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Guidance report

The row below represents your scoring in each of the five Pre-Engagement Assessment categories. Scroll down to view additional information, resources, and tools to address your organizational readiness to work with USAID.





Introduction and background

This customized report provides feedback on your organization’s capacity in key operational areas aligned with USAID’s objectives. It also offers resources and tools to help you progress. The report highlights specific assessment results and helps determine where your organization may want to focus its attention as it prepares to engage with USAID.

About the assessment

The Pre-Engagement Assessment covers five major areas that correspond roughly to USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS). The ADS explains the organization and functions of USAID, as well as the policies and procedures that guide the Agency's programs and operations. Most partners find it useful to familiarize themselves with both the mandatory and supplemental references in the ADS before engaging with USAID.

Your assessment answers and this report do not affect your eligibility for current or future USAID funding. While you may choose to share this information or discuss findings with others outside your organization, the results of your assessment are intended solely for your organization’s growth as you work to achieve better development outcomes and prepare to engage with USAID.

Key findings

In this section, you will find a detailed breakdown of your readiness rating by category, based on your responses to the assessment.



Human Resources

Program Management

Budget and Finance

Recommended tools and resources

Based on your assessment results, we have curated a comprehensive list of free tools and resources that will help you address organizational capacity gaps, improve performance in these areas, and better prepare to partner effectively with USAID.

Your customized resource list is separated into two sections for each of the five operational categories:

Recommended actions: Resources that are strongly suggested for your organization to help address potential capacity and knowledge gaps.
Additional references: Extra resources that may be beneficial to your organization once you have taken the recommended actions and as you strive to improve in specific operational areas.


Thoughtful and intentional programming emphasizes your organization’s careful consideration of the social, economic, and environmental implications of programs and activities. By actively involving your intended beneficiaries in the planning and implementation of your programs, your organization can ensure that your programs are culturally sensitive, relevant, and impactful. This approach not only enhances the effectiveness of development initiatives but also contributes to the sustainability of positive outcomes.

Recommended actions


Compliance with federal regulations is vital for all organizations that seek to partner with USAID. Compliance ensures that organizations align with legal standards, financial regulations, and reporting mechanisms, fostering trust and credibility in their partnerships with USAID. Moreover, adherence to federal regulations is crucial for maintaining eligibility for funding and participation in initiatives that contribute to sustainable development and humanitarian assistance worldwide. By upholding compliance standards, your organization will build a solid foundation for collaboration with USAID.

Recommended actions
Additional references

Human Resources

To work with USAID, your organization must develop comprehensive human resource (HR) practices that adhere to federal regulations, labor laws, and USAID-specific requirements that govern aspects such as equal employment opportunities, workplace safety, and ethical employment practices. Organizations must invest in staff training and resources to stay informed about evolving regulations and best practices, ensuring that their HR policies align with the highest standards. Establishing HR practices and policies is not only a prerequisite for eligibility in USAID partnerships but also fosters a positive organizational culture, attracts top talent, and ultimately enhances the effectiveness of development and humanitarian initiatives. By prioritizing compliance in HR, organizations can navigate the complexities of working with USAID and contribute to sustainable and impactful global interventions.

Recommended actions
  • Visit USAID’s ADS Series 400, which covers topics like performance management, compensation, staffing, and more.

Program Management

Program Management focuses on the alignment of strategic implementation of specific goals with the organization’s long-term viability. By developing your program management plan, you empower your team to efficiently use resources, proactively assess risks, and successfully achieve benefits that lead to resilience. By nurturing organizational practices that ensure the longevity of your programs, you will foster enduring positive change in the communities where you work. Robust business development practices and strong organizational structures will allow your organization to adapt to evolving challenges, secure funding sources, and cultivate long-term partnerships, ultimately enhancing your capacity to deliver effective and lasting assistance on a global scale. 

Partnerships can also help organizations amplify the impact and longevity of development and humanitarian initiatives. Building strategic alliances with local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector leverages collective strengths, expertise, and resources, further ensuring that interventions are contextually relevant and sustainable. 

Recommended actions
  • Visit the Funding Feed, which collects active direct (prime) opportunities for USAID grants and contracts.
  • Check out the Sub-Opportunities page, which provides available sub-award and subcontract opportunities from current USAID prime partners.
  • Visit USAID’s Business Forecast to track opportunities in the planning stages.
  • Register in the Partner Directory, and use the directory to contact potential partners.

Budget and Finance

Accurate budgeting is required for securing USAID and other donor funding as well as for effective project implementation. Budgeting enables organizations to allocate resources judiciously and adapt to changing circumstances. Sound financial management practices, including rigorous reporting and compliance with USAID regulations, are critical components that bolster the credibility of organizations. Careful financial stewardship instills confidence in donors like USAID, laying the foundation for successful partnerships and the impactful implementation of development and humanitarian programs.

Recommended actions

Next steps

You should now be equipped with the information, tools, and resources to begin your journey to engaging with USAID. The Agency is committed to working with new and underutilized partners and tapping into the ingenuity and knowledge of organizations like yours that are deeply connected to the people and the communities where they work. 

The Agency is working to streamline processes, reduce barriers, and simplify access to its resources. You can be an integral part of the Agency’s success, and USAID is excited to accompany you on the pathway to engagement. *Are you ready to take your organization to the next level? 

If you’re looking to address the findings and close the key capacity gaps identified in your Pre-Engagement Assessment, then look no further than the readiness plan. The readiness plan is a tool designed to help improve your organizational effectiveness and readiness to work with USAID. You create the plan for your organization and tailor it to respond to any of the five categories of capacity challenges.