Training Series 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 | Français

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 also are 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. 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. 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. Time: ~30 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).  Time: 11 minutes.
    • 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).  Time: 10 minutes. PDF Version
    • Part Three provides a step-by-step guide on how to register for the System for Award Management (SAM).  Time: 30 minutes.
  • 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. Time: ~40 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Prospective Offeror's and Applicant's Guide to the Non-US Organization Pre-Award Survey (NUPAS) provides a concise explanation of how the pre-award survey process works, what the review team evaluates, and a checklist to use in preparing for the NUPAS.  The NUPAS assesses an organization's capacity to manage USAID funds and likelihood for compliance with U.S. federal government regulations. PDF Version
  • 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. Time: ~20 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Post-Award Orientation Conferences explains what will take place at a post-award orientation conference, the roles and responsibilities of USAID and implementing partner personnel in the post-award process, and tips for preparing for a successful post-award orientation conference.  Time: ~20 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Financial Reports provides a how-to guide to assist partners to understand the purpose, format, and timing of key financial reports, including the Quarterly Federal Financial Report (SF-425), advance and reimbursement requests (e.g. SF-1034, pipeline analysis, timeline and burn rate calculation), and foreign tax report, and tips for outstanding financial reports.  Time: ~45 minutes.  PDF Version
  • Strategies for Local USAID Partner Success is a one hour webinar aimed to demystify the USAID business development process by taking a fresh look at the USAID local solutions initiative and by discussing innovative approaches for local organizations to work with USAID. The webinar explains the importance of showcasing your local expertise and explains that, while previous experience contracting with USAID is not required for winning new business, local context and local resources are crucial. Time: 1 hour.
  • Also, for more information, check out:
    • LINK is an innovative online platform developed by USAID that enables organizations interested in working with USAID to self-assess their organizational capabilities against USAID’s requirements. This tool provides recommendations after self-assessment so that the organization knows what steps to take in order to develop their internal capabilities. 
    • 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).
    • Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is an open competition supporting breakthrough solutions to the world's most intractable development challenges—interventions that could change millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost. 

Coming Soon!

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, Evaluation, & Learning (ME&L) covers the purposes of developing a ME&L plan as well as tips on how to properly approach ME&L formatting, timing, and document submission for USAID-funded projects. Coming in 2017!
  • Branding & Marking (B&M) explains USAID requirements, how to create a B&M plan, and how to implement it within your program.  Coming in 2017!
  • Programmatic Reports explains the types and offers tips to make your programmatic reporting more successful.  Coming in 2017!
  • Budgets for Acquisition Proposals focuses on how to prepare a budget for contract proposals. Coming in 2017!