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USAID Partner Services


The U.S. Agency for International Development works in over 100 countries, delivering assistance to reduce poverty, improve health and strengthen democratic governance, among other support. To achieve its mission, USAID awards grants and contracts to partner organizations which then implement programs to address development challenges.  

While USAID partnered with more than 3,000 organizations in fiscal 2021, the number of new organizations partnering with the agency has been decreasing for several years. To understand this trend, USAID conducted customer research and learned that some potential customers had trouble understanding USAID programs and application requirements. 

To address these issues, in November 2021, USAID launched, a website that provides information and tools to help customers understand the agency and prepare themselves to apply for USAID funding. USAID is also working to reduce the administrative burden organizations face in applying for partnership opportunities to enable more customers to engage with the agency and increase the diversity of the organizations receiving funding.    

Service Overview and Data Highlights

Service Overview

Primary Customers

Development organizations in the United States, and local organizations based in countries USAID operates in—more than 100 countries overall. 

Key Services

  • Information about how USAID partners with development organizations, and the requirements to apply for and receive USAID funding. Information on  includes a library of resources, a blog, news and an events page.
  • Resources, such as a “start here” checklist, about how to navigate the USAID partnership process.
  • Tools, such as a self-paced pre-engagement assessment, to help organizations assess their readiness to partner with USAID and determine the next steps in pursuing USAID funding.
  •  A Partner Directory that enables organizations to create a profile and connect with others in the development community.

Service Snapshot

  • 1.7 million pageviews of 
  • 3,277 partner profiles approved in the Partner Directory. 
  • 2,464 pre-engagement assessments completed on 

Data Highlights

Satisfaction level with WorkwithUSAID.org2 


Never worked with USAID


USAID prime partner


USAID subcontractor

Customer Insights

Customer Insights is helping customers navigate the process of partnering with USAID

In 2017, USAID conducted a listening tour of development organizations—both those that had previously partnered with the agency and those that had not. The agency wanted to better understand how current partners felt about their experiences interacting with the agency, and why some eligible organizations were not applying for USAID funding. This initiative revealed that some customers had trouble understanding how USAID operates, preventing them from pursuing partnership opportunities. The agency also recognized that the number of new organizations it was partnering with each year was decreasing, and that the majority of USAID funding was concentrated among only a few partners, with just 20 organizations receiving 70% of the agency’s funding in fiscal 2021.3  

To address customers’ confusion and broaden the number of organizations engaging with the agency, USAID worked to create a “one-stop shop” website——to provide clear, accessible information and tools about how to partner with USAID.  

The website, launched in November 2021, contains an extensive resource library—including explainer videos, links to relevant online training, USAID policy documents and more—that customers can use to familiarize themselves with the agency’s partnership process and build their own organizational capacity. Organizations can customize this resource library and save the most relevant information.   

In addition to these resources, the website also includes tools that can help organizations as they prepare to pursue a partnership with the agency. The website’s Partner Directory, for example, is a database in which development organizations can create a profile describing their work, even if they have not yet worked with USAID. They then can use the directory to network and increase their visibility to other USAID partners who may be searching for contractors or subcontractors. Partners also have the ability to message each other directly on the platform to connect. also provides an assessment tool that organizations can use to evaluate their readiness to partner with the agency before they submit an official application. It is a streamlined, pre-engagement assessment based on the formal evaluation tools the agency uses to assess partnership applications. Organizations that complete the assessment receive a customized report on what might stand in the way of them becoming a USAID partner, and guidance on actions they can take to improve their readiness. It also links to specific resources on the site that can help organizations with each action listed in the report. Agency officials expect these features will assist ongoing efforts to increase the number and diversity of organizations interacting, and eventually partnering, with USAID. The number of organizations receiving USAID funding increased by 271 in fiscal 2022, from 3,456 in fiscal 2021 to 3,727 in fiscal 2022.

USAID’s application requirements can be burdensome for some customers to navigate

Agency officials note that applications for USAID grants and contracts are often lengthy—many over 30 pages—and completing them requires a significant investment of time and resources. Recognizing that these requirements can be onerous and limit the ability of some organizations to apply for funding, especially those that are smaller or new to working with USAID, USAID officials are working on ways to make the process less burdensome. 

For example, for many new partners and smaller organizations, USAID lowers the application barriers by using a phased approach. Potential partners can first complete a partial application, such as by submitting a five-page proposal summary or a smaller set of the documents required for a full application. Based on this information, USAID can let customers know whether they would likely succeed with a full application, enabling organizations to make informed decisions about whether to invest time and resources into pursuing USAID funding. In 2021, the agency also launched an e-sign portal to move previously paper-based processes online, simplifying the way partner organizations interact with USAID.   

However, some burdensome policy and compliance requirements in the application process originate in legislation or regulation. Reducing or eliminating these barriers would require action by Congress or the Office of Management and Budget. For example, competing for USAID awards often requires organizations to redesign their internal processes to meet U.S. government accounting standards. A shift to requirements more in line with widely used international accounting standards could help simplify the work potential customers must do to prepare to partner with the agency, as well as to adhere to compliance and reporting standards once they become funded partners. USAID is working with stakeholders to explore ways to adjust or eliminate these requirements to reduce the administrative burden and expand the pool of organizations with which they partner. 

Customers would like to connect them directly with opportunities for partnering

USAID officials noted that feedback about the website has been positive, as customers appreciate the information and tools it provides, including the pre-engagement assessment. However, customers also shared that additional features could make the website more useful.  

Currently, customers can use to evaluate their capabilities and prepare to partner with USAID but not to explore what opportunities are available. Instead, once organizations are ready to pursue opportunities, they must use the government-wide funding websites or This disconnect can be confusing and difficult to navigate, especially for new customers and organizations unfamiliar with these sites.  

USAID is exploring options to create a smoother transition between preparing for USAID partnership and pursuing specific opportunities. “We’ve gotten [customers] prepared, now how do we connect them to the funding opportunities to be able to apply,” said Matt Johnson, communications director in USAID’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance. USAID is working to add a feed that lists currently available USAID-specific opportunities on so that customers can see what USAID is offering without having to visit and Additionally, the agency is developing a sub-opportunities page that will list subcontracting opportunities with USAID-vetted organizations. Customers will be able to filter these opportunities by criteria such as region, sector and duration and will be able to follow a link directly to the prime partner’s application page “so that people won’t have to go to these other websites to search,” said Rachel Chilton, deputy director of communications in the Office of Acquisition and Assistance.  

USAID is also working to add a partnership pathway tool to This tool would enable customers to answer a series of questions and be directed to a tailored list of opportunities that might be right for their organization’s interests and expertise, rather than leaving them to search for potential opportunities without any guidance. These and other features could help USAID create a more seamless experience for customers, particularly those who have not worked with the agency before and are interested in partnering.  

Delivering Services Equitably

Delivering Services Equitably

USAID’s customer organizations are based all around the world, and many primarily operate in languages other than English. Language accessibility is a key focus of USAID’s work to ensure equity in its services for potential partners. 

A “start here” checklist on is available to download in eight languages in addition to English: Arabic, Burmese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. This checklist lays out what is required of potential partners at each stage of the process of working with the agency. USAID hopes to continue expanding the number of languages available so additional customers can access the information in their preferred language. Another agency goal is to create fully translated versions of the site in languages other than English—USAID officials mentioned Spanish, French and Arabic as the languages they are initially targeting for this effort and noted that they are conducting customer research on what other full website language options customers would appreciate. 

Beyond web services, USAID is also working to understand how it can increase language access in its other forms of communication with partners. “We’re trying to walk the fine line of translating things into local languages, but also knowing that certain things are required by law to be written and submitted in English,” said Rachel Chilton. While regulations require full applications for USAID funding to be submitted in English, many USAID missions use local languages to interact with potential partners throughout earlier stages of the application process. For example, the agency holds pre-award Industry Day events, accepts brief concept notes and conducts co-creation in local languages, all efforts to lower barriers for partners. The agency’s Northern Triangle Task Force in Central America is also piloting providing courtesy copies of outgoing USAID communications such as requests for information, solicitations and debriefing letters to applications, as well as conducting applicant oral presentations in local languages. This approach satisfies the legal requirement that controlling documents be in English, but also enables partner organizations to read in them in their preferred language. Based on results of the pilot, the agency hopes to implement this approach across USAID more broadly. 

  1. All data is for the period between the website’s launch on Nov. 4, 2021, and Dec. 15, 2022.
  2. Data from a survey on conducted in July 2022. The survey was available via a banner on the website’s homepage and was promoted via newsletter and social media. Percent satisfied includes those who answered “agree” or “strongly agree” to the question “I am satisfied with my experience on”
  3. “U.S. Agency for International Development,” Accessed November 17, 2022.

This customer experience profile was produced by the Partnership for Public Service, in collaboration with Accenture Federal Services.

Read the corresponding report Designing a Government for the People

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