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$10 Million USAID Opportunity for Global Development Alliances

By Wayan Vota on January 24, 2011

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has just released a $10,000,000 Annual Program Statement (APS) for Global Development Alliances (GDAs).

Through the 2011 GDA APS USAID is inviting prospective partner organizations to form innovative GDA’s that both contribute to USAID’s key initiatives and the key interests of private-sector partners. The Agency is particularly interested in innovative approaches that can have a significant impact on a major development challenge.

Alliance partners are expected to bring significant new resources, ideas, technologies, and/or partners to address significant development problems and challenges in countries where USAID is currently working. Successful proposals will match USAID funding with at least a 1:1 ratio from other sources to address Agency initiatives.

Proposals that involve corporate resource partners who demonstrate a longer-term commitment to a GDA activity after USAID support ends will be seen as more competitive.


Since 2001, USAID, through the GDA model, has cultivated more than 1,065 public-private alliances with over 3,025 individual partners to contribute billions in combined public-private resources in many of the 90 countries in which USAID operates. Through GDAs, USAID contributes to these partnerships with a wide range of assets including access to broader financing options, assistance in skill and knowledge development, and applying its extensive knowledge of country environments to help reduce the risks of investing in some of the world’s poorest countries.

USAID’s decade-long experience in developing partnerships has revealed three primary alliance models that tend to produce the greatest development results:

  1. Co-investment in a public good: USAID and private sector partners co-invest in a public good that benefits both the public and the private sectors. One example is the work USAID is supporting to develop industry-wide standards for the impact investing industry to measure social and environmental return of investments.
  2. Encouraging Market Entry: USAID partners with the private sector to create the incentives or reduce the risk for a local or international private sector partner to enter into a new market of development significance that the private sector is otherwise unwilling to test. For example, USAID might provide a capital grant or credit guarantee to a local or international food or distribution company to provide it incentives to make investments in a bankable nutritional supplement processing capability that local investors and financial institutions have been unwilling to consider.
  3. Harnessing private sector capabilities: USAID leverages the core capability of private sector entities and individuals to address a development issue. For example, USAID might help promote anti-trafficking messages through MTV to reach key audiences.

Please refer to the USAID GDA website for more information about the history and objectives of public-private partnerships. You can also learn how to build better GDA partnerships from a recent Technology Salon.


In the 2011 GDA APS, alliances are expected to bring significant new resources, ideas, technologies and/or partners to address development problems in countries where USAID works. The Agency is particularly interested in innovative public-private partnerships that address development challenges in new ways, leveraging the resources of new types of partners in replicable, sustainable and scalable ways. The offeror must establish how the interests and objectives of each partner converge.

The most sustainable and successful GDAs are grounded at the intersection between a business’s core interests (rather than a purely philanthropic focus) and one or more of USAID’s development objectives. Alliance activities at the country level that incorporate local businesses and entrepreneurs as partners and/or beneficiaries in design and implementation of an alliance are most likely to be successful and sustainable. Local ownership, leadership and beneficiary participation are keys to success.

This APS seeks public-private alliance proposals for funding through Sept. 30, 2011, although the activities of alliance can and should continue beyond this period. Concept papers and/or proposals received during the stated period, but unable to be negotiated and awarded prior to September 30, 2011 may be considered for award in FY2012. USAID will review alliance proposals using a two-stage process more fully described in Sections III and IV of the APS.

Review the official APS documentation

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “$10 Million USAID Opportunity for Global Development Alliances”

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