USAID Engages Accord to Respond to COVID-19 (Webinar Summary)

April 7, 2020

By Russ Debenport

Over 80 Accord members joined Chuck Pope and Randy Tift with USAID’s COVID-19 Global Task Force for a webinar on April 6, 2020 regarding the CARES Act and the role of unsolicited applications. Chuck and Randy shared insights into the U.S. global response to COVID-19 and details on how the recent CARES Act $274 million international aid budget will be administered. Primary themes include:

  1. USAID is accepting unsolicited concept notes to address the global pandemic in unprecedented ways. Chuck is encouraged by the overwhelming response by the development community.  
  2. Concept applications should:
    • Clearly demonstrates an innovative or proprietary program
    • Represents an appropriate use of USAID funds.
    • Fits within USAID’s global objectives.
  3. Develop concept applications based on your strengths. Specifically, consider your ability to reach communities through faith-based channels that other organizations may not be able to reach. Guidance for USAID concept applications can be found here


Accord members asked a variety of questions through online chat. Members expressed interest in the following areas:

  1. Q: What is an ideal project grant amount?  A: There is no specific grant range for gaining an approved concept. However, leaders should consider two things when sizing the project: a) What can your organization best manage within your capacity? b) Projects should be big enough to merit the time invested in developing the application by the requesting organization and USAID staff.
  2. Q: Can requesting organizations engage US mission staff for guidance on local needs and strategy? A: NGOs should not ask mission staff to review a concept application prior to submission. However, NGOs can ask questions of mission staff to better understand local needs. 
  3. Q: What is the process and timeline for application review and approvals? A: An automated response will be given once a concept application is submitted (see instructions here). There is not a standard timeline for CARES Act grant approvals at this time. However, if accepted, USAID will contact you to proceed to a full application process.     


Please join Accord for future webinars and for ongoing dialogue as we partner together to respond to COVID-19 in faith. Thank you.

Categories: COVID19,Funding,Policy,USAID

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