Reporting Safeguarding Violations Connected to USAID's Programs

What should you do if you witness, experience, or learn of a safeguarding violation (including, but not limited to, sexual exploitation and abuse, child abuse, exploitation, and neglect, and trafficking in persons) in a USAID program?


USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG)

USAID Responsibility, Safeguarding, and Compliance (RSC) Division

Cognizant USAID Contracting Officer or Agreement Officer

What happens after you report?

The OIG...

  • Will review the initial allegation, and as necessary, contact the organization or the individual submitting the report to further discuss the matter.
  • May initiate an investigation or defer to the partner to investigate and provide advice as needed.
  • May issue a referral to USAID for consideration of administrative actions.


  • May advise partners as necessary to take specific steps to address an actual or alleged violation.
  • Will consider appropriate protective measures in response to substantiated instances of misconduct.
  • May consider other remedies, including disallowing costs, suspending or terminating awards in whole or in part, or pursuing suspension or debarment.


Implementing partners should...

  • Respond to and appropriately investigate allegations.

  • Prioritize the safety and wellbeing of survivors.

  • Reinforce non-retaliation protections for survivors and whistleblowers.

  • Conduct due diligence that does not interfere with an investigation into criminal conduct.

  • Consider protective measures and organizational reforms to prevent recurrence.

What to Include in a Report

This guidance includes the type of information that may be necessary in order for USAID to address misconduct connected to its programs effectively and sensitively. An organization may have limited details regarding the allegation, but a timely notification allows USAID to work in partnership with the organization to address the incident. NOTE: When reporting an allegation, the person reporting does not have to specify the category into which the conduct falls. When in doubt, report!

Award Information:

  • Award title and number

  • Organization name and sub-awardee name, if applicable

  • Location of the program

Incident/Allegation Details:

Who: Indicate who is involved (do not include the personally identifiable information of individuals)

  • Is the survivor(s) a program participant/beneficiary/affected population?
  • Are minors involved?
  • Is the alleged perpetrator a senior leader?

What: Type of allegation(s), which may include:

  • Sexual exploitation and abuse
  • Child exploitation, abuse, and neglect
  • Trafficking in persons
  • Workplace misconduct

Where: Country, Region, Program Sector

When: Date of the incident, date of the report to the organization


  • Identify any actions taken or next steps to respond to the incident.
  • Survivor support: resources available or provided to the survivor, steps taken to ensure the safety of the survivor(s) or whistleblower(s).
  • Investigation status.
  • Any established organizational procedures or framework to respond to the relevant type of misconduct.
  • Interim measures or final measures taken or planned to address the alleged perpetrator.
  • Any protective measures or organizational reforms, such as changes to applicable policies and procedures.

NOTE: This flow chart is for informational purposes only. Implementing partners should always look to the terms and conditions of their awards and follow supplementary Agency guidance.

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