New Partnerships Initiative Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the New Partnerships Initiative?

Why diversify the partner base? 

What impact will NPI have on USAID?

How does NPI work? 

What is an Annual Program Statement (APS)? 

What is an addendum or round?

What is the Partnerships Incubator? 

What is the difference between NPI and USAIDForward?

Where can I learn more about NPI? 

 


What is the New Partnerships Initiative?

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.


Why diversify the partner base? 

By extending our focus to local and locally established organizations, USAID builds a legacy of development capacity that will support countries in their Journey to Self-Reliance long after our programming ends. While both the amount of funding and the number of partner organizations have grown exponentially since 1961, when USAID was founded, today about 80 percent of our current funding is directed to fewer than 70 organizations. In addition, the number of new partners has decreased consistently over the past decade.


What impact will NPI have on USAID? 

NPI is changing the way that USAID partners. Three key principles guide this effort:

  • Promote local leadership.
  • Seek bold, creative, and innovative approaches to fostering self-reliance.
  • Identify new sources of funding to sustain partnerships and scale impact. 

How does NPI work? 

NPI prioritizes these funding approaches: 

  • Direct awards to new and underutilized organizations that enable local engagement with local entities, locally established partners, and U.S. and locally based small businesses.
  • Sub-awards to new and underutilized organizations designed to support more facilitative partnerships for effective local engagement.
  • Direct awards to partners to leverage significant private and other non-U.S. Government funding to promote effective local engagement.

NPI mechanisms lower the barrier to entry by:

  • Employing a two-step review process, starting with a short concept paper or phased approach.
  • 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.
  • Allowing procurement and technical teams to use a diverse range of acquisition and assistance mechanisms to make an award.

What is an Annual Program Statement (APS)? 

An Annual Program Statement (APS) outlines the objectives that USAID seeks to achieve.


What is an addendum or round?

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 you understand the specific expertise needed to address the challenge we want to solve.


What is the Partnerships Incubator? 

The 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.

It works with USAID headquarters and Missions to identify and engage new and local partners, provide training and capacity building assistance, and develop tools, resources, and models to advance NPI goals. 

The Partnerships Incubator will also put in place mechanisms that enable partners to both identify their own capacity to compete for USAID awards and manage those awards; that improve USAID resources for partners; and that deliver training to enhance partners' relationships with USAID.

The five categories of service provided by the NPI Incubator are research, technical assistance, tools and resources, training and mentoring, and communications.


What is the difference between NPI and USAIDForward?

The New Partnerships Initiative, based on our Acquisition and Assistance Strategy, demonstrates ways of working effectively to support our partner countries on their Journey to Self-Reliance.

We continue to value direct USAID awards to local entities where it is an appropriate strategy based on the country context, but it is important to note that NPI has moved well beyond Local Solutions in terms of shifting Agency strategy. 

We have multiple approaches established in NPI that expand the local partnership toolbox, including the empowerment of partners in program design, multiple partnering modalities, more effective ways of using co-creation, and diversification of partners.


Where can I learn more about NPI? 

Visit USAID.gov/NPI to learn more about the overall initiative, explore resources, and find NPI funding opportunities. Receive updates and useful information by subscribing to NPI emails, and follow us on Twitter: @USAIDBizOpps.

Last updated: August 14, 2020

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