In Serbia, Local Works enabled USAID to engage with local communities throughout the country. When local citizens defined and led on issues most important to them, starting small created big, lasting change.
Working with USAID Missions to drive innovation and experimentation in locally led development.
USAID’s Local Works program has been at the forefront of locally led development since 2015. In countries around the world, Local Works seeks to empower local actors to lead their own development, helping to shift USAID’s role to be a catalyst for local change efforts and processes.
Local Works provides USAID Missions more time and greater freedom to pursue locally led programming and innovative ways of working with five-year multi-sectoral funds and tailored technical support. Resources, tools, and opportunities enable USAID Missions to try new development approaches that are more flexible, locally responsive, and locally sustainable, while facilitating learning that benefits the entire Agency.
Who We Work With
Local Works holds an annual competition for USAID Missions. USAID Mission Letters of Interest are currently being accepted through 5PM ET on March 3, 2023. For more information and how to apply, please visit our Guidance.
Where We Work
- Africa: Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, West Africa Regional, Zambia ,and Zimbabwe. Learn more >>
- Asia: Bangladesh, Burma, India, Kazakhstan (USAID/Central Asia), Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. Learn more >>
- Europe & Eurasia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Learn more >>
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay. Learn more >>
- Middle East: Morocco. Learn more >>
How the Program Works
Local Works provides five-year discretionary funding to USAID Missions through an annual competition. With Local Works funding, USAID Missions can:
- Build strong relationships and promote collaboration with and among local actors who can initiate and lead development efforts;
- Engage with and elevate a diverse range of local and marginalized voices to better understand needs and capacities while including a wider range of local actors and communities in programming;
- Launch new programming that focuses on, and tests approaches to, local leadership
- Adapt existing programming to enable greater local ownership of the development process and improved results;
- Develop and test flexible, creative solutions to overcome different challenges to facilitate work with local and nontraditional partners;
- Explore and use participatory systems approaches to enable local actors to achieve sustainable outcomes;
- Utilize Local Works flexibilities to strengthen local humanitarian actors who are responding to complex and often unpredictable crises, such as COVID-19, climate change, conflict, closing political space, etc.; and,
- Advance Agency priorities and initiatives (e.g. Localization and the New Partners Initiative)
Local Works’ five-year funds may be used in any sector and do not necessarily need to align with a Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). Funding can be awarded to local and underutilized partners and used for USAID program support.
Stories from the Field
Dominican Republic: Strengthening Local Organizations on the Border
The Dominican Republic’s border region with Haiti has much higher poverty rates than the rest of the country. The region is also prone to crime and illicit activities that drive violence, instability, and other security threats that impact the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States.
Learn more >>
Morocco: Engaging Civil Society to Respond and Adapt to COVID-19
USAID/Morocco has partnered directly with five Moroccan civil society organizations since 2016 to establish a network of over 200 local civil society organizations. USAID builds the capacity of the five Civil Society Organization (CSO) partners to strengthen the CSO network’s ability to more effectively advocate for change with the Moroccan government, listen to their constituents, mobilize resources, and seek collective impact.
Learn more >>
Timor-Leste: Engaging Youth
With 70% of its population under the age of 30, Timor-Leste is one of the youngest countries in the world. However, many youth lack the opportunities, voice, and power to contribute to their country’s sustainable development. The Local Works program in Timor-Leste will identify the priorities of the country’s youth population and support youth in leading productive lives where their voices are heard.
Learn more >>
News and Updates
To learn more about Local Works and other locally led development work at USAID, subscribe to our monthly newsletter which features program updates, resources, events, and more.
Read past editions of the newsletter in the archive.
- Demand Driven Capacity Development Case Study (PDF 1.1MB)
- What is Locally Led Development? Fact Sheet (PDF 594KB)
- Local Works Fact Sheet (PDF 430KB)
- Local Works Legislation (PDF 210KB)