The VISP Annual Program Statement (APS) is designed to help USAID maximize its development impact by providing an easy to use, responsive mechanism that enables Missions to access expertise from a broad array of partners that can mobilize volunteers.
The APS seeks to help USAID maximize development impact, as well as promote efficient resource use, by mobilizing the creative capacity of volunteers globally. It also serves to fulfill the mandate of the Volunteers for Prosperity Executive Order, which tasks USAID with promoting, expanding, and enhancing volunteer service opportunities for highly skilled U.S. professionals who wish to work with non-governmental and voluntary service organizations around the world in support of major U.S. development initiatives.
This APS is an effective mechanism to facilitate access to skilled paid and volunteer expertise across any sector while supporting the U.S. foreign policy objectives of promoting national security, advancing American values, and supporting global prosperity and self-reliance. This global program will be funded and managed at the individual OU (Mission, Bureau or Independent Office) level.
How it Works
The VISP APS is not a Request for Applications or a Request for Proposals; it invites concept papers from a wide variety of non-governmental and voluntary service organizations for assistance awards that achieve development impact in USAID focus areas through the inclusion of volunteers.
Eligible organizations should contact USAID OUs to discuss their organization’s proposal. Following these discussions, the organization may submit a brief concept paper. Volunteers must comprise at least 30% of the total labor level of effort within any activity funded through the VISP APS. Based on their review of the concept paper, the USAID OU will make a decision whether to co-create the activity with the applicant and to request a full application. Acceptance of the concept paper satisfies competition requirements but does not guarantee an award.
Through the VISP APS, Missions can engage new organizations and non-traditional partners with specialized expertise. These new partners, and the opportunity to co-design solutions, allow for the generation of new ideas from people and organizations with fresh approaches. Peer-to-peer learning opportunities can also offer a way to build relationships between U.S. and local organizations that have the potential to live beyond the life of the development program. Missions can stretch development dollars and public diplomacy efforts by using the additional technical capacity provided by volunteers.
The flexibility of the mechanism and the opportunity for co-design adds another tool to the Mission toolbox for accessing specific expertise, paid and volunteer. Missions can also tailor programs to their specific needs by adding an addendum to the APS at any time. Addenda are brief descriptions of the problem the Mission is trying to solve and will be posted to grants.gov independently from the APS.
Local Sustainability Office (E3/LS)