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Lessons in Locally Led Development: USAID/DRG's Shifting Approach - Civil Society

Adrienne Uselman

USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance’s (USAID/DRG) long-term emphasis on locally led development has allowed staff from across its subsectors to learn a number of lessons on how to more effectively operationalize this practice over the years. Indeed, the nature of the work undertaken by the DRG Bureau makes locally led development inextricably linked to much of its programming. Using a “then versus now” format, this document profiles some of the changes implemented by USAID/DRG’s Civil Society subsector in response to these lessons. It should be noted that neither the “then” nor the “now” categories highlighted in this document refer to a fixed time frame. Rather, these labels are intended to simply reflect staff perceptions of how things have changed over time. Moreover, the “now” category should not be viewed as being set in stone, keeping in mind that improving development programming is an ongoing process.

A more in depth overview of USAID/DRG’s Civil Society subsector’s shifting approach to locally led development and additional documents from this series profiling other USAID/DRG subsectors can be found on

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