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Development Grants Program
The Development Grants Program (DGP) is a competitive small grants program, established in 2008 by Section 674 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008,that provides opportunities for U.S. PVOs and local NGOs that have limited or no experience managing direct USAID grants. The DGP was designed to expand the number of direct partnerships USAID has with U.S. PVOs and indigenous, local NGOs and to build the capacity of these organizations to better meet the needs of their constituents. The DGP provides an opportunity for U.S. PVOs and local NGOs to make contributions to USAID's objectives to address the development challenges of local communities through strengthening civil society organizations.
Successful PVO/NGO applicants receive awards for $2 million or less to implement activities in the field over a period of up to five-years. Awards include a capacity development component providing implementing partners with access to resources for technical assistance and/or organizational strengthening. The first DGP competitive cycle in FY 2009 resulted in 60 awards in 25 countries, the second competitive cycle in FY 2010 resulted in 57 awards in 26 countries, and the third cycle in FY 2011 resulted in the current negotiation of approximately 28 awards in 25 countries.
Current Activities (DGP-4)
At this time, the Fiscal Year 2012 DGP Request for Applications (RFA) is closed. A copy of it, for reference, can be found here.
The 2013 RFA, expected to be released summer 2013, will invite U.S. PVOs registered with USAID and local, indigenous NGOs to submit concept papers that address development challenges of interest to participating USAID Missions in countries around the world.
To apply for the DGP, U.S. PVOs must have 501(c)(3) status and must have submitted a complete registration packet to the USAID PVO Registration Database. Instructions on registration can be found here. In most instances, the organization should have been in existence for more than one year. While completed registration is not required, we encourage interested U.S. PVO applicants to register before the RFA is released.
Local NGO applicants do not need to register with USAID to apply. However, they must be recognized under the laws of the country in which they are domiciled and must provide proof at the time of . Local NGOs that are selected by USAID Missions to submit full proposals, must also acquire a DUNS number (if they do not have one already) in order to submit the full proposal to USAID.
The three objectives of the DGP are:
To broaden participation in USAID programs of local NGOs and U.S. PVOs with the necessary organizational and technical capacity, experience and expertise relevant to priority USAID and partner country development objectives;
To expand numbers of local NGOs and U.S. PVOs with planning, management and service delivery operations and systems adequate to implement USAID-funded activities; and
To facilitate measurable local NGO/U.S. PVO contributions to the achievement of the USAID Mission development objectives with emphasis given to those that address Agency priority strategies.
U.S. PVOs - U.S. PVOs must have 501(c)(3) status and be registered (or in the process of being registered) with USAID to compete for a grant under the DGP. Only U.S. PVOs whose complete registration materials have been received by USAID by the concept paper due date are eligible.
Local NGOs - A non-US PVO applicant must be a local non-governmental organization recognized under the laws of the country which it is domiciled. For specific purposes of the DGP, a local NGO does not include subsidiaries, affiliates or member entities of organizations located outside of or organized outside of the host country or region. When applying to the DGP program, local NGOs are required to attach official documentation of their formal status as an NGO in the host country. Local NGOs are not required to register with USAID.
U.S. PVOs and Local NGOs - Organizations must not have received more than $5,000,000 from the US Government (including USAID) in direct assistance during the past five-year period. The $5,000,000 threshold includes any type of assistance received directly from the US Government, including USAID through a grant or cooperative agreement during the five-year period. Applicants may have received indirect US Government, including USAID assistance (sub-awards or other indirect assistance).
Program Structure and Process
The DGP is managed by the Local Sustainability Division (LSD) in Washington. LSD reaches out to Missions who voluntarily participate in the program. Participating Missions choose which sector(s) they will request applications for and confirm that the sector(s) are aligned with their Mission's assistance objectives. These participating Missions then provide country-specific information on priority activities that they would like to support under each sector to LSD. LSD includes this information for applicants, in the Request for Applications (RFA), which is posted to grants.gov and the USAID website (this page). Upon reviewing this RFA, local NGO and PVO applicants apply directly to Missions which then review proposals and recommend successful applications for funding. LSD reviews all participating Mission requests at one time and transfers funds to Missions after considering the overall demand and supply of available funds. Missions are responsible for negotiating cooperative agreements (including conducting pre-award surveys) directly with the prospective grantees and receiving all reports over the life of the projects.
The most unique and valuable part of the DGP is the inclusion of comprehensive and customized capacity development support which is offered at no additional cost to all DGP grantees via a variety of mechanisms. Based upon the results of an organizational needs assessment and the specific local environment, each grantee may receive ongoing organizational and technical capacity building support over the life of their project from either a local/regional institution, from USAID Local Capacity Development Teams, or from a combination of providers.
The first cohort of DGP (DGP-1) grantees received their awards between the summer of 2009 and early 2010, and local NGO and PVO partners have either concluded or are currently concluding their activities. Under DGP-1, 60 awards to 59 organizations were made in the following 6 sectors: Microenterprise; Women's Empowerment; Women's Empowerment AND Microenterprise; Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene; Dairy; DG/Civil Society; and Environment.
In December of 2009, LSD released a second RFA (DGP-2), which received a total of 578 applications. The DGP2 combined FY09 and FY10 funds and supported 57 awards made by 19 Missions. The breakdown by sector was 19 in Microenterprise, 22 in Water, 14 in Climate Change Adaptation, and 2 in Dairy.
In March of 2011, LSD released a third RFA (DGP - 3), which received a total of 1,301 applications. The DGP was able to offer support to 28 programs in 25 countries pending completion of satisfactory agreement/grant negotiations. The breakdown by sector was 14 in Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene; 9 in Microenterprise; 4 in Climate Change Adaptation; and 1 in Peace-building.
Awards are currently being finalized under the fourth round of the program (DGP-4) and information about them will be posted in early 2013. The fourth round of awards will include support of programs in the sectors of Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene, Microenterprise; Peace-building, Education and Civil Society Strengthening.
Additional information on the DGP can be found at http://www.dgpconnect.net/home
Inquiries regarding this program can be sent to the Development Grants Program Inbox: DGP@usaid.gov