In 2018, USAID released both its Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Policy and its Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) Strategy. These policies create the framework for an institutional transformation whereby USAID will advance progress towards development goals through supporting and cocreating market-based solutions with the private sector, with an emphasis on working with new and underutilized partners.
In February 2017, USAID issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for catalyzing private investment. The BAA resulted in the co-creation of the USAID INVEST initiative, a mechanism designed to address the longstanding operational and technical challenges that USAID has faced in working with the investment community. As a laboratory for procurement reform and technical innovation, INVEST has streamlined the subcontracting process, developed a rapid procurement procedure that is more user-friendly for new firms, and built a growing body of knowledge on approaches to private sector engagement and blended finance (the strategic use of development funds to mobilize private capital to underdeveloped markets), which it shares with USAID and the rest of the development community.
INVEST has supported 20 transactions to date. Closing four transactions so far, INVEST has mobilized $68 million of private capital for development. INVEST has identified or supported financial mobilization for an additional 12 transactions that have a total projected pipeline of $377 million in capital. It has also designed four transactions for USAID Missions that would mobilize additional private capital.