The USAID Program Cycle 

Program Cycle

The Program Cycle, codified in the Automated Directive Systems (ADS) 201, is USAID’s operational model for planning, delivering, assessing, and adapting development programming in a given region or country to achieve more effective and sustainable results in order to advance U.S. foreign policy.

The Program Cycle policy is based on four principles that are essential for good development and serve as the foundation for ADS 201:

  • Apply analytic rigor: Make strategic choices based on conclusions supported by evidence.
  • Manage adaptively: Make adjustments in response to new information and context changes.
  • Promote sustainability: Generate lasting changes that can be sustained by local actors.
  • Utilize diverse approaches for increased flexibility: Use a range of modalities to address diverse development challenges.

This page aggregates key resources related to the implementation of ADS 201. Keep an eye on the space below for new supplemental resources on the policy.


Below are some key resources to learn more about the Program Cycle and its updates.