The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) oversees U.S. foreign assistance programs in more than 100 countries. In 2003, GAO recommended that USAID develop a comprehensive workforce planning system to better identify its staffing needs and requirements. Key principles for effective strategic workforce planning are important to an agency's ability to carry out its mission. GAO examined (1) changes in USAID's workforce and program funding since 2004, (2) the extent to which it has developed a strategic workforce plan, (3) the efforts it has taken to implement two key human capital initiatives, and (4) the challenges and constraints that affect its workforce planning and management. To conduct the work, GAO analyzed staffing and program funding data; reviewed documentation related to the agency's workforce planning; and interviewed officials in Washington, D.C., and at six overseas missions selected to obtain an appropriate mix of geographic coverage, programs, and workforce size and composition.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|United States Agency for International Development||1. To improve USAID's capacity to effectively and strategically plan and manage its entire workforce, the Administrator of USAID should develop a comprehensive workforce plan that takes into account USAID's total workforce, including nondirect-hire staff. The workforce plan should include analysis of overall workforce and competency gaps and the steps the agency plans to take to address these gaps.|
|United States Agency for International Development||2. To improve USAID's capacity to effectively and strategically plan and manage its entire workforce, the Administrator of USAID should develop a documented implementation plan with time frames to execute the agency's workforce planning model initiative. The plan should include steps to be taken to provide comprehensive information about the model and its projections to all missions to help ensure that the staffing projections are reasonable and that missions are informed of how the model will affect their workforce planning.|
|United States Agency for International Development||3. To improve USAID's capacity to effectively and strategically plan and manage its entire workforce, the Administrator of USAID should develop a documented, comprehensive implementation plan to execute USAID's initiative for the hiring of new Foreign Service officers. The implementation plan should include elements such as time frames, implementation actions, and resource requirements, and specify (1) the steps to be taken to meet the agency's overall hiring goals and its targets for specific occupational categories, and (2) a process for determining the number, location, and time frames for additional newly hired trainee staff assigned to each overseas mission.|
|United States Agency for International Development||4. To improve USAID's capacity to effectively and strategically plan and manage its entire workforce, the Administrator of USAID should develop a workforce data system to consistently collect, maintain, and analyze sufficiently reliable and up-to-date data on the staff levels of direct hire and nondirect-hire staff, including institutional support contractors.|