Infographic: Types of Assistance Instruments

Resources for Implementing Partners

Types of Assistance Instruments

There are two main types of assistance instruments: Grant and Cooperative Agreement.

  • USAID's purpose is to financially support the recipient in its accomplishment of a public purpose.
    Grant = Yes; Cooperative Agreement = Yes.
  • The relationship is a "transfer of anything of value" from USAID to the recipient to further a program goal.
    Grant = Yes; Cooperative Agreement = Yes.
  • Substantial involvement is anticipated between USAID and the recipient during the performance of the proposed activity.
    Grant = No; Cooperative Agreement = Yes.

Substantial Involvement is the only difference between a grant and a cooperative agreement.’

Types of Grants

1. Type: Standard Grant

  • Description: USAID provides a "transfer of anything of value" to support the recipient's program. Recipient is normally paid by LOC for U.S. NGOs and advances for Non-U.S. NGOs.
  • Use: Period of performance of up to 5 years. Recipient performs according to its program description that USAID includes in the award.
  • Conditions: USAID will not be substantially involved.

2. Type: Simplified Grant

  • Description: USAID reimburses the recipient for its performance under the award.
  • Use: Period of performance typically of a short duration.
  • Conditions: USAID will not be substantially involved. Award will not exceed $150,000. All costs must be direct costs (no indirect costs permitted).

3. Type: Fixed Amount Award (FAA)

  • Description: USAID makes payments at the achievement of pre-determined milestones.
  • Use: Period of performance 3 years or less. Milestones are easily discernible.
  • Conditions: USAID will not be substantially involved. No dollar limit for USAID prime FAA awards. For U.S. subrecipients, the dollar limit may not exceed $150,000.

4. Type: Cooperative Agreement

  • Description: USAID provides a "transfer of anything of value" to support the recipient's program. Recipient is normally paid by LOC for U.S. NGOs and advanced for Non-U.S. NGO.
  • Use: Period of performance of up to 5 years. Recipient performs according to its program description that USAID includes in the award.
  • Conditions: USAID is substantially involved in award-specific program areas.

Remember Substantial Involvement is Limited to Four Potential Areas:

  1. Approval of the recipient’s implementation plan (i.e. workplan).
  2. Approval of specified key personnel.
  3. Collaborative involvement in award-specific program areas.
  4. Halt of a construction activity.

In all assistance awards, the recipient has substantial freedom to pursue its program objectives.

Where Can I Learn More?

ADS 303.3.3 Type of Assistance Instrument
ADS 303.3.11 Substantial Involvement and Cooperative Agreements
ADS 303.3.24 Simplified Grants
ADS 303.3.25 Fixed Amount Awards to Non-Governmental Organizations
ADS 303sai Fixed Amount Awards to Non-Governmental Organizations

Developed by USAID/India’s Regional Financial Management Office and Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance and the Central and South Asia Acquisition and Assistance Innovation Lab in support of Local Capacity Building.

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Issuing Country 
Date 
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

Last updated: May 08, 2017