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PSC Urges House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee to Review USAID Localization Efforts 

Arlington, Va. (Mar. 8, 2022) In a March 7 letter to Rep. Joaquin Castro, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, Professional Services Council (PSC) President and CEO David J. Berteau commented on United States Agency for International Development (USAID) efforts to achieve greater local engagement in U.S. foreign assistance. He also recommended Congress explore on-going USAID localization efforts that deserve to be recognized as such and applied to recently announced benchmarks for local spending. 

Specifically, a recent speech by USAID Administrator Samantha Power outlined a goal that by the end of the decade, 50 percent of USAID assistance will “place local communities in the lead to either co-design a project, set priorities, drive implementation, or evaluate the impact of our programs.” 

Applauding that push for local engagement, Berteau stated, “We believe the agency must also examine closely those structures, procedures, and requirements that make working with the U.S. government challenging and that can deter potential new entrants into the international development ecosystem. These barriers to entry impact not only potential new local partners but American ones as well, particularly small businesses.”

Finally, Berteau’s letter highlighted two recent issue papers, which reflect PSC member company insights on the critical path to achieving USAID’s locally-led development agenda. 

“These papers offer recommendations on ways in which USAID can better track and report work under its auspices that give voice and agency to local stakeholders,” Berteau said. “[They] showcase how USAID implementing partners have accelerated USAID’s progress, driving locally-led development over recent decades and thus are already doing much to reach Administrator Power’s stated goals.”