About the ADS

The ADS contains the policies and procedures that guide USAID's programs and operations.

It contains over 200 chapters organized into six functional series: Agency Organization and Legal Affairs, Programming, Acquisition and Assistance, Human Resources, Management Services, and Budget and Finance. The structure of the ADS is depicted below.

Structure of the ADS: Six Functional Series & Glossary, Chapters & Active Handbook Chapters, Mandatory References, Add'l Help

Each series consists of chapters that are topic-specific, such as Travel (ADS 522) or Leave (ADS 480). Each chapter provides a brief introductory overview of its policies and their applicability and describes the key roles or units responsible for creating and implementing the policies. The main body of each chapter details the specific topic's policies and procedures, with asterisks (*) and yellow highlighting clearly indicating policy that is new or has been revised since the chapter's last revision.

Each chapter is further enhanced by both mandatory and non-mandatory references, which are hyperlinked for easy retrieval. Mandatory references, which may be external (Federal) or internal (USAID) focus on specific aspects of chapter policy, provide a deeper understanding of the policy in the chapter and contain obligatory requirements. Non-mandatory references, also called Additional Help documents, include samples, templates, studies, white papers, and other useful documents that contain material that is helpful, but not obligatory. A glossary lists terms that have specific meaning in ADS chapters.

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