The U.S. Agency for International Development obligated contract funding for fiscal 2015 reached $4.8 billion — a $1 billion increase from its total in 2014. This 26 percent budget surge marks the first upward movement in USAID’s contract spending in the last three years.
Despite USAID’s focus on channeling more foreign aid to local organizations — most notably through the USAID Forward initiative — the agency continues to award the bulk of its contracts to American firms. In 2015, the top 20 recipients of USAID funding were all U.S.-based organizations. Combined, these transactions account for 70 percent of the total USAID spending for obligated contracts for the year, up slightly from 67 percent in 2014.
The consortium Partnerships for Supply Chain Management received the most USAID contract funding, while international development consulting firm Chemonics was second. In 2015, Chemonicssecured an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity agreement, or IDIQ, with USAID to the tune of $9.5 billion — the largest USAID award to date which could lift the firm into the top place next year.
Meanwhile, four organizations managed to break into the top 20 in fiscal 2015. Checchi and Co. more than doubled its contract funding with $44 million compared to just $19 million in 2014. The consulting firm Dexis, formerly a small business, received $48 million in 2015 versus $22 million for the previous year. Morganti, meanwhile, significantly increased its winnings from just over $4 million in 2014 to $56 million in 2015 and PAE entered the top 20 list receiving $75 million in USAID contract funding. USAID also channeled $101 million to an undisclosed domestic contractor.
Below is the complete list of USAID’s top contractors for 2015 based on data from USASpending.gov.
Founded: 1975 Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States President and CEO: Susanna Mudge Obligated USAID contract funding: $520,333,009
Chemonics is an employee-owned for-profit consulting agency with experience implementing projects in over 150 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Its services cover program design, implementation and management, capacity building for local institutions, performance management and evaluation, knowledge management and communication, and corporate social responsibility. Chemonics works in a broad range of sectors including agriculture, conflict and crisis, democracy and governance, economic development, education and youth, environment, gender and social inclusion, health, supply chain solutions, water, energy and sustainability.
Founded: 1978 Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, United States President: Joel Lamstein Obligated USAID contract funding: $415,715,554
John Snow Incorporated is a consultancy firm specializing in public health management. With eight offices in the U.S. and 60 international offices, JSI has implemented projects in over 100 countries. Its range of services include health service planning and delivery, support for health care providers, health services research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, health information technology, health communication, as well as conference and event planning.
Founded: 1966 Headquarters: Pasadena, California, United States Chairman, CEO, and President: Dan L. Batrack Obligated USAID contract funding: $359,240,310
Tetra Tech’s programs for international development cover a wide range of areas including agriculture, environment and sustainability, water, energy, governance and the rule of law, security and infrastructure. With 400 offices worldwide and a staff size reaching 16,000, Tetra Tech mainly provides practical research and technical services, as well as design, implementation and management services for programs and construction activities. The company currently has 13 subsidiaries including Management Systems International, which won USAID contracts amounting to $126,874,406 in fiscal 2015.
Founded: 1970 Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland, United States President and CEO: James Boomgard Obligated USAID contract funding: $272,429,308
A global consultancy, DAI implements projects across several regions including Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. With a staff size of almost 3,000, DAI’s work focuses on economic development, environment and sustainability, governance, ICT, global health, stability and business development. In late 2013, DAI took ownership of HTSPE, a global consultancy firm based in the U.K.
Founded: 1990 Headquarters: Los Angeles, California, United States Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: Michael S. Burke Obligated USAID contract funding: $150,059,632
With a staff size of 2,000, AECOM carries out its international development initiatives in over 100 countries. Its areas of expertise include infrastructure development, agriculture and economic development, democracy, human rights and governance, social development, and disaster and crisis management. In late 2014, AECOM acquired URS Corp., an engineering firm based in San Francisco that focuses its development work in Asia and the Pacific region.
Founded: 1965 Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States President and CEO: Kathleen L. Flanagan Obligated USAID contract funding: $143,578,474
Abt Associates currently works in nearly 50 countries doing research and program implementation. Its focus areas include education, environment and climate change, food security and agriculture, health, community development, income security and workforce development. Its subsidiaries include Abt JTA, a consulting firm focusing on health and social development in Australia and Asia-Pacific, and Abt SRBI, a research and strategy organization that delivers policy and opinion surveys in various sectors including health, education and workforce development, finance, transportation and utilities.
Founded: 1958 Headquarters: Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States President and CEO: E. Wayne Holden Obligated USAID contract funding: $106,177,372
RTI International is a nonprofit, independent research institute working in over 75 countries with a staff size reaching 4,000. In international development, RTI uses its research capabilities to design programs and provide advisory and training services in areas of global health, education, governance, and workforce and economic development.
Founded: 1978 Headquarters: Alexandria, Virginia, United States Chief Executive Officer: Lynn A. Dugle Obligated USAID contract funding: $82,466,915
With 38 years of development experience, IRG, an Engility Company focuses on delivering innovative solutions in key development sectors including agriculture and food security, biodiversity conservation, climate change resiliency, disaster preparedness and stabilization, economic growth, energy, integrated learning solutions, and water, sanitation and hygiene. IRG has managed more than 850 international development contracts in 140 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. These contracts include small, focused tasks as well as large, multi-county projects and regional projects.*
Founded: 1955 Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia, United States Chief Executive Officer: John Heller Obligated USAID contract funding: $75,147,354
Apart from USAID, PAE works with various U.S. government agencies in areas of aviation, capacity building and stabilization, infrastructure, logistics, information management and security. PAE has presence in over 60 countries and commands a workforce of 15,000 individuals. Earlier this year, PAE was acquired by Platinum Equity.
Ezekiel is a senior development analyst and team leader at Devex. His primary role is monitoring and reporting on project opportunities and trends of leading multilateral and bilateral donor agencies. A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Political Science, Ezekiel has extensive global development research experience having also worked at the World Youth Alliance, Asia and the Pacific (WYAAP).
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