Broad Agency Announcements

Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) are a procurement tool used by USAID to collaborate with the private and public sector when facing a development challenge that does not have a clear solution and there appears to be an opportunity for innovation.

Overview of Broad Agency Announcements


On November 8, 2017 USAID held a short conference call
with organizations interested in learning more about the
Broad Agency Announcement process.

A BAA is not in itself a procurement instrument, but rather a method to communicate interest in solving a development problem. There is no budget allocated and no particular procurement instrument determined in advance. Through a BAA, a problem is defined, solutions are co-developed, competencies are identified, and resources are explored.

It is important to understand that BAAs do not replace traditional procurement practices within USAID. Often, but not always, they result in a contract, grant, cooperative agreement, memorandum of understanding, fixed amount award, or other type of agreement.

USAID has successfully used BAAs to help solve a variety of different development problems. Here are a few examples.

  • Ebola Grand Challenge prompted 1,500 submissions and resulted in 14 innovative solutions to help address key gaps in responding to Ebola. One of the resulting solutions was a new suit for health care workers that was developed in partnership with a wedding dress maker and Jhpiego.
  • Saving Lives at Birth has gone through 5 rounds since 2011 and has received nearly 3000 ideas to address calls for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities. Round 5 resulted in bringing together a variety of innovators worldwide and more than 20 innovative solutions.
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) included over 30 partners that contributed to design of concepts to help innovate traditional approaches to monitoring, evaluation, research and learning. To date, 14 organizations are taking part in implementing the first set of activities under MERLIN. These partners include domestic and international universities, private sector, institutes, innovation Labs, and non-governmental organizations.

Who can participate?

BAAs are open for anyone to participate -- including the private sector, public sector, non-governmental, for-profit, non-profit, and educational institutions -- whether you are new to USAID, or a long-standing partner.

Many organizations that are new to USAID find the BAA process to be helpful as the investment of participating is less onerous than the traditional procurement process. BAAs request a three to five-page statement of interest, which is significantly less than a full proposal required to be submitted in response to a Request for Proposal or a Notice of Funding Opportunity. Additionally, many partners have noted that they often discover other opportunities and resources beyond just USAID funding by participating in the BAA process.

Benefits of Using the BAA Process

Outlined below are a few benefits of participating in the BAA process.

USAID PARTNER
Opportunity to network with all types of organizations and experts within a particular industry
Opportunity to work with a wider pool of potential partners, such as small businesses and universities (both domestic and international) Opportunity for small businesses and universities to network with other small businesses and universities (both domestic and international)
Much more time efficient in terms of design to award lead time Much more cost effective in terms of concept note/proposal preparation
Opportunity to hear innovative ideas and co-create concepts and fund the ideas for implementation Opportunity to share innovative ideas and create concepts and potentially receive funding for those ideas
Process is more simplified and easier to understand for all stakeholders due to more transparency and a much more collaborative process
The process promotes design to solution, not design to instrument or design to budget

BAA Process

The USAID BAA is a 4 stage process, from the initial expression of interest to final award. The typical timeline for a BAA from post to potential award could be up to 6 months. But timing is always subject to change depending on the number of expressions of interest received, funding, etc.

The process kicks off in Stage 1 through the issuance of the BAA posted on Grants.gov and FedBizOpps.gov. The BAA requests the submissions of Expressions of Interest within a set schedule.

Expressions of interest which are deemed to have merit by USAID and pass criteria/eligibility stated within the BAA are then invited to Stage 2, which involves the collaboration, co-creation, and co-development of a concept paper.

During Stage 3, concept papers developed will be reviewed by the Peer and Scientific Review Board, comprised of technical and/or development experts from USAID, partners, and/or outside parties.

Upon the conclusion of the Peer and Scientific Review Board, the Contracting or Agreement officer (CO/AO) will review the the Board’s recommendations in Stage 4 and make a determination whether the respondent is an Apparently Successful Partner. If the respondent is an Apparently Successful Partner, the CO or AO will contact the respondent to negotiate and draft the final award.

To learn more about the process go to the BAA Process Page.

Finding BAA Opportunities

Similar to contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements, all BAA opportunities are posted on Grants.gov and FedBizOpps.gov. Including in the postings on Grants.gov and FedBizOpps.gov you will find all of the details about each particular BAA.

Last updated: November 09, 2017

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