Annual Program Statement (English)

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The Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance used an Annual Program Statement or APS as one of the key tools for soliciting new and innovative ideas. This video dives into what an APS is and why we think it is the best solicitation mechanism for encouraging locally led development.

Video Transcript 
Hi all, I am Meghan Waters, Regional Contracting Officer at USAID Peru. Here in Peru, we have been working hard to promote localization and to simplify our processes to bring in new partners across the region. The Regional Office of Acquisition and Assistance used an Annual Program Statement or APS as one of the key tools for soliciting new and innovative ideas. This video dives into what an APS is and why we think it is the best solicitation mechanism for encouraging locally led development. What is an Annual Program Statement (APS)? So first, let's look at what an APS is. An APS is used when USAID intends to support a variety of creative approaches to solve a development problem. When used, USAID will publish an APS at least once a year, either with an open ended response time or a closing date of at least six months after issuance. INTRODUCTION TEMPLATE 1. USAID Peru use an APS so that the Mission could 1.1 Push for localization, with an emphasis on New and Underutilized Partners. 1.2 Simplify, simplify, simplify processes - the APS is the most bare-bones solicitation. This encourages local and new partners to participate. 1.3 Push for greater involvement of the Private Sector with the hope of building longer term sustainability. 1.4 Allow for the maximum possibility of co-design/co-creation, which is an Agency target. 1.5 Provide an alternative to the APS/GDA, which potential partners found overly restrictive. 2. An APS has many benefits 2.1 The application process is simplified to the bare bones. Only a two page Concept Note which focuses on a specific development problem to solve is required. This allows Applicants to provide a short, concise description of their idea without having to go through the long, time consuming application process required by other solicitation types. 2.3 The review process is also simplified. There are only two pages and two evaluation criteria so there is not a heavy burden on Technical Offices. Technical Offices review a concept and give the Office of Acquisition and Assistance, a short two-page memo that first lists strengths and weaknesses and then green lights or red lights a concept. 2.4 Applicants do not submit to a black hole. They receive constructive feedback on their ideas. This helps Applicants understand what they need to do to be able to work with USAID. 2.5 This process maximizes co-design/co-creation. Green lighted concepts go immediately to co-design/co-creation. After Applicants tell USAID “what” they want to solve, USAID works with them to design the “how” to do it. 2.6 This process gives the Mission the opportunity to explore new ideas through co-design/co-creation. Throughout the process, after a concept has been green lighted, the offeror is told that an award is not guaranteed, so the process can stop at any time. 2.7 The APS focuses on problems and problems solved. The process forces Applicants and the Mission to think about what the actual development problem they are hoping to solve is and then to co-design a project to solve that problem. 2.8 If done on a rolling basis, the APS allows new innovative ideas, to be submitted at any point, rather than requiring Applicants to hold their ideas for when a solicitation specific to that idea is issued. This allows for real time solutions to development problems, including when there is an emergency or a disaster. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 section was added to the PERU APS. This allowed the mission to rapidly receive concept notes. 2.9 Places all focus on results. Focusing on the Development Problem re-orients USAID thinking to systemic change, by analyzing what is actually causing the problem and how USAID can help fix it. As we currently do things, USAID thinks in terms of deliverables/outputs we can provide, for example give a man a fish (deliverables/outputs) as opposed to teaching a man to fish which creates systemic change. 2.10 The APS gives Mission staff an option when interested organizations ask to talk about an idea they want funded. Those interested can be directed to the APS. This avoids awkward exchanges when Mission staff are approached with questions on resources available. OUTPUT TEMPLATE The APS format, as used by Peru, is only possible through the use of a prescribed Simplified Program Description .We encourage you to explore this idea in our next video.

Last updated: November 30, 2022

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