Today, Deputy Administrator Paloma Adams-Allen announced the launch of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s updated strategy to guide the Agency’s overall approach for engaging with its implementing partner organizations. The Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) Strategy outlines the necessary tools and culture shifts needed to increase USAID’s engagement with local organizations and to reduce bureaucratic burdens for its staff and partners.
The strategy, developed through consultation with hundreds of USAID staff and more than 15 partner engagements, including a survey of more than 1,800 individuals, will enable sustainable, inclusive, and locally led development results through acquisition and assistance.
This vision will be achieved through three key objectives:
- A&A workforce enabled, equipped, and empowered to further USAID’s development and humanitarian assistance mission.
- Streamlined and effective A&A integrated throughout the Agency’s development approach.
- A more diverse set of partners engaged to implement locally led development solutions.
An implementation plan with actionable steps has also been developed to support each objective of the A&A Strategy. USAID is seeking feedback from the partner community and stakeholders regarding implementation of the A&A Strategy.
With this strategy, USAID acknowledges the important role of the A&A workforce, who are highly skilled in the Agency’s specialized A&A expertise and are critical to localization efforts. The A&A Strategy prioritizes the hiring, training, and retaining of an A&A workforce ready to execute and manage the Agency’s awards.
USAID has taken steps to equip staff with the necessary tools and training, streamline A&A processes, and increase opportunities to non-traditional and local partners. The Agency is growing its A&A workforce, including increasing the number of local hire employees with administrative warrants, which allow experienced staff the ability to independently manage A&A actions and build relationships with local implementing partners. In FY 2022, USAID had just 19, and we now have 36 warranted local staff with the goal of having 38 by the end of FY 2023.
A key effort to operationalize the A&A Strategy is the recent launch of the Sub-Opportunities Portal on WorkwithUSAID.org to facilitate collaboration between established prime partners and prospective subawardees and subcontractors to promote diversity in our partnerships and advance locally led development.
Looking forward, to implement the A&A Strategy, the Agency plans to improve local partners’ ability to recover their costs of implementing awards by expanding existing and introducing new cost recovery options. Closing this gap will make our partnerships more equitable and sustainable by providing local organizations the financial resources to pursue their own capacity strengthening and development goals.
To read more about USAID’s A&A Strategy and draft implementation plan, visit https://www.usaid.gov/policy/acquisition-and-assistance-strategy