VEGA and InterAction Urge Congress to Incentivize Leveraging Skilled Volunteers and Adequately Fund Effective Global Development

By , Promoting Prosperity Worldwide

As Congress continues to negotiate over the FY2018 budget, VEGA has joined dozens of other InterAction members on three letters urging adequate funding and policies for effective global development. Importantly, in one letter, other nonprofit organizations join VEGA in supporting appropriations report language that directs USAID to develop a policy to incentivize incorporating volunteers into agency-wide programming.

The letter states: “We greatly appreciate . . . this year’s Senate report language regarding a policy for the use of skilled U.S. and local volunteers.”

Here is the language included in the September 7 Senate Appropriations Committee Report accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill FY2018 (S. 1780):

Volunteers.—The USAID Administrator shall develop an agency-wide policy that attributes additional merit to proposals and applications that include the use of skilled U.S. and local volunteers (including, as appropriate, the use of the Peace Corps Response Corps and U.S. Government retirees) to implement a broad range of locally-driven development activities. The Administrator shall consult with the Committee on such policy not later than 120 days after enactment of the act.

On August 30, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced a new initiative to leverage volunteers in reaching our global development goals: Volunteers for International Security and Prosperity (VISP). USAID describes this new VISP Annual Program Statement (APS) as “a mechanism through which USAID will maximize development impact and efficient resource use by mobilizing the creative capacity of volunteers globally.”

VEGA looks forward to working with USAID and Congress to ensure that this new policy is effective.

The other InterAction letters are linked here and here.