Development assistance has historically excluded marginalized and underrepresented groups around the globe. Without the engagement of authentic representatives in the design and implementation of activities and projects, outcomes have often been unsustainable and, at times, even detrimental to these groups.

To help address these challenges, Education Development Center (EDC) and its consortium of partners are implementing USAID’s five-year Inclusive Development and Equitable Assistance (IDEA) activity, a Leader with Associate (LWA) award. This five-year activity aims to enhance capacity among organizations led by and serving marginalized and underrepresented groups. The goal is to ensure they are better equipped to advance their own development goals and are more intentionally engaged in international development efforts by USAID and other key donors and implementing partners. IDEA includes a small grants program and rapid response mechanism, as well as USAID-generated requests for aligned Buy-Ins and Associate Awards.

Key Activities

The project is carrying out the following activities:

  • Mapping diverse groups representing marginalized and underrepresented populations in the regions and countries that USAID serves to better understand and address their needs and priorities
  • Working with the USAID Inclusive Development Hub and a range of inclusive development partners within and outside USAID to better understand and support inclusive development ecosystems in the regions where USAID works
  • Collaborating with USAID Bureaus, Missions, and Independent Offices to implement short-term (i.e., Buy-In) and longer term (i.e., Associate Award) programming to advance inclusive development at the country and regional levels
  • Issuing small grants for organizational capacity strengthening and technical support to groups composed of and/or representing marginalized and underrepresented populations—many of whom will partner with USAID for the first time
  • Designing and delivering additional capacity-strengthening support, drawing on the principles of collective action, that not only strengthens the organizational, systemic, and compliance capacities of organizations serving and led by marginalized and underrepresented groups but further strengthens global, regional, and country-based networks—to yield measurable impact
  • Establishing an inclusive rapid response mechanism to identify and respond to challenges or threats, acute violence, or crises that require urgent action for unaddressed crises affecting marginalized and underrepresented groups as crises unfold
  • Facilitating learning and knowledge sharing as part of the growing ecosystem of USAID- and other donor-funded projects and platforms working to advance inclusive development



  • $2.9 million for IDEA LWA grants allocated.
  • $20 million in Buy-Ins issued.
  • $49.5 million for Associate Awards issued.
  • $4.4 million for rapid response issued.

Learn More

EDC to Lead Implementation of USAID’s Inclusive Development and Equitable Assistance, Leader with Associate Award
U.S. Agency for International Development

Christian Blind Mission, CLEAR Global, Global Changemakers, HelpAge International, ILGA World, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Keystone Human Services International, Minority Rights Group International, Root Change, WI-HER, World Institute on Disability (WID)