The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency of the United States government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development and humanitarian assistance. On behalf of the American people, USAID promotes and demonstrates democratic values abroad, and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. USAID programs nearly $25 billion annually, through efforts in many sectors including economic growth, climate and environment, global health, food security, education, conflict prevention and stabilization, and humanitarian assistance. The Agency operates in more than 100 countries across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, and the Middle East, and implements program activities that address the key drivers of poverty and social disparities.

USAID’s equity assessment submitted in August 2021 outlined findings and 61 preliminary recommendations that USAID could use, if approved, to advance a values-based approach, update rules and regulations, expand our partner base, and become more consultative to achieve the President’s goals regarding racial and ethnic equity in a foreign assistance context. The USAID Agency Equity Team (AET) prioritized the following recommendations for inclusion in the Action Plan: 1) continued development of the WorkwithUSAID platform, 2) enhanced implementation of USAID's nondiscrimination for beneficiaries policy, development and implementation of an Independent Accountability Mechanism, and advancement of Title VI protections at USAID, 3) lowered internal and external barriers for USAID awards, to include reduction of acquisition and assistance administrative burdens that negatively affect partner capacity, 4) designation of an Inclusive Development (ID) Advisor at each Mission and procurement of inclusive development support mechanisms managed through the Agency’s ID Hub, and 5) implementation of a consistent approach to incorporate racial and ethnic equity and diversity into policy, planning, and learning.

Together, these actions help reframe the ways in which USAID partners democratize the development process by integrating equity into Agency policies, strategies, and practices; enhance the ability of potential non-traditional partners to pursue USAID opportunities; prevent discrimination in Agency programs; and strengthen the Agency’s capacity to advance inclusive development in our overseas programming. Further, to ensure the Agency adheres to these plans, the five actions that comprise this Equity Action Plan will also serve as the basis by which USAID measures its success in a new proposed external diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) Agency Priority Goal (APG) that will be included in the FY 2022 - FY 2026 State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan (JSP).