case study

USAID Fiscal Accountability and Sustainable Trade (FAST) Project

Services provided:

Assessments and Research • Analytical Diagnostics Development • Capacity Building • Program Design and Implementation

Thematic Area(s):

Public Financial Management • Domestic Resource Mobilization • Trade Capacity, Procurement Reform • Macroeconomic Issues

The Fiscal Accountability and Sustainable Trade (FAST) project supports USAID’s efforts to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. It does so by increasing the capacity of partner governments to plan, finance, and implement solutions. These solutions include public financial management (PFM), domestic resource mobilization (DRM), macroeconomic analysis, and trade.

DevTech is the prime implementer of the FAST project and has supported both USAID/Washington and 13 partner country Missions, as indicated on the map.

Countries with current or past FAST projects
What our clients say

— CPAR 2021

Our Approach and Achievements

DevTech’s FAST team has worked with USAID/Washington and USAID Missions across Asia, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. FAST delivers tailored services and products that meet specific economic governance-related needs.

FAST’s success in project design and implementation can be attributed to the team’s use of innovative, context-specific solutions.

 In Kyrgyzstan, with DevTech facilitation, a group of about 40 civil society organizations realized they have common concerns, developed a WhatsApp group, and immediately began coordinating. Within a week, this WhatsApp group had sufficiently organized to block a change in the public procurement law. This change would have limited competition, raised the costs of bidding, and led to reduced transparency. This was a low-cost and highly effective innovation with an important and immediate impact. The Government of Kyrgyzstan shelved the contemplated change.

In response to a request from USAID/Kenya, DevTech’s FAST project mobilized 14 experts to carry out an extremely complex trade negotiation readiness and trade capacity building needs assessment of Kenya. This project was conducted entirely under COVID-19 pandemic conditions. It required that FAST develop several mechanisms to undertake the work. The team held weekly conferences with Kenya’s Trade Negotiation Team (KNT), which comprised about 60 participants. FAST also provided short trainings for the KNT membership and partners, all online. The immediate result is that USAID and the Office of the United States Trade Representatives know precisely how ready Kenya is to negotiate a free trade agreement with the U.S. and what trade capacity building assistance the country needs.

Through FAST, DevTech’s team of governance experts have also delivered highly impactful knowledge tools to USAID/Washington. The macroeconomic resilience model developed by FAST uses fiscal, monetary, and other data to assess the ability of countries to respond to economic shocks, such as a pandemic. The Debt Transparency Monitor (DTM), published by FAST in 2022, uses the Debt Transparency Scorecard to evaluate debt transparency for low- and middle-income countries. Rising public debt and inadequate debt transparency are increasingly significant problems in many developing countries. The DTM offers ways for USAID and other development actors to help partner countries address these issues.

To ensure economic governance that is sustainable over the long-term at USAID and in partner countries, FAST has made knowledge dissemination and capacity building central to its work. Since 2019, DevTech’s FAST team has provided training on such topics as fiscal risks, economic resilience, public procurement, domestic resource mobilization, and green taxation. Since inception, FAST has provided 443 person hours of support to USAID capacity and knowledge learning events.

FAST has captured knowledge and developed tools for curating and disseminating knowledge. One of these tools is the Financing Self-Reliance (FSR) Repository. This repository captures all of USAID’s activities over more than a decade of implementing FSR programs. The tool is an easy-to-use mechanism for USAID officers to access to facilitate report writing and informing Congress and others on how much assistance USAID has provided in DRM and what regions have received the most support.

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