to design to implementation and evaluation.

INFLUENCE: Demonstrate the value DRG serves in democracy, human rights, and governance in key USAID, U.S. Government, and multilateral strategies, policies and budgets.

One strategy that the Center is advancing is integrating DRG programming into other development sectors. Many of the constraints to economic growth and public service delivery relate to poor government legitimacy, weak governance capacity, and limited transparency and accountability. Improved governance can lead to greater achievement and sustainability of development gains.

DRG Integration will:

  • Provide tailored support to apply DRG principles and methodologies within Agency sectors and initiatives.
  • Strengthen the ability of all Agency staff to understand power dynamics and incentives and navigate them for more effective and sustained development.
  • Reinforce integration of DRG principles, practices, and analytical tools into training and technical assistance.
  • Increase the evidence base to demonstrate the impact of integrated approaches to development.
  • Facilitate the scale-up of integrated approaches through the streamlining of Agency policy and creation of Integration guidance.

DRG Center Mechanisms and Funds:

  • Active Communities - Effective States (ACES IDIQ)
  • Advancing Integrity in Media (AIM)
  • Analytical Services IV (ASIV) IDIQ
  • Analytic Task on Authoritarian Resurgence & Influence (ATARI)
  • Asia-Pacific Regional Support for Elections and Political Transitions Program (RESPECT) 
  • Civil Society Innovation Initiative (CSII)
  • Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (CSOSI)
  • Democratic Elections and Political Processes (DEPP) LWA
  • DRG Assessment Task Order 
  • Elections and Political Processes (EPP) Fund
  • Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI)
  • Global Labor Program (GLP)
  • Greater Internet Freedom (GIF)
  • Human Rights Grants Program (HRGP) 
  • House Democracy Partnership (HDP)
  • Human Rights Support Mechanism (HRSM) 
  • Illuminating New Solutions and Programmatic Innovations for Resilient Spaces (INSPIRES)
  • Learning, Evaluation and Research Activity (LER) I/II
  • Open Budget Survey
  • Open Government Partnership (OGP) 
  • Rule of Law IDIQ
  • Strengthening Civil Society Globally (SCS Global) 
  • Supporting Transitions and Electoral Processes (STEP) LWA-Africa Region
  • Supreme Audit Institutions

Learn more about the DRG Teams

DRG TeamsGovernance TeamCivil Society and Media TeamDemocratic Resilience and Innovation TeamDemocratic Elections and Political Processes TeamJustice, Rights, and Security TeamCounter Trafficking in Persons TeamCadre Care and Development TeamEvidence and Learning TeamPolicy, Coordination, and Integration External Engagement and Integration (EEI) TeamProgram TeamDDI Front OfficeDRG LeadershipBackstop-76 CoordinatorCommunications

Sector Overview