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Infrastructure is a critical foundation of inclusive, sustainable growth and is essential to achieving USAID’s development objectives across a wide range of sectors including health, economic growth, education, and the environment.
USAID’s approach to infrastructure improvements is more than just bricks and mortar. It involves establishing effective and sustainable service providers and institutions that can operate, maintain and renew facilities that serve as critical foundations for achieving broader development goals. The Agency’s approach to infrastructure also emphasizes identification and application of best practices, and learning based on evidence of effectiveness.
With 25 employees and an annual budget of approximately $17.7 million for the year ending September 30, 2016, E3’s Office of Energy and Infrastructure (E3/E&I) is an essential service provider, repository of technical expertise, and “force multiplier” for the agency’s missions world-wide.
USAID’s energy program focuses on the following areas:
- Energy sector reconstruction in countries recovering from conflict and natural disasters;
- Increasing access to clean energy through expanded grid supply of renewable energy, and scaling of off-grid decentralized energy technologies and business models.
- Promoting enhanced energy security for sustained economic growth;
- Integration of improved energy services to advance agriculture, health, education, and democracy and governance programming.
The E&I Office supports the Agency’s energy programs. These programs emphasize several themes, including promoting energy sector reforms that are widely recognized as prerequisites to private investment, access, and sustainability. The Energy Division works closely with USAID’s Global Climate Change (GCC) Office to drive efforts to scale-up clean energy. Key building blocks associated with scaling up-clean energy and increasing the use of renewables include: strategic energy planning; competitive procurement for clean energy infrastructure; establishment of renewable energy zones; design and implementation of smart incentives for clean energy investments; and enhanced integration of renewables into national/regional power grids.
Launched in June 2012, USAID’s Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development is using $16.3 million to leverage over $41 million in other donor and private contributions to find clean energy solutions that will transform agriculture and empower farmers in the developing world. The E&I Office is also providing essential technical input to the Power Africa initiative, that is working to bring electricity to 60 million African homes and businesses and increasing installed generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030.
Engineering and Urban Programs
The E&I Office provides broad professional architect-engineer services, post-disaster reconstruction support and risk management of the USAID global construction portfolio with an estimated value of more than $2 billion per year. The Engineering Division supports programming across all sectors of infrastructure providing services to USAID Missions and other Operating Units in three key areas: 1) Technical Assistance, 2) Policy Support and Risk Management; and 3) Communications and Knowledge Management.
Technical assistance: E&I provides engineering, construction and infrastructure technical support directly to Missions through virtual and TDY assistance provided by the 7 engineers and infrastructure technical staff in the Office. In addition, the Division manages the Architecture and Engineering IDIQ, providing access to small and large engineering service providers. Task orders under this IDIQ can support engineering design, construction procurement and construction supervision (quality assurance) among other tasks. In 2017, the Division plans to introduce a surge support mechanism to provide rapid technical assistance for reconstruction needs, forensic analysis, value engineering and other technical tasks.
Policy Support and Risk Management: E&I is the focal point for the Agency’s Construction Improvement Program to implement the recommendations of the USAID 2014 world-wide Construction Assessment . E&I guides the development and implementation of USAID construction policy and helps to ensure compliance through facilitating and monitoring construction risk screening for all new activities.
Communications and Knowledge Management: E&I also serves as the knowledge hub for USAID engineers and professionals working in the space as well as our beneficiaries and partners. E&I develops and delivers training programs for engineers and non-engineers on a range of infrastructure, engineering and construction topics. In addition, E&I supports databases, webinars and other platforms to organize and share innovation, best practice, case studies and lessons learned.
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Last updated: September 22, 2016