Promoting Democracy: Is USAID effective?

International Affairs Academy

Document of the Day

Free Professional Development


The ongoing quest by people around the world for democracy and freedom guides and inspires our work at USAID. For decades the American people, through USAID, have partnered with countries, communities, and people around the world to strengthen resilient democratic societies. Citizen-responsive governance is also a critical factor in development, and we believe it is not possible for any country to rise to its full potential without it. USAID is reinforcing its commitment to strengthen democratic governance and is investing in democracy work to advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. There are many around the world who are committed to this cause. They are working towards respect for human dignity, rights, and the rule of law. Meet our democracy heroes in the short films below.


Strategic planning and policy improvement is a top priority at USAID. Our day-to-day activities are informed and guided by these and other guidance frameworks:

  • USAID Policy Framework: USAID’s new Policy Framework articulates USAID’s overarching policy goal — ending the need for foreign assistance by fostering country self-reliance — to guide policy, strategy, and programming. It connects the USAID Administrator’s vision and USAID’s mission to the U.S. National Security Strategy and the Department of State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan.

  • USAID and Department of State Joint Strategic Plan FY 2018-2022 [PDF, 1.8MB]: outlines the USAID and Department of State strategic goals and objectives.