Training On How To Work With USAID

Ghana school under the trees: School under the trees in the Northern Region Ghana
Ghana school under the trees: School under the trees in the Northern Region Ghana
USAID/A. Kauffeld

Welcome to our training series on “How to Work with USAID.”

En Español | Em Portugues | An Kreyòl

This online training series is designed to answer some of the most frequently raised questions and concerns from organizations interested in partnering with USAID. Here you will find open and transparent guidance straight from USAID staff.

Whether you’re a non-governmental organization or small business just starting out, a large university looking to expand your outreach, or somewhere in between, we value your interest in USAID and want to make it easier to work with us. This how-to training is designed to provide you with practical tips and concrete examples on topics ranging from researching potential funding opportunities to effectively putting together a proposal or application, budget, or monitoring and evaluation plan. 

The majority of USAID's funds are awarded competitively through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts. While USAID does accept unsolicited proposals and applications, due to limited resources for even the best of such proposals and applications, we encourage you to understand USAID's budget and focused strategies before submitting your idea through this process, as explained in the first e-module. While completing these trainings does not guarantee an award of USAID funds, the information will allow you to focus your efforts towards pursuing opportunities that are most relevant to your organization. 

This online training program allows you to learn at your own pace. We encourage you to start with the first e-module and work your way through the series. We hope that you find these e-modules to be helpful, and we appreciate any feedback, which you may send to

Training E-Modules:

Click on the hyperlinks below to access each e-module.  Allow ample time for each e-module to load before beginning the training.  PDF versions will soon be available for most e-modules.

Nepalese children holding school exercise books produced by USAID
Nepalese children holding school exercise books produced by USAID
A. frm Jayanti - ECDC
  • Exploring Funding Opportunities to Partner with USAID explains where USAID works, what USAID’s priorities are, how the budget process works, and what types of funds Congress provides for foreign assistance. The majority of this e-module focuses on providing a 4-step workplan for exploring potential funding opportunities with USAID. Running Time: ~30 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Understanding Types of USAID Awards covers the differences between a grant, cooperative agreement, and a contract; key phases of the award cycle; the different partner communication tools that USAID may use to communicate with interested partners; and competition rules for acquisition and assistance. Running Time: ~45 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Effectively Responding to USAID Award Solicitations explains best practices in drafting a response to a solicitation, such as understanding the various parts of a response, developing a time-conscious approach, and becoming familiar with the evaluation process. Running Time: ~30 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Preparing Budgets for Assistance Applications Topics covered include understanding how to read an assistance solicitation (for grants and cooperative agreements) to determine the size and scope of a budget and how to prepare a cost application budget, including understanding the basic budget elements, cost categories or line items, and indirect costs and cost share. Running Time: ~40 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Registering for Federal Award Systems: To be eligible for apply for U.S. federal awards, including for grants on and for contracts on, entities need to register for three things.  This three-part e-module offers best practices to avoid common problems with registration and provides a walkthrough of registration for US and non-US based entities. Part One covers how to register for a DUNS Number (Data Universal Numbering System).  Part Two focuses on obtaining a CAGE/NCAGE Code (Commercial and Governmental Entity (CAGE) for U.S.-based entities or NATO Commercial and Governmental Entity Code (NCAGE) Code for non-U.S. based entities).  Part Three provides a step-by-step guide on how to register for the System for Award Management (SAM). Coming by December 2015!
  • Introduction to USAID Partnerships and the Global Development Models helps resource partners, such as corporations, foundations, investors, and industry associations, as well as impementing partners, better understand public-private partnerships and Global Development Alliances (GDAs).   
  • Also, for more information, check out these helpful programs: Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and localworks


Coming Soon!

  • Forming Sub-Partnerships discusses strategies for smaller organizations to partner as sub-awardees or sub-contractees with larger organizations that have prime awards. The e-module provides tips on identifying and choosing potential partners, becoming better known and marketing your organization, and developing teaming agreements. Coming by December 2015!
  • Preparing for Post-Award Orientation Conferences explains what will take place post-award and provides tips on how to prepare.  Coming by December 2015!
  • Programmatic Reports explains the types and offers tips to make your programmatic reporting more successful.  Coming in 2016!
  • Financial Reports provides a how-to guide to complete Quarterly Federal Financial Reports (SF-425) and request advances or reimbursements (SF-270 or SF-1034).  Coming in 2016!
  • Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Registration for NGOs provides a step-by-step guide for the PVO registration process and explains the benefits for your organization, as well as reviewing some of the partnership opportunities and resources available to new PVO registrants. Coming in 2016!
USAID works with Nigerians to improve agriculture, health, education, and governance
USAID works with Nigerians to improve agriculture, health, education, and governance
A. Fleuret/USAID
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) covers the purposes of developing a M&E plan as well as tips on how to properly approach M&E formatting, timing, and document submission for USAID-funded projects. Coming soon!
  • Branding & Marking explains USAID requirements, how to create a B&M plan, and how to implement it within your program.  Coming soon!
  • Preparing Budgets for Acquisition Proposals focuses on how to prepare a budget for contract proposals. Coming soon!

Last updated: November 30, 2015

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