The New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) is a focused effort to diversify USAID’s partner base by removing barriers to engagement with the Agency and creating avenues for new and underutilized partners to work with us.
The New Partnerships Initiative supports USAID Operating Units to create funding opportunities that incorporate approaches designed to enable the Agency to better partner with new, nontraditional, and local partners in accomplishing development or humanitarian assistance objectives. For illustrative information on how NPI’s partnering process can work, you can find more information here.
NPI prioritizes these funding approaches:
- Direct awards to new and nontraditional partners that enable engagement with local entities, locally established partners, and U.S. and locally based small businesses.
- Sub-awards to nontraditional and local partners designed to support capacity strengthening, local leadership, and accountability between the Agency, our partners, and local communities.
- Direct awards to partners that leverage significant private and other non-U.S. Government funding to promote sustainable local engagement.
NPI mechanisms lower barriers to entry by:
- Employing a two-step review process, starting with a short concept paper or phased approach so that partners can spend less of their valuable time on lengthy applications.
- Enabling the use of targeted co-creation to build a stronger mutual partnership from the onset and speed up the award process following the co-creation process.
- Supporting procurement and technical teams in the use of a diverse range of acquisition and assistance mechanisms to make an award.
- Ensuring all partners have access to information that adequately prepares them to submit a competitive proposal.
To be eligible to compete for U.S. Government funds, including those of USAID, your organization must secure a data universal numbering system (DUNS) identification and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code (for U.S. organizations) or NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code (for non-U.S. organizations), and must register in the System for Award Management (SAM). Registration is free, but it takes time and preparation to complete each registration correctly. For more information about the process, visit this page.
Beyond the U.S. Government registration requirements, there is no formal USAID-specific system in which your organization needs to register. Additionally, there is no special registration process to be eligible for NPI awards. All USAID funding opportunities, including NPI awards, are listed on SAM.gov and Grants.gov. You can also monitor anticipated USAID opportunities on the Agency’s Business Forecast.
An Annual Program Statement (APS) outlines the development objectives that USAID seeks to achieve. A New Partnerships Initiative APS is designed in conjunction with the New Partnerships Initiative team and can be issued by any Agency Mission, Bureau, or Independent Office. The APS can be issued regardless of development sector and can accept concept notes and applications from any type of organization, private or governmental, whether US-based, international, or locally-based. Specific programmatic and geographic priorities for NPI must be addressed through individual addenda, issued on an as-needed basis, which reflect the particular programmatic or geographic focus of the issuing Mission, Bureau, or Independent Office (M/B/IO).
An addendum (or round) is the funding opportunity for which an organization can submit a concept paper or application. Within NPI, the terms “addendum” and “round” are used synonymously. USAID operating units issue an addendum to identify a specific country, objective, or target under the broader APS.
Both the APS and the addendum contain important information to help applicants understand the specific expertise needed to address the challenge to be solved.
The Partnerships Incubator is a global service hub set up to amplify the momentum of the initiative, expand Agency capacity for partnerships, and help partner organizations work with USAID.
Funded by USAID Missions, the New Partnerships Initiative, and the Local Works program, the Partnerships Incubator works with USAID headquarters and Missions to identify and engage new and local partners, provide training, and develop tools and resources to support the Agency’s partnership goals.
Alongside USAID, the Partnerships Incubator has developed a new website, WorkwithUSAID.org. This website is a free resource hub that provides the knowledge and networks for organizations to navigate how to work with USAID. The website connects new and existing partners, as well as USAID staff, to one another, helping to ensure the best and most innovative ideas are brought forward to development challenges.
The New Partnerships Initiative operates globally to advance approaches for working with new, nontraditional, and local partners in collaboration with Missions and other USAID operating units. NPI does not have its own earmarked set of funds and relies on Mission buy-in to create funding opportunities. We publish all active NPI funding opportunities here.
NPI funding opportunities can operate in any technical/thematic area in which an Agency Mission or Operating Unit is working. To better understand the particular funding areas that a USAID Mission or Operating Unit is currently focused on, interested applicants should familiarize themselves with the Country/Regional Development & Cooperation Strategy for their respective country or region, which are available here.
Concept notes should be submitted to specific funding opportunities that are posted on Grants.gov. Each funding opportunity will have instructions for when, where, and how to submit the notes.
Alternatively, if there are no funding opportunities that are currently open that you are interested in, you can submit an unsolicited proposal. You can find instructions for that here.
Visit USAID.gov/NPI to learn more about the overall initiative, explore resources, and find NPI funding opportunities. To follow along for the latest news and other information from the Office of Acquisition and Assistance, you can: