The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a premier bilateral development agency working towards reducing global poverty, strengthening democratic governance, and achieving a prosperous world.
Since its establishment in 1961, USAID has carried out multiple development missions in relation to international development and humanitarian activities. Sixty years later, in 2021, USAID registered a net cost of operations totaling US$16.0 billion which represents US$2.2 billion more than a year earlier.
Chemonics International, DAI Global, and Deloitte were some of the largest USAID contractors in 2021.
USAID’s development strategy is built around 48 program areas within seven foreign assistance categories. Each program area plays an important role in the Agency’s framework for establishing, implementing and evaluating overall missions or program activities.
Based on the financial data for FY21, USAID dedicated the largest share of its funding towards humanitarian assistance (38.6%) followed by the health and economic sectors (18.7% and 15.5% respectively).
Fig.1. USAID’s net cost of operations by categories (2021, in thousands $)
DevelopmentAid’s database on past awards highlights that the vast majority of USAID contractors (86.4%) originate from the United States of America followed by the UK (4.3%), South Africa (3.7%), Kenya (2.9%), and Afghanistan (2.8%). In terms of organization types, about 65% of contractors are consulting entities followed by NGOs (16.8%) and supplier companies (6.7%).
Fig.2. An overview of contractors based on origin and type
List of USAID’s top contractors for 2021
Chemonics International – is an international development consulting organization based in Washington D.C. that offers a variety of services at the global level. According to the historic award data compiled by DevelopmentAid, about 95% of all awards received by Chemonics were funded by USAID. In 2021, Chemonics was also USAID’s top contractor with 205 awards valued at US$560.4 million.
DAI Global – is a private development company based in Maryland, U.S. that tackles fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. Based on DevelopmentAid’s records, USAID is by far the most important funding agency for DAI global representing about 80% of all its historic awards. For FY2021, DAI was the second-largest USAID contractor landing 431 awards worth US$161.4 million.
Deloitte – is a global professional network that offers a wide range of services related to audit and assurance, consulting, risk and financial advisory, and risk management. DevelopmentAid’s database on past awards underlines that about 44% of Deloitte’s awards have been funded by USAID. In 2021, Deloitte was awarded 122 awards with an overall value of US$133.8 million, the third-highest overall.
ABT Associates Inc. – is an international consulting and research firm on a mission to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide. According to the historic data on past awards compiled by DevelopmentAid, about 61% of all the awards this company received in the development sector originated from USAID. In 2021, ABT Associates Inc. was USAID’s fourth-largest contractor with 132 awards valued at US$38.7 million.
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)– is an independent, non-profit institute that provides research, development, and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide. Based on DevelopmentAid’s records, about 67% of all past projects awarded to the Research Triangle Institute originated from USAID. In 2021, RTI was USAID’s fifth-largest contractor with 179 awards worth US$33.2 million.
Tetra Tech – is an international company that provides consulting, engineering, program management, construction management, and technical services. DevelopmentAid’s database on past awards shows that about 42% of all past awards received by Tetra Tech were funded by USAID. In 2021 alone, USAID awarded 177 awards worth US$31.7 million, making Tetra Tech the sixth-largest contractor.
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