USAID's top women-owned contractors

By Lorenzo Piccio 19 May 2016

A program field technician demonstrates good agricultural practices such as pruning and trellising to a female long bean farmer in Cambodia, where a five-year integrated food security and climate change program is being implemented by Fintrac as part of the Feed the Future initiative. Photo by: Fintrac / USAID / CC BY-NC-ND

Each year, the U.S. Agency for International Development counts on dozens of women-owned contractors to help carry out its development work around the world.

Based on Devex analysis, USAID has awarded, on average, 5.9 percent of its annual contract spending to women-owned contractors over the past five years. In fiscal 2015, that figure stood at 4.8 percent, down from 6.4 percent the year before.

Only last month, USAID awarded a $16.7 million, five-year contract for the Ethiopia Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Service project to Social Impact, one of USAID’s top women-owned contractors.

The vast majority of USAID’s women-owned contractors are small businesses. In fiscal 2013, USAID for the first time met its long-standing statutory goal of awarding 5 percent of contract dollars to women-owned small businesses. After meeting that target two years in a row, USAID fell short of achievement in fiscal 2015, according to recently released figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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About the author

Lorenzo Piccio@lorenzopiccio

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.

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