Implications Of USAID’s 30% Local Spending Goal Must Be Examined

Devex: Achieving USAID’s 30 percent local spending goal
Patrick Fine, chief executive officer of FHI 360

“…An alternative to [USAID’s] current metric that focuses on measuring funding to local organizations would be one that targets program design. For example, a metric requiring that 30 percent of USAID’s financing must be designed to be implemented by local organizations would achieve the goal of increasing local implementation, but in a way that recognizes the key variable is not who does the work, but what kind of work is being done. This approach would allow USAID to align risk with organizational capacity and so would likely encounter less resistance from USAID program managers. … We are five years into USAID Forward. Now would be a good time to look at the trade-off between greater use of local organizations to build long-term capacity and the generation of near-term results that respond to the strategic priorities of least-developed countries and donor governments. Good starting points would be to look at what kind of metric will best incentivize greater use of local organizations and for USAID to discuss with bilateral partners the implications this policy has for program strategies and design” (11/23).