ADS Reference 30354s1

Guide to USAID's Assistance Application Process and to Submitting Unsolicited Assistance Applications

Partial Revision Date: 12/24/2014
Responsible Office: M/OAA/P
File Name: 30354s1_122414


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the independent government agency that provides economic development and humanitarian assistance to advance U.S. economic and political interests overseas. USAID was created under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 in recognition of the above objectives. More information concerning USAID's approach to sustainable development can be found under Strategies for Sustainable Development.

Assistance Instruments

Use of Grants and Cooperative Agreements. In each instance, USAID shall decide on the appropriate award instrument (i.e., grant or cooperative agreement). The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act (31 U.S.C. Sec. 6301-08) governs the selection of grants and cooperative agreements. A grant or cooperative agreement shall be used only when the principal purpose of a transaction is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute. The statutory criterion for choosing between grants and cooperative agreements is that for the latter, "substantial involvement is expected between the executive agency and the State, local government, or other recipient when carrying out the activity contemplated in the agreement."

Except as otherwise authorized by statute, 22 CFR 226 establishes uniform administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements awarded by USAID to U.S. institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations, and to U.S. commercial organizations; and to subawards thereunder (see In addition to 22 CFR 226, USAID has established an Automated Directive System (ADS) chapter to implement USAID policies and standards for awarding and administering grants and cooperative agreements (see


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