FY 2015 Agency Financial Report: Ending Extreme Poverty in This Generation

Our Mission
We partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity.

As the world’s premier development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is uniquely positioned to partner with the global community to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies all over the world. That is why we are leading by example in countries across the globe, modeling a new way of doing business that emphasizes local leadership and expanded partnerships while harnessing the immense power of science, technology, and innovation. In addition to bringing us closer to ending extreme poverty within a generation, these efforts strengthen American leadership on the international stage and enhance our own security and prosperity.

REAL RESULTS ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Using this enhanced approach to development, USAID and our partners are delivering unprecedented results on behalf of the American people. Whether we are combating hunger, preventing the spread of deadly diseases, or increasing access to education and clean energy, our efforts are helping millions of vulnerable people lift themselves out of poverty and lead full, healthy lives.

For example, when the 2014 Ebola outbreak devastated West Africa, we worked with other agencies to mount the largest U.S. response to a global health crisis in history, acting quickly to save lives and prevent future outbreaks. Through Power Africa, we are working to increase access to energy for millions across sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with more than 100 private sector companies—such as Off Grid Electric, which is installing more than 10,000 affordable solar systems in Tanzanian homes every month. In Honduras, smallholder farmers benefiting from Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s signature food security initiative, saw their average incomes increase by 55 percent between 2012 and 2014. In Kenya, an early grade reading program helped over 53,000 children substantially improve their reading skills. And, our efforts in Bangladesh have helped make childbirth safer, increasing the share of births taking place in a health facility and those attended by a skilled professional by over 25 percent each since 2011.

Results like these are driving life-changing outcomes in more than 100 countries across the globe. As we move forward, we are committed to maintaining our relentless focus on achieving measurable results in the places we work, and sharing our results and project evaluations with the public.

OPTIMIZING OUR RESOURCES AND ENHANCING OUR IMPACT

To end extreme poverty, we need to make our dollars go further than they ever have before. There is simply not enough official development assistance in the world to tackle its many problems. That is why we are using our assistance to leverage new sources of development finance. That includes expanding partnerships with the private sector and helping countries mobilize—and use—their own domestic resources.

For example, this year we joined with international partners to launch the innovative Global Financing Facility (GFF), which will help catalyze additional domestic and international resources to scale and sustain essential health services for women, newborns, children, and adolescents. Additionally, by offering loan guarantees through our Development Credit Authority (DCA), we are encouraging local financial institutions to lend much-needed capital to underserved borrowers like women entrepreneurs, and to invest in critical sectors, like water and energy. In 2015, DCA made 47 guarantees across 23 countries, mobilizing $695 million to seed small businesses and achieve key development goals. By collaborating with key partners to tap into new sources of financing, we can take on enormous challenges and sustain progress for years to come.

But, to reach our ambitious development targets by 2030, we also need to greatly accelerate progress. That is why we launched the U.S. Global Development Lab (Lab) in 2014 to source, test, and scale proven solutions that can help countries leapfrog major development challenges. Through open competitions and challenges such as Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and Grand Challenges for Development, we are sourcing groundbreaking ideas from people all over the world. DIV has invested in 362 new solutions to food security, health, climate change, energy, and economic growth challenges that are working to improve and save lives. And, these initiatives have helped social entrepreneurs and innovators refine their business models and become investment-ready. From using technology to combat wildlife crime to addressing water shortages across the globe, we are helping scale up game-changing solutions to the world’s toughest challenges.

Through innovation and the mobilization of new sources of financing, we are optimizing our limited resources and enhancing our impact around the world.

MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

As USAID continues to optimize resources to deliver transformational results across the globe, we must also continually improve our stewardship of the precious resources entrusted to us by the American people. Recent reforms have helped make USAID a more accountable, nimble, and evidence-driven enterprise, but there is more work ahead.

As the Statement of Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) notes, we face challenges in nine areas, including work in nonpermissive environments, performance data, and sustainability. For example, we face challenges in collecting accurate, high-quality data from our programs across the globe. This is especially true in countries facing conflict and crisis, such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where obstacles on the ground can constrain our ability to monitor programs and conduct adequate oversight. Additionally, OIG audits continue to show the need to improve planning for the end of projects, ensuring we are eventually able to work ourselves out of a job and successfully transfer ownership of projects to resilient governments.

Over the past year, the Agency has made notable progress in addressing management and performance challenges in many areas. For example, to better support missions as they manage complex, multiyear projects, we have cut the time it takes to provide missions with their budget allowances. We also took action to address the backlog of audits for U.S.-based, for-profit entities. Because of this progress, the OIG no longer considers this backlog to be a management challenge. Most recently, USAID has initiated an effort to improve our human resources and procedures to better serve our development professionals and support staff.

As USAID continues to evolve into a true learning organization, we must always be looking for opportunities to learn, change, and grow. Moving forward, we will continue to make progress in addressing longstanding and emerging challenges, changing course when necessary, and doubling down on approaches that deliver results.

FINANCIAL REPORTING AND REPRESENTATION

The Agency Financial Report (AFR) is our principal report to convey to the President, the Congress, and the American people our commitment to sound financial management and stewardship of public funds. USAID remains committed to effective governance and financial integrity and takes seriously the responsibility with which we have been entrusted. To that end, we continue to work to improve our financial management and internal controls.

This year, we are pleased that in FY 2015 USAID moved from a disclaimer to an unmodified opinion, as determined by the OIG. The Agency did receive a material weakness finding related to Fund Balance with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury). During FY 2015, USAID worked diligently to address this material weakness.

Our efforts included establishing effective cash reconciliation processes and completing an extensive reconciliation across all USAID funds. The complexity of the issue required continued analysis and corrective actions throughout FY 2015. Our work continues into FY 2016 to fully reconcile USAID’s cash position with Treasury and eliminate this material weakness. USAID made important strides to build and maintain a strong, sustainable internal control posture. Specifically, in FY 2015 USAID implemented improvements that addressed four recurring significant deficiencies: (1) deobligating unliquidated obligations (ULOs), (2) accounting for advances, (3) accounting for reimbursable agreements, and (4) supporting payroll deductions. Still, more work needs to be done, as the auditors identified four significant deficiencies in internal controls.

We worked with the OIG to ensure that the financial and summary performance data included in this AFR are complete and reliable in accordance with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget. The Independent Auditor’s Report, including the reports on internal control and compliance with laws and regulations, is located in the Financial Section of this report. Issues on internal controls, identified by management, are discussed in the Management Assurances, located in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) section of this report.

A WORLD WITHOUT EXTREME POVERTY

USAID is proud to represent our country’s values around the world, the American people reaching out to help vulnerable people in need. Our progress over the past year has continued to build a strong foundation for lifting the remaining billion people out of extreme poverty, while promoting resilient, democratic societies everywhere.

This work will not be easy. Corruption and conflict impede growth and undermine development progress around the world, even reversing it in the most severe cases. Climate change also threatens to slow or turn back progress at every step. However, time and time again, USAID and our incredible partners have proven we can take on seemingly insurmountable challenges and deliver commendable results. Together, we can help people everywhere lead lives of dignity, setting them on a path toward self-sufficiency, prosperity, and overall well-being.

Date 
Monday, November 16, 2015 - 6:00pm

Last updated: May 26, 2016