Elizabeth Warfield’s vision for USAID Local Solutions

Elizabeth Warfield, coordinator of Local Solutions at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Photo from: Global Finance Strategies

It’s been nearly two years since Elizabeth Warfield took on the role of coordinator of Local Solutions, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s aid localization agenda under USAID Forward. During that time, USAID’s aid localization strategy has undergone an observable — and many U.S. experts and implementers say, welcome — shift.

Back then, USAID’s 30 percent local spending target for fiscal 2015 was front and center in USAID’s aid localization agenda. High-level agency officials touted USAID’s progress toward that ambitious goal as proof positive of the agency’s commitment to locally owned development. A Devex analysis also published today reveals that USAID may well fall short of the 30 percent target for now.

Today, “100 percent sustainability” — the end goal where USAID is using all of its resources to build and sustain local systems — seems to be the principal driver of Local Solutions. In April of last year, USAID unveiled a framework document spelling out the agency’s new, system-centric approach to aid localization.

Devex spoke with Warfield to learn more about why she believes “100 percent sustainability” is now the right way forward for Local Solutions and how USAID intends to measure progress toward that goal. Here is an excerpt from our conversation.

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About the author

  • Piccio

    Lorenzo Piccio

    Lorenzo is a contributing analyst for Devex. Previously Devex's senior analyst for development finance in Manila, he is currently an MA candidate in international economics and international development at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. Lorenzo holds a bachelor's degree in government and social studies from Wesleyan University.