Inter-American Foundation

Agency Overview

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The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is an independent agency working throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to identify, support, and partner with the poor, their enterprises and grassroots organizations to create and build thriving communities.

The IAF’s holistic, community-led investments serve U.S. interests by expanding economic opportunity, by enhancing peace and security, and by improving social inclusion and citizens’ participation in democratic practices. Communities that are safe, economically vibrant and have an engaged citizenry help build stronger U.S. alliances.

The IAF is active in thousands of communities throughout the region. It leverages the U.S. government’s investment by requiring community partners to invest their own resources in their projects, ensuring local commitment, multiplying the impact, and enhancing sustainability. Currently, each IAF dollar invested leveraged $1.33 in resources from grantees or other partners. The IAF further multiplies the effectiveness of its unique funding model by unlocking private, public and community resources for grassroots development through financial and programmatic partnerships.

Inter-American Foundation Data

U.S. government agencies report data quarterly to to comply with the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 (FATAA). Each agency is required by FATAA to report data for FY2015 as the minimum base year, although some agencies have reported data prior to FY2015. Agency reporting completeness for FY2015 onward is captured below.

View our Agency Notes for additional information
Data Last Updated: 11/18/2019

Requested Funding By Fiscal Year | IAF

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Appropriated Funding By Fiscal Year | IAF

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Obligated Funding By Fiscal Year | IAF

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Spent Funding By Fiscal Year | IAF

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Transaction Data | IAF

Transaction data represents every individual financial record in an agency’s accounting system for program work with implementing partners and administrative expenses. Transaction data is the most granular form of financial data. Each data record - or financial transaction - contains qualitative data fields, including descriptive titles, vendor names, and location, along with the financial data. Thus, transaction data is called Disaggregated data as it disaggregates financial data into its most basic form.

The data shown above in the planned, obligated, and spent tabs represents transaction data aggregated at a higher level of analysis (by country and sector only), thus this data is called Aggregated data.

The table below displays every applicable award within each agency’s accounting system. An award may consist of multiple financial transactions. In these instances, the table displays the award’s aggregated sum of its individual transactions. Data from the table can be downloaded by selecting each individual award. The downloadable report disaggregates award data into individual transactions. If an award has multiple transactions, the downloadable report will generate lines of data for each transaction.

For additional information related to data definitions and classifications, please refer to the Glossary of Terms or the FAQs.

This data set will continue to be updated in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 12-01.

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Frequently Asked Questions | IAF

Who governs the IAF?

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is governed by a nine-person board of directors appointed by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. Six members of the board are drawn from the private sector and three from the federal government. The board appoints a president who serves as the IAF’s chief executive officer, managing a staff of 45 employees based in Washington, D.C.

How is the IAF funded?

Congress appropriates funds annually for the Inter-American Foundation. The IAF also receives a limited amount from the Social Progress Trust Fund, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank and consisting of payments on U.S. government loans extended under the Alliance for Progress to various Latin American and Caribbean governments. The IAF accepts donations and partners with other public and private institutions to fund grassroots development initiatives in the region.

How does the IAF serve U.S. interests?

  • IAF creates economic opportunity. IAF investments catalyze economic activity and create jobs that help improve lives and allow communities to retain their workers and leaders.
  • IAF fosters secure communities. IAF funding complements the work of other U.S. agencies to improve security and rule of law by enabling members of at-risk communities to access income-generating alternatives to crime and create a safe environment that is intolerant of criminal activity.
  • IAF strengthens democratic practices. IAF grantee partners are building a more democratic citizenry and a more inclusive civil society by training and encouraging marginalized communities to exercise their civic responsibilities, respect rights and hold officials accountable.
  • IAF provides a direct link to civil society. Having worked with more than 5,000 grantee partners, the IAF’s credibility and contacts among civil society groups across the region are a valuable resource for the U.S. government and other development organizations.
  • IAF informs investments in development. By evaluating each investment and providing opportunities for learning and exchange among grant recipients, the IAF applies and shares its lessons learned.

How does the IAF complement broader U.S. government development efforts?

  • Expertise:IAF is expert in identifying promising ideas and managing relationships with grassroots groups.
  • U.S. Presence: IAF does not operate through foreign governments. Grant funding is disbursed directly to grantee partners, first vetted by the U.S. embassy. It is often able to continue working in countries where diplomatic relations with the United States are strained.
  • Direct access to civil society: IAF maintains fluid and dynamic communication for grantee partners throughout the grant period.
  • Flexibility: IAF grants can be quickly adapted to address changing contexts on the ground or realize emerging opportunities.
  • Distinct approach: IAF responds to proposals to support local initiatives; it does not design or implement projects.
  • Distinct structure: A bipartisan public-private governing structure assures the IAF works toward the long-term national interest.
  • A focus on economic inclusion: IAF investments help disadvantaged groups take part in economic opportunities created by infrastructure and other large-scale development assistance.
  • A focus on local capacity: The IAF builds local capacity to sustain a development effort beyond IAF funding. A focus on supporting marginalized groups, including women, indigenous peoples, African descendants, children and young people, and people with disabilities.

What is grassroots development?

The IAF uses the term “grassroots development” to describe the process by which disadvantaged people organize themselves to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of their families, communities and societies. This concept is based on the premise that the key to sustainable democracies, equitable societies and prosperous economies is a people-oriented strategy that stresses participation, organizational development and networking.

What does the IAF look for in a project it funds?

  • Innovative solutions to development problems
  • Creative use of the community’s resources
  • Diverse array of community voices in project development and execution
  • Partnership with local government, the business community or other civil society organizations
  • Feasibility
  • Evidence of eventual sustainability
  • Counterpart contributions from the proponent, the beneficiaries and other sources
  • The potential to generate learning for themselves, the IAF and for development practice
  • Potential for strengthening all participating organizations and their partnerships
  • Measurable results
  • Evidence of capacity for self-governance and management

What are the IAF’s guiding principles?

  • Support people, organizations and processes
  • Channel funds directly to nongovernmental organizations
  • Promote entrepreneurship, innovation and self-reliance
  • Strengthen democratic principles and foster responsible citizenship
  • Empower poor people to take the initiative in solving their problems
  • Treat partners with respect and dignity

How does the IAF measure the results of its investments?

The IAF holds all grantee partners accountable for the responsible use of U.S. public funds. To gauge the impact of its investment, the IAF systematically tracks the results of its projects with its Grassroots Development Framework (GDF). This measures tangible and intangible results at three levels: for individuals and families, for organizations, and for the community or society at large. Before the project begins, IAF grantee partners select from a menu of 41 indicators and report on their progress twice a year. Independent consultant professionals visit project sites and verify the data. Grantee partners are audited annually. Upon completion of each grant, the IAF conducts a close-out visit, independently evaluates the project and reviews the lessons gleaned from the experience.

Five years after completion, a subset of projects is selected for an ex-post evaluation of their lasting impact on the communities. The IAF returns to project sites to meet with former grantee partners, interview beneficiaries, and collect and analyze data on the same indicators as were registered as baseline data before and during IAF funding. The IAF prepares in-depth reports and posts executive summaries on the IAF website.

How can the IAF do so much with so little?

  • It knows how to select its partners. The IAF supports grassroots groups with a track record in participatory self-help activities, who are willing to invest and risk their own resources.
  • It responds to local initiatives. The IAF does not design or impose projects; instead, it builds upon the ideas and commitment of local people.
  • It encourages processes that are sustainable, either with revenue generated by grantees or with resources leveraged from private and public sectors.
  • It supports innovative approaches that are replicable, allowing the IAF to increase the impact of activities through a multiplier effect.
  • A lean operating structure keeps overhead to a minimum and maximizes program returns.
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