As a content creator or grant writer seeking funding from USAID, it is essential to understand the differences between contract grant and cooperative agreement. Though they may seem similar, they operate differently, and understanding their requirements and limitations can help you make informed decisions when applying for funding. In this article, we`ll describe the differences between contract grant and cooperative agreement and how each works.
A contract grant is a legally binding agreement between USAID and the grantee. In this type of grant, there are specific deliverables or outputs that the grantee must provide as a condition for receiving the funds. These requirements can range from physical goods to intellectual property and services. Unlike cooperative agreements, contracts are more rigid in nature and do not invite much collaboration between USAID and the grantee.
The selection process of contract grants is also quite different from cooperative agreements. Contracts are often awarded to businesses, nonprofit organizations, or other entities able to provide the specific deliverables USAID is seeking. Since the outputs are spelled out in detail, contracts are usually awarded to entities that have the skills needed to fulfill the scope of work.
Cooperative agreements, on the other hand, involve more collaboration between USAID and the grantee to achieve a specific outcome or objective. The agency participates actively in the project and the grantee must work to achieve the outcome together with USAID. This type of agreement is more flexible than contract grants and provides for more interaction and continuous feedback between the grantee and USAID.
Unlike a contract grant, a cooperative agreement is not just about delivering the outputs sought by the funding agency; it is also focused on building capacity for the grantee and the implementing partners to carry out and sustain the program in the long term. That is why cooperative agreements are often awarded to organizations with expertise in the field and a track record of working in the geographic area of interest. In some cases, the implementing partners are also involved, and the grantee must work closely with them to attain the program`s objectives.
In conclusion, both contract grants and cooperative agreements offer opportunities to seek funding from USAID. However, understanding their differences is essential to choose the best option for your project. If you have a product or service that can be delivered to USAID, a contract grant may be the right option for you. But if your project involves capacity building, collaboration with USAID, and the development of partnerships with other organizations, a cooperative agreement is likely the best choice.
As a professional, I hope this article has helped you understand the differences between contract grants and cooperative agreements from USAID. Applying for funding can be daunting, but by focusing on the right type of agreement, you can increase your chances of being selected and delivering a successful project.