USAID describes a non-permissive environment as a context, at the national or sub-national level, in which uncertainty, instability, inaccessibility or insecurity constrain USAID's ability to operate safely and effectively. The vast majority of the countries in which USAID works have experienced some degree of non-permissiveness over the last 20 years, with backsliding, dramatic downturns and disruptive shocks not uncommon.