VEGA as USAID's Preferred Partner
The Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, founded in 2004 by USAID through a Leader with Associate (LWA) cooperative agreement, as a global vehicle to allow USAID missions and bureaus to design and implement economic development programs that have a real impact on people's lives in developing countries.
VEGA is the world’s largest consortium of economic growth volunteer organizations that collectively have assisted 140 developing and transitional countries by sending out more than 65,000 experts to help promote economic growth activities. VEGA’s track record includes over 30 programs worth more than $250 million. Investment by USAID of $3.6 million in core grant funds in VEGA has been exceeded in in-kind contributions and leveraged nearly 70:1 and VEGA’s cost share totals $11,477,843, or 15% percent of total expenditures to date.
VEGA’s 23 members are leaders in a broad spectrum of topics within economic development field, including but not limited to Enterprise Development, Microfinance, Food Security, Trade & Investment, Economic Governance, Tourism Development, Gender, Energy and Environment, Financial Services, Youth and Workforce, Science & Technology, Value Chains, and Public-Private Alliances.
Our USAID funded-programs have earned high profile commendations. In fact, due to successful implementation, almost half of VEGA’s programs have received at least one cost extension by USAID.
“USAID Forward efforts to modernize and strengthen our Agency require an array of technical assistance. USAID / Sri Lanka has quickly responded to a spectrum of strategic and tactical level needs through the VEGA Leader with Associate Award. I recommend a flexible, rapid response capability, like VEGA provides, for every economic growth program.”
~ Gerald Andersen, former Acting Mission Director of USAID / Sri Lanka, 2010
The first VEGA program that Mr. Andersen oversaw, Sri Lanka Facilitating Economic Growth (FEG), was awarded at $1.7 million and was later increased to $3.2 million due to its popularity and success, which led USAID / Sri Lanka to be named the GDA mission of the year. This program influenced the $24 million follow-on Biz + program which was awarded to VEGA in large part due its performance on FEG. Both programs are forging public-private partnerships at the local level and boosting job creation in post-conflict regions in Sri Lanka.
“Ethiopia, "Open for Business" is more than a catchy saying…you made it happen. Each year of AGOA+ Ethiopian exports increased in both volume and value…There are more small businesses, especially women owned firms, that owe their success to AGOA+ and you personally for taking the time to reach-out to each and every one of them no matter how small the sale. You have been tireless in your belief that Ethiopian goods and services could not only compete in world market, but become market leaders. In your first presentation to Mission management in 2006 you promised that our funding of AGOA+ would be the best money we ever invested in Ethiopia. You have kept your promise. Thank you from all of us who have benefited from your efforts.”
~ Bruno Cornelio, Deputy Director, Economic Growth Office, USAID Afghanistan (formerly with USAID / Ethiopia)
VEGA provides USAID with additional oversight of awards that does not duplicate the efforts of its implementing partners, but does ensure USAID of effective and efficient management of awards. Throughout the life of the award, VEGA manages its sub-agreements with its member organizations and acts as the single point of contact to USAID for the contractual obligations of the award. During the launch of the program, VEGA verifies that the lead implementing partner has developed an appropriate program management structure for the program, conveys the overall parameters of the program to the main stakeholders, and ensures a smooth program launch. During program implementation, VEGA fulfills a program and financial management and oversight role that focuses on quality control and contractual compliance but does not seek to duplicate the member organization’s day-to-day implementation of the program. When a program nears completion, VEGA, in collaboration with the implementing partner, is responsible for ensuring that all programmatic, financial, and contractual obligations have been met.