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USAID Forward Progress Report 2013



For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development released a progress report on its signature reform initiative USAID Forward at an event co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Center for American Progress (CAP). The report can be viewed here:

Three years ago, President Obama and Secretary Clinton called for the elevation of development as a key part of America’s national security and foreign policy. Through both the first ever

Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development and the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, they set forth a vision of an empowered and robust Agency that could lead the world in solving the greatest development challenges of our time. To meet these high expectations and approach our mission with renewed capacity, USAID has undertaken an ambitious reform agenda called USAID Forward.

After more than two years, USAID Forward has touched upon every part of our Agency, bringing new partnerships, a greater emphasis on innovation, and a relentless focus on results. Taken together, these reforms have formed the foundation of a new model for development that is beginning to define the way we work. To view and join the conversation online, follow @USAID and follow #USAIDForward.


Catalyzing innovative, breakthrough solutions through science and technology

  • We are recapturing the Agency’s legacy of progress through innovation by creating partnerships with the scientific and development community.
  • We have introduced 4 Grand Challenges for Development – grant competitions designed to generate new ideas to save lives, get all children reading, powering agriculture through clean energy and addressing corruption.
  • We have expanded financial services to poor communities through technology to enable hundreds of thousands of people to send money home, pay school fees or collect their salary right on their phones.
  • USAID has launched 6 mobile money programs in Haiti, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and Mozambique.
  • USAID launched the Higher Education Solutions Network, a groundbreaking partnership between USAID and seven top universities, which is harnessing the ingenuity and passion of university faculty and students to develop innovative solutions to global development challenges.
  • The seven HESN universities (MIT, Berkeley, Duke, William and Mary, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and Makerere University in Uganda) were selected from nearly 500 applications from 49 states and 33 countries.

Investing in high-impact partnerships and broadening our partner base

  • We are scaling up the impact of partnerships by harnessing private sector, philanthropies, academia and development experts together.
  • Through our public-private partnerships, $383 million in non-US government dollars were leveraged out of mission budgets in support of our development goals in 2012.
  • 50% of the applications for our Grand Challenges for Development, just one of our public-private partnership tools, come from the developing world.
  • Through 34 Development Credit Authority (DCA) guarantees, the Agency mobilized $524 million in private financing in 2012, benefiting 1.4 million people. That’s more than three times the number of people reached through DCAs in 2011.

Partnering for Sustainable Development

  • At the heart of our reforms are our efforts to achieve the goals set in Paris and Busan – to foster local capacity and ownership of development among governments, NGOs, private sector and citizens.
  • We are working with more local organizations in developing countries to improve their capacity, build new effective and long-term partnerships, and reduce the need for foreign aid over time.
  • Our Missions are focused on thoughtfully engaging local government counterparts, civil society, and existing partners on how to move the needle on country ownership.
  • 33 Missions conducted first stage risk assessments of host country governments
  • We have made 69 awards to host country governments – at the national, ministry and regional levels.
  • As part of our effort to build capacity and increase country ownership and transparency, we have increased funding to local partners and partner country governments.
  • In FY 2010, our global average of Mission funds to local partners and country governments was 9.7%. Today, it is 14.3% - a fifty percent increase and halfway to our goal of 30% by 2015.
  • Of the 14.3%, almost half go to partner country governments and the remainder is going to local organizations, from universities to farmers’ associations to businesses.