USAID is committed to achieving our mission to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people progress beyond assistance.

Achieving this mission requires USAID and its implementing partners to first and foremost “do no harm,” and moving beyond that, integrate thorough and effective safeguarding regimes throughout our operations and programming to protect the very people we intend to help from any harm. Safeguarding refers to the implementation of preventative, protection, and compliance measures for populations that may be at increased risk of harm. Effective safeguarding is a necessary enabling factor for our mission—it is not just what we do, but how we do it. USAID is committed to working with stakeholders across the aid sector to fulfill our collective responsibility for preventing and responding to critical safeguarding issues.

USAID’s Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP), and Child Safeguarding policies and related requirements exemplify our commitment to safeguarding. Taken together and applied effectively, these frameworks can strengthen safeguarding and protections across our programs for vulnerable populations.

The Partner Toolkit provides additional guidance and tools to our implementing partners around specific safeguarding issues. The Toolkit does not supplant USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS) requirements or the terms and conditions in implementing partner acquisition and assistance awards. Implementing partners should make sure to regularly consult their safeguarding-specific award requirements to ensure compliance.

The Partner Toolkit is composed of four sections, including one overarching safeguarding section and three devoted to a specific safeguarding area: (1) PSEA, (2) Child Safeguarding, and (3) C-TIP. In addition to USAID-specific guidance, the Partner Toolkit includes references to external safeguarding resources that may be of assistance to our implementing partners as they seek to implement effective safeguarding regimes.*

The Partner Toolkit is intended to be a living tool which will be updated periodically in response to conversations with our implementing partners and the broader international community, in line with best practices around collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA). Please contact with questions, comments, or suggestions.



  1. Frequently Asked Questions

  2. Safeguarding Handout

  3. Reporting Flowchart

  4. Safeguarding Standard Operating Procedures for USAID Staff

  5. Safeguarding Case Studies

  6. Safeguarding Implementation Considerations

  7. Safeguarding Award Requirements

Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse 

  1. PSEA Policy

  2. Frequently Asked Questions

  3. Roadmap to Employment Accountability

  4. External Resources

Child Safeguarding

  1. Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity: A U.S. Government Strategy for International Assistance

  2. Frequently Asked Questions

  3. External Resources

Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP)

  1. USAID Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy

  2. USAID One Pager on C-TIP

  3. USAID C-TIP Field Guide

  4. Integration of C-TIP into other Sectors

  5. OMB Anti-Trafficking Risk Management Best Practices & Mitigation Considerations

  6. DOL Bureau of International Labor Affairs Tools

  7. DOS and Verité Responsible Sourcing Tool

*The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of non-U.S. Government sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. USAID does not exercise editorial control over any of the information that you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this webpage.


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