Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI)

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The Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI) is USAID’s central resource for providing world-class technical assistance to its Missions. DDI’s cross-cutting, global perspective will enable the Agency to anticipate and respond to evolving trends and issues, catalyze innovation and financing, and broaden our partnership base, all with the goal of sustainably meeting USAID’s development and humanitarian goals.

DDI comprises four Centers and five Hubs. The Centers serve as USAID’s leaders for technical assistance in democracy and governance, economics and market development, education, energy, environment, human rights, and infrastructure.  The Hubs provide Missions with expert guidance and training on cross-cutting development priorities, including women’s empowerment and gender equality, innovation, technology and research, private-sector engagement, while increasing USAID’s partnerships with diverse organizations, such as local and faith-based groups.

Centers and Hubs

DDI’s Centers advance high-priority areas within specific development sectors, while Hubs focus on cross-cutting and sector-agnostic priorities. 


Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

The goal of USAID’s Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Center is to promote peace, prosperity, and freedom around the globe through self-reliant, citizen responsive democratic governance that respects human dignity, rights, and the rule of law.

Economics and Market Development

The Center for Economics and Market Development advances enterprise-driven development so partner countries can plan, finance, and implement solutions to solve their own development challenges. The Center leads and supports USAID's economic growth programs by conducting robust analysis, encouraging practices conducive to enabling environments, and supporting trade capacity building to foster sustainable development outcomes.


The Center for Education advances USAID's Education Policy by supporting partner countries in strengthening their capacity to deliver quality learning opportunities for children and youth and improving learning outcomes and skills development from pre-primary to higher education.

Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure

The Center for Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure leads USAID’s work on climate policy, climate integration, and climate mitigation. This includes supporting the transition to renewable energy and more efficient energy use, addressing global deforestation and advancing other natural climate solutions, and supporting climate risk management. The Center also leads the Agency’s work on conserving biodiversity; combating conservation crime, ocean plastic and air pollution; promoting sustainable urban development and planning; improving infrastructure; and supporting land and resource governance.


Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

USAID works to improve the lives of individuals around the world by addressing the distinct needs of women and girls and men and boys in our development and humanitarian work. The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub provides strategic leadership, cross-sectoral expertise, training, and technical assistance on USAID’s gender equality and women’s empowerment programming worldwide, including gender-based violence and women’s economic empowerment.

Inclusive Development

The Inclusive Development Hub (ID) promotes the rights and inclusion of marginalized and under-represented populations in the development process, and leads the U.S. Government’s response to address the needs of children in adversity and youth. The ID Hub provides support on integrating children in adversity, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, LGBTI persons, mental health, rehabilitation, and assistive health technologies into Agency programs.

Innovation, Technology, and Research

The Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub leads USAID’s use of field experimentation,  open innovation, and digital technology to transform development approaches. The Hub  remains on the forefront of science and technology to incorporate breakthrough innovations into USAID’s programs and policies, and applies the latest tools, like artificial intelligence and impact bonds, to address key development priorities. USAID’s ITR Hub comprises a team of change makers and problem solvers working in partnership with researchers, universities, social enterprises, local communities and the private sector to test, incubate, and accelerate the scale-up of cutting-edge solutions delivering the greatest impact.

Local, Faith, and Transformative Partnerships

The Local, Faith and Transformative Partnerships Hub is strengthening USAID’s ability to partner with nontraditional and diverse actors, including local, faith-based, and community organizations; schools and hospitals; minority-serving institutions; foundations; diaspora communities; cooperatives; and volunteer organizations.

Private Sector Engagement

The Private Sector Engagement Hub’s mission is to create the institutional conditions, operating infrastructure, and capacity necessary to expand engagement with the private sector in the United States and partner countries.


Environmental and Social Risk Management

The Office of Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) aims to strengthen the environmental and social performance of multilateral development banks (MDBs), host-country governments, DDI projects, and implementing partners. ESRM mitigates harm, reduces programmatic and reputational risks, and makes projects more time- and cost-effective.


Portrait of Karl Fickenscher
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator
Harry Bader
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Gillian Caldwell
Chief Climate Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator
LeAnna Marr
Deputy Assistant Administrator and Acting Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic Education Assistance

Last updated: July 16, 2021

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