USAID opens grants for partnerships with colleges and universities

Former U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Andrew Natsios. The concept for the Global Development Alliance was developed in 2001 during Natsios’ term. Photo by: Marquette University / CC BY-NC-ND

In line with its focus on increased collaboration between public and private sector organizations in tackling the world’s most pressing development challenges, the U.S. Agency for International Development released March 1 the Global Development Alliance Annual Program Statement for fiscal 2013. The latest APS calls on colleges and universities to send in letters of interest or concept papers for consideration.

This year’s GDA APS invites higher educational institutions, as well as nonprofit organizations, to engage with other private sector partners to advance development goals in “areas that align with USAID priorities.”  Letters of interest, concept papers and applications will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2014.

The 2013 APS will prioritize alliances that provide long-term and scalable solutions that are “market-based, market-driven, market-informed or market-oriented.” The following are some of the desired outcomes:

  • Market development and sustainability.

  • Improved supply chains.

  • Increased labor productivity and quality workforce development.

  • Improved infrastructure.

  • Robust social and economic resilience.

  • Systems and enabling environments conducive to innovation, entrepreneurship, business development, and private sector financing and investment.

GDAs operate on resources and contributions on a 1:1 basis. For example, USAID or any United States government agency will invest a specific amount in an alliance and the contributions and resources provided by private sector partners must have equal or greater value. GDAs are supported for a performance period of 12 to 60 months.

GDAs are public-private partnerships between USAID and the private sector whereby development challenges are tackled with business solutions. The concept for GDAs was developed in 2001 under then-USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios with the endorsement of then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who called them the “new strategic orientation for USAID.”

For more information on this year’s GDA APS, click on this link.

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    Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She creates content for the Devex website which analyzes development business trends and provides insights into development business opportunities in the form of blogs and special analysis or insight articles. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.