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Implementation Tips USAID Partners

Implementation Tips USAID Partners

About the Capable Partners ProgramThe Capable Partners Program (CAP) works across different technical sectors to strengthen the organizational and technical capacities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), intermediary support organizations (ISOs) and NGO networks. CAP provides technical assistance, training and grants management to USAID Missions and operating units to:

Strengthen operational and technical capacities of local NGOs, networks and ISOs; Build and support linkages among local organizations (NGOs, cooperatives, networks, governments andbusinesses);


Increase capacity of NGOs, networks and ISOs to engage in advocacy for key policies or programs; and Disseminate tested innovations, best practices and lessons learned.Implementation Tips for USAID Partners is one of a suite of products to help NGOs effectively manage U.S. Government (USG) funds. Through publications as well as trainings, skills-building activities and www.NGOConnect.Net, an online resource and information exchange for international development practitioners, CAP works to enhance NGO performance and build community ownership.

AcknowledgmentsImplementation Tips for USAID Partners was a collaborative undertaking, drawing on the wisdom and experience of many individuals and organizations. Foremost among them were CAP and CAP New Partners Initiative (NPI) technical staff who identified common areas of need and offered appropriate guidance. Special thanks go to the CAP communication team who helped conceptualize, research, write and edit each issue of NGOConnect eNews on which this publication is based. Finally, we acknowledge with gratitude, the tireless efforts of the USG NPI Team who reviewed the content of the eNews series to ensure consistency with the body of USG regulations governing management of Cooperative Agreements. Funding for Implementation Tips for USAID Partners was provided by FHI 360. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views of FHI 360, USAID or the U.S. Government. 2012. All rights reserved by FHI 360, MSI and USAID. Implementation Tips may be photocopied or adapted, in whole or in part, provided the material is distributed free of charge and that credit is given to the Capable Partners Program and USAID. An electronic version of Implementation Tips is posted on www.NGOConnect.Net. Capable Partners Program, FHI 360 1825 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, DC 20009-5721 Executive Editor: Barney Singer, Vice President & Program Director Managing Editor: Cate Cowan, Senior Communication & Program Officer Editorial Associate: Kathleen Gannon, Senior Communication & Program Associate Design: Design Lab 360

Table of ContentsAbbreviations and Acronyms Foreword About this Book ii iii iv 4.4 Managing Your Relationship with Your Donors 4.5 Engaging the Community 4.6 Requirements for Performance Reporting 4.7 Faith-based Organizations and USG Funding 4.8 Project Close Out: Timeline 4.9 Project Close Out: Required Reports and Actions 71 74 76 78 80 84

1. Governance1.1 Governance, Management and the Role of a Board of Directors 1.2 How to Set Up an Effective Board of Directors 1.3 Overview of Strategic Planning

13 5 8

5. Compliance 5.1 Overview of Procurement Policies 5.2 Procurement Processes and Allowability 5.3 Procurement: Solicitation and Selection 5.4 Procurement: Restricted and Prohibited Items 5.5 Procurement: Source Restrictions 5.6 Vehicle Procurement 5.7 Excluded Parties and Terrorism Searches 5.8 International Travel Planning and Requirements 5.9 Travel Expenses and Reimbursement 5.10 Gifts to and Lobbying USG Employees 5.11 USAID Environmental Requirements

8789 92 95 99 101 104 106 108 111 115 117

2. Financial Management2.1 Overview of Financial Management 2.2 Pipelines and Burn Rates 2.3 Understanding Fluctuating Exchange Rates 2.4 Cost Share 2.5 Allocating Shared Costs 2.6 Foreign Tax (VAT) Reporting 2.7 Requesting USG Funds Using SF-270 2.8 SF-425: Completing Your USG Financial Status Reporting Form 2.9 Annual Audit Requirements: Questions and Answers

1113 15 17 20 22 24 29 34

6. Monitoring and Evaluation38

121123 126 129

3.Human Resources3.1 Overview of Human Resources (HR) Policies 3.2 Putting HR Policies into Practice 3.3 Supportive Supervision 3.4 Performance Appraisals 3.5 Key Personnel 3.6 Collaborating with Volunteers to Strengthen Your Organization

4345 48 51 54 57 59

6.1 Evidence-based Project Planning 6.2 M&E System Overview 6.3 Managing Targets

7. External Relations 7.1 Developing a Communication Plan 7.2 Branding Your Program 7.3 Meeting Donor Marking Requirements 7.4 Pitching Your Program to Prospective Partners and Funders 7.5 Telling Program Success Stories

133135 138 141 144 148

4. Program Management4.1 Using Your Workplan as a Management Tool 4.2 Managing Subrecipients Under a Cooperative Agreement 4.3 You and Your USAID Team

6365 67 69




Implementation Tips for USAID Partners


Abbreviations and AcronymsADS AO AOR CA CAP CBO CFR COP CSO DEC EIN FAC FAR FBO FM GAAP HQ IFRS LOE M&E M&IE MOU NGO NICRA OAA OD OMB PD PO PVO RFA RFP RFQ SF SO SOW SWOT TA TBD TOR USAID USC USG VAT Automated Directives System Agreement Officer Agreement Officers Representative Cooperative Agreement Capable Partners Program Community-based Organization U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Country Operational Plan Civil Society Organization Development Experience Clearinghouse (USAID) Employer Identification Number U.S. Federal Audit Clearinghouse U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations Faith-based Organization Office of Financial Management Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Headquarters International Financial Reporting Standards Level of Effort Monitoring and Evaluation Meals and Incidental Expenses Memorandum of Understanding Non-governmental Organization Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement Office of Acquisition and Assistance (USAID) Organizational Development U.S. Office of Management and Budget Program or Project Director Program Officer Private Voluntary Organization Request for Applications Request for Proposals Request for Quotations Standard Form Strategic Objective Statement of Work Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Technical Assistance To Be Determined Terms of Reference U.S. Agency for International Development United States Code United States Government Value Added Tax



ForewordFHI 360 understands that lasting social change is buoyed by accountable and responsive civil society organizations (CSOs) and that capacity building contributes to sustainable development. This understanding is embodied in the efforts of the Capable Partners Program (CAP) and our Leadership and Capacity Development practice to strengthen both the human and institutional capacities of CSOs working in any sector to solve their own problems, better fulfill their missions, and support quality and sustainability. Implementation Tips for USAID Partners is one of many significant efforts designed to serve these ends. It is intended to bolster the capabilities of local stakeholders and institutions to manage USAID funds as well as transform their organizations and ultimately their communities. We are pleased to provide this resource to enhance the accountability and performance of USAID-funded organizations. It is the fruit of a reciprocal and iterative learning process that aims to foster local ownership of tested methods and systems. We hope that local capacity building service providers and CSOs will find this manuals user-friendly language and format a valuable tool in their endeavors to improve their performance, accountability and impact.

Albert J. Siemens, PhD Chief Executive Officer

Implementation Tips for USAID Partners


About this BookNote: This collection of Tips focuses specifically on U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) regulations, not those of other U.S. Government agencies. It is intended only to help USAID grantees. Definitive references are the USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) and your Cooperative Agreement. This collection of tips brings together and expands on a series of monthly electronic newsletters, NGOConnect eNews, that supported new partners and technical assistance providers who had little or no prior experience working with the USG. Each newsletter responded to specific, common questions about how to strengthen an organizations systems and processes and how to navigate USAID rules and regulations. Each one also related to an aspect of organizational development (OD)governance, financial management, human resources, program management, external relations, compliance and monitoring and evaluation. This collection gathers together all of the topics under the relevant OD domain to make the information easier to consult and use. Experienced OD practitioners working with NGOs around the world contributed to and reviewed the contents of this collection to ensure it filled gaps in available capacitybuilding resources. We hope that this collection, along with complementary tools and resources available on www.NGOConnect.Net, does this, and, in the process, helps NGOs grow and become ever better at implementing their programs and fulfilling their missions.

How to Use This BookThe table of contents at the beginning and the index at the end help you quickly find the specific topic you need.

Online versionIf you are reading this online, you can skip from one page to another whenever a word or phrase is in green and underlined