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Development Practitioner’s Gems of Wisdom for Managing USAID Awards

By Dr. Sharon T. Freeman
(Paperback, 344 pages)
AASBEA, January 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9816885-6-5

Compliance is a complicated business; it’s hard to get one’s arms around it because its circumference is so wide, encompassing both post-facto compliance on the back end and risk minimization on the front end. Dr. Freeman wrote the book she wished she had when she started out in compliance. It puts everything in one place and explains the meaning of things, not just their existence. It also distinguishes between what is meaningful and meaningless.

Dr. Freeman’s “workshop in a book” offers practitioner’s gems of wisdom for managing USAID assistance awards that are worth their weight in gold. It’s an on demand tool for gleaning insights about how to manage USAID awards that can be read at one’s own pace on topics of interests; it’s even color coded for handy reference. But, be forewarned: This book doesn’t offer checklists; it offers deeper insights about what is being checked off and why?

The topics covered in the twelve chapters of the book are at the heart of USAID award management. Like a diamond, the gems shared have five angles: What, Why, How, Who, and When? Being able to ask and answer these five questions throughout the project life cycle is the key to unlocking the mystery of good project management. The “right” answers to these questions, it’s emphasized, lie within applicable regulations and terms and conditions of awards, as well as in the space created by unique situations and the responses to them in working in challenging and complex developing country environments.