Executive Summary

Recognizing the importance of the science underpinning US Government policies and programs, in March 2009 President Obama directed all Federal agencies to develop policies to safeguard the integrity of scientific activities. This policy provides an initial foundation for upholding the integrity of USAID’s scientific information and scholarly activities.

USAID is the US Government’s lead international development agency, for which science and technology are critical means for improving the quality of peoples’ lives around the world. USAID occupies a unique space in the translation of scientific research and technology into development solutions, making use of and contributing to a broad range of tools and knowledge from the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. This document articulates the principles the Agency will follow to ensure the integrity of its scientific and scholarly activities, including how they are supported and carried out, and research findings are used and disseminated.

These principles pertain to five specific aspects of the Agency’s activities:

  • Protecting the scientific process from misconduct and from inappropriate influence
  • Promoting access to scientific and technical information
  • Maintaining a highly skilled technical and scientific staff
  • Using federal advisory committees ethically and transparently
  • Ensuring quality, methodological rigor, and ethical standards in all USAID-funded research activities

Future development of specific, implementation-focused policies and updates to existing policies in each of these areas will use the framework provided by this scientific integrity policy. These subsequent policies will be developed and implemented separately, with the Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Learning responsible for convening the appropriate working groups.