Work With Us

Expanding Our Impact Through New Partnerships with USAID

As the world’s premier development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tackles the most complex challenges of our time. Addressing these interconnected issues calls for locally led, evidence-informed approaches to identify and implement solutions that help human and natural communities thrive. Environmental Incentives (EI) welcomes the opportunity to support our clients to maximize their investments in communities by co-creating solutions that catalyze lasting change.

Today, we are honored to build on our trusted partnership with USAID through four new programs: Improving Design, Evidence, and Learning (IDEAL); Compliance and Capacity Support for Diverse Partnerships IDIQ (CCSDP); Building Evidence for Decision-Making (BE4D); and Environmental & Social Safeguarding Support Activity (ES3). We look forward to furthering our impact with existing USAID clients and partners and to contributing to evidence-based, inclusive solutions.

Improving Design, Evidence, and Learning (IDEAL)

Under this five-year contract with USAID’s Biodiversity Office of the Center for Natural Environment, EI and our partners Foundations of Success, NORC at the University of Chicago, and World Resources Institute will provide support for all stages of the Program Cycle for biodiversity and climate change programming at USAID. We will build on our organizational development expertise to enhance the Agency’s ability to design, implement, and adaptively manage biodiversity and climate change activities.

“USAID has a thriving adaptive management culture and commitment to improve the impact of programs for people and the planet. Meanwhile, the USAID Climate Strategy provides a roadmap for a whole of Agency approach to combat the biodiversity and climate crisis, combined with new policies such as Local Capacity Building, and Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning, raising the ceiling for what we can achieve through IDEAL. Even so, the pressures facing USAID staff and partners are intense and the required solutions are complex. Through IDEAL, we can more rapidly generate and apply evidence to identify, design, and implement the most effective and inclusive approaches,” noted Shelly Hicks, IDEAL Chief of Party.

We are proud of the impact we have made through implementation of predecessor activities, Measuring Impact (MI) and MI2, as well as USAID’s Program Cycle Mechanism, and look forward to bringing new skills, resources, and capacity to IDEAL.

Compliance and Capacity Support for Diverse Partnerships (CCSDP)

We look forward to supporting the Agency’s commitment to locally led development through future work procured through this five-year IDIQ contract with USAID’s Local, Faith, and Transformative Partnerships (LFT Hub) within the Bureau for Inclusive Growth, Partnerships, and Innovation (IPI). Under CCSDP, EI and our global consortium, including ARGO Civil Society Development Association, Catholic Relief ServicesDeloitteFundación Futuro LatinoamericanoLINC, Network for Empowered Aid Response, and West Africa Civil Society Institute will use inclusive, evidence-informed approaches to strengthen the capacities of individuals, organizations, and networks to deliver locally led, inclusive solutions.

Our first principle in co-creating any approach is to meet individuals and organizations where they are by listening to their priorities and providing spaces and tools for them to achieve the goals they set. CCSDP provides the unique opportunity and significant responsibility to advance USAID’s ambitious localization priorities by ensuring that new, nontraditional, local partners and governments have the capabilities and resources to serve as prime partners for USAID programming, along with ensuring that USAID is effectively equipped to reduce associated risks. We will build on our expertise in facilitating strengths-based technical capacity building and fostering genuine collaborative partnerships that put local actors in the lead of development programming.

Building Evidence for Decision-Making (BE4D)

The ten-year BE4D activity within IPI is designed to incentivize evidence use for decision making via high quality monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) across USAID operating units and Missions and with implementing and local partners. Along with our consortium members Causal Design, Foundations of Success, Headlight Consulting, NORC at the University of Chicago, and WI-HER, EI will deliver technical assistance to put evidence into action at all stages of the Program Cycle.

“Good development outcomes rely on an incredible number of small decisions—from where to invest, to how to adjust course, measure outcomes, and share progress and setbacks—and those decisions quickly add up. With the right evidence in hand and accessible processes and structures to put that evidence to use, USAID staff, partners, and stakeholders can more confidently make those decisions in ways that improve outcomes and impact. Through BE4D, our team will partner with IPI to create the conditions that incentivize evidence use at all stages of USAID program work,” noted Kathleen Flower, Evidence and Evaluation Service Line Lead.

Environmental & Social Safeguarding Support Activity (ES3)

EI joins Cadmus as a major subcontractor on ES3. We will support USAID and its implementing partners to design and implement environmentally and socially sound programs in accordance with critical social safeguards and policies, including the mandates of Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) Sections 117, 118, and 119, and 22 CFR 216 (“Reg. 216”).

Preventing unanticipated adverse program impacts is a tenet of our work in the environment and international development. ES3 supports implementation of USAID’s environmental safeguards and climate risk management—therefore preventing negative impacts on vital ecosystems, environmental resources, climate resilience, and human health and livelihoods.

Under ES3, EI will lead cross-cutting initiatives related to knowledge management, strategic communications, and monitoring and learning activities to assist USAID Missions and Bureaus in sharing and applying innovative and effective practices to support partners and safeguard the environment and communities.

Crossing the Bridge Together

As Administrator Samantha Power noted in the 2023 USAID Policy Framework, the development community faces headwinds that are occurring at a speed and scale never witnessed. To confront these challenges, we must advance inclusive and ambitious partnerships and invest in effective programs. At EI, we look forward to stewarding USAID’s critical investments, finding clarity in complex systems, and building collaborative partnerships to facilitate lasting change.


Lead photo by Jason Houston for USAID.


Discover the latest news, insights, and results from our team. From case studies to project narratives, the EI story continues.

All Articles

We can co-create lasting change.

We help our partners improve the performance of conservation and development programs.

Partner With Us