“A big part of work with usaid.gov and our partner directory is trying to identify what organizations are out there and who can do the work. RFI (Request for Information) is another way of doing that or even issuing a draft scope of work. Oftentimes we’re issuing it, seeing who responds to it, and seeing what local organizations can do work.
We have to remember when you get to an RFI, there’s already been the country development cooperation strategy (CDC) that’s been developed. The agency’s policy offices work on incorporating local feedback input into that program and activity. Providing input there is a key part of it, asking what is actually driving our local priorities, and what are the types of programs and activities. In theory, by the time we get to the point of issuing an RFI or program activity, a priority activity has already been identified by the host government and local communities.”
The RFI Stage: “When we get to that RFI stage we’re looking at identifying:
- Who are the local organizations?
- Who has the capacity to do this work?
- What is our procurement strategy going to be? Is it going to be a US small business? Is it going to be a contract? Is it going to be a grant? Is it going to be a Cooperative agreement?
Responding back to these RFIs signals to our own workforce and staff that there are local organizations that can do this or no local organizations responding at all. Responding back to those RFIs is critical for local entities in helping to determine the procurement strategy. As we’re designing the program activity, we have different steps and phases where we can get input and feedback from local communities.
We’re always looking for what else we are missing: are there specific targeted regions or specific indicators for other specific areas or objectives of a program that we should be focused on? I think the RFIs provide an opportunity to get that information back into the agency as well.”
“By the time we get to the point of issuing an RFI or program activity, a priority activity has already been identified by the host government and local communities”
— Matthew Johnson, USAID