USAID Operating Expenses

FY2017 Funding Recommendation:  
$1.5 billion


Funding History


       President's FY2017 Request   

       InterAction's FY2017 Recommendation

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 Key Facts

  • USAID operating expenses help ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent transparently, efficiently and effectively.

  • The Managing for Results Framework guides USAID’s approach to planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation.

USAID operating expenses help the agency meet the needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations in a manner that ensures the greatest maximum benefit for our nation’s investment.

USAID plays a critical role in supporting U.S. foreign policy objectives. The agency works alongside global partners and those in need to build and strengthen democracy, promote human rights and good governance, bring prosperity to the disadvantaged, and raise global health standards, as well as respond to global disasters. USAID engagement around the world helps billions of people in the name of the American people. To maximize effectiveness, USAID and the Department of State undertook a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review in 2015. USAID identified several key operational areas to address, including: harnessing knowledge, data, and technology; promoting innovation; managing and mitigating physical risk; and advancing strategic planning and performance management. As USAID strives to increase levels of accountability, transparency, and efficiency, it is vitally important that the agency receive appropriate levels of funding to undertake these crucial reforms and continue to attract and retain top-tier talent.

The FY2017 budget must sustain USAID staffing levels necessary to carry out humanitarian and development assistance programs effectively as well as maintain the technical capacity to remain flexible in a changing global environment. Reductions in USAID staff between 1990 and 2008 saw a notable decrease in USAID’s technical expertise and a significant outsourcing of much of the work that had previously been performed in-house. More recently, through much-needed increases in funds for operating expenses, USAID has made progress in restoring critical in-house expertise and capabilities, including its ability to design and implement intelligent development programming.

To that end, since 2010, USAID Forward has instituted a package of reforms to strengthen, streamline, and optimize the way USAID does business. These reforms include numerous measures to address challenges such as budgeting, evaluation, human resources, use of the private sector, and the application of science and technology on development issues. In addition, USAID has instituted the Managing for Results Framework to: link strategic, longer-term planning with budget planning; institutionalize evidence into planning, program and project design, and budget decision-making; nurture innovative ways to cope with tight budgets; prioritize resources; and better inform taxpayers and Congress of progress in carrying out its mission. Full operational funding for USAID supports continued progress under both these initiatives and ensures the agency remains capable in both responding to global disasters and promoting development to end extreme poverty.

Success Story

USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning Driving Reform of Agency

As part of USAID Forward reforms enacted in 2010, the agency created the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL). This new bureau revitalized USAID’s ability to create policy and provide vision to guide U.S. foreign policy and contribute to global efforts to combat extreme poverty. For example, in September 2015, PPL released a vision paper on ending extreme poverty that lays the groundwork for U.S. efforts to aid the impoverished. USAID’s vision seeks to end poverty by establishing a foundation that promotes effective governance and institutional accountability. The paper has also strengthened USAID’s impact in the development and early stage implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Photo: USAID


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