The Office of Local Sustainability Unsolicited Solutions for Locally Led Development

Speeches Shim

USAID’S Office of Local Sustainability (E3/LS) exists to support locally led development and enhances USAID’s ability to empower local actors to take the lead in solving their own development challenges. Sustainable and locally driven ideas come from organizations of all types and sizes around the world. To ensure that these ideas have the opportunity to be considered, E3/LS sets aside a portion of its annual budget to provide USAID Missions with the funding needed to support unsolicited proposals and applications that advance locally led development.

While individual awards cannot exceed $2 million per legislation, E3/LS invites submissions at all funding levels less than that. Final award amounts will be determined through negotiation, based on the availability of funds, and with a scope consistent with the interests of E3/LS.


 E3/LS Unsolicited Solutions for Locally Led Development funds are for eligible organizations and entities  and concept papers are accepted at any time. Per U.S. legislation, an eligible entity is a “small local, international, and U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and other small entities that have received less than a total of U.S. $5,000,000 (directly as the prime organization) from USAID over the previous five fiscal years. Departments or centers of educational institutions may be considered individually in determining such eligibility.” The annual (one time a year) Local Works competition is only for USAID Missions (country offices).


To be considered, concept papers must be submitted using the form provided below. All concept papers must meet the following requirements:

  • Agency criteria for unsolicited proposals and applications
  • E3/LS guidelines for advancing locally led development, including:
    • Contribute to USAID’s  goals to advance locally led development and empower local actors to take the lead in addressing development challenges.
    • Prioritize local leadership, local ownership, and self-reliance; creatively tap into existing in-country resources (including local expertise, universities, think tanks, associations, private sector, philanthropy, etc.); and have as their ultimate goal the sustainability of development results.
    • Describe novel approaches to enabling local actors to lead the development process, going beyond and/or building upon traditional development practices.
    • Clearly and thoughtfully articulate why the proposed approach is expected to yield more locally led and sustainable development outcomes compared to existing practices.
    • Describe how learning generated through proposed activities, including through failure and iteration, will contribute toward better locally led development practices.

Download the form (PDF 53KB) to submit your concept paper.


Eligible entities may apply at any time by emailing the completed submission form to, copying 

View the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.


If you have any questions, or to submit a concept paper, please contact