Local Works

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Working with USAID Missions to drive innovation and experimentation in locally led development.

Local Works is the Agency’s flagship locally led development program. Local Works looks to advance locally led development in countries around the world, while also enhancing USAID’s ability to support local actors.

With five-year discretionary funds, Local Works provides Missions more time and greater freedom to pursue locally led programming and innovative ways of working. Local Works supports USAID Missions (country offices) with resources, tools, and opportunities to try new development approaches that are more flexible, locally responsive, and locally sustainable.

Who We Work With


Local Works holds an annual competition for USAID Missions and Operating Units. The 2021 annual competition has closed. Please check back in 2022 for information on the next opportunity. In the meantime, you can read the 2021 Guidance for applicants.

Where We Work

There are 35 USAID Missions with Local Works programs:
  • 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 may:

  • Develop and test flexible solutions to overcome operational challenges to advancing locally owned development within USAID;
  • Explore and use systems approaches to achieve sustainable outcomes with local actors;
  • Launch new programming that focuses on, and tests approaches to, local leadership; and
  • Adapt existing programming to enable greater local ownership of the development process and improved results.

Local Works’ five-year funds may be used in any sector and need not necessarily 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

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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 >>

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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 >>

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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.

Additional Resources

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Last updated: September 12, 2022

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