USAID awards Active Communities Effective States IDIQ to Creative  

By Sabra Ayres

February 9, 2022

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Creative Associates International the Active Communities-Effective States (ACES) indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), which is designed to support the U.S. government’s efforts to strengthen good governance, transparency and accountability around the world.

Creative led a team of 14 partners to win the five-year ACES IDIQ, which will play a pivotal role in bolstering country ownership and self-efficacy through improvements in governance systems and accountability.

ACES supports USAID’s Strategy on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Strategy), which the agency created in 2013 with the “overarching goal to support the establishment and consolidation of inclusive and accountable democracies to advance freedom, dignity and development.”

Creative’s shared-responsibility shared-success approach to building democratically governed states focuses on changing roles and responsibilities in the governing system. The system’s approach is assessed through Creative’s Fragility Resilience Assessment Methodology (FRAMe®) and by incorporating it into ACES implementation, USAID will have a partner that builds resilient states, says Debby Kimble, Creative’s Director for Democracy, Governance, & Election Integrity.

Creative’s approach to democracy and governance work reflects a shift from the supply-and-demand paradigm to one of shared responsibility and shared success, Kimble says.

“We feel that that captures the active-citizenry effective-state relationships. What we focus on is building strong governance systems that support the democratic process and deliver on the promise of democracy,” she says.

ACES will use an “accountability systems” approach, moving beyond a narrow focus on supply-side versus demand-side to emphasize citizen participation and inclusion, accountability, transparency innovation and integration. The project will work with host countries in various stages of development.

Task orders under the ACES IDIQ will address the DRG Strategy’s development objects including democratic governance, rule of law, public financial management, anticorruption and other domains to provide a solid platform to address the weak governance, poor services and lack of trust that sap the resilience of underserved communities.

ACES intends to build on two previous funding mechanisms, Encouraging Global Anti-corruption and Good Governance (ENGAGE) Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) and the Strengthening Deliberative Bodies IQC, the agency said.

The ACES IDIQ funding structure will allow Creative to compete within a pool of other global development organizations on future task orders. The IDIQ ceiling is $225 million.

ACES will be implemented by Creative in partnership with technical anchors Deloitte Consulting LLC, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, VNG International, National Center for State Courts; geographic anchors ACORD, Corpovisionarios, Centro de Estudios de Justicia de las Américas, Middle East Development Network, and The Asia Foundation; specialized members DevSeed, Social Impact, Arizona State University, and International Center for Journalists (ICFJ); and small business OSC.

Creative’s 14-partner consortium developed for the ACES IDIQ brings global technical experience and regionally based partners to “capture the culture and the political nature of different parts of the world,” she says. 

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