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A comprehensive, self-paced training on developing USAID Cost Proposals.

About the Training

The Mastering USAID Cost Proposals training curriculum is comprised of 21 lessons that blend video lecture and demos; visual aids; exercises; and one-on-one time with the instructor to teach the basics and best practices of how to put together a winning USAID cost proposal.


The course consists of three major sections – Building the Cost Proposal, Regulation Bootcamp for USAID Cost Proposals, and Negotiating USAID Subcontractor Budgets.

Section 1 - Learn the basics of building and populating a budget; drafting a budget narrative and best value analysis; overall cost volume documentation; and Excel tips and tricks.

Section 2 - Take a deep dive into the must-know regulations surrounding salaries/rates, travel/transportation/per diem, allowances, indirect cost rates, and fixed fee, to ensure your cost proposal is fully compliant.

Section 3 - Learn how to negotiate subcontractor budgets; determine subcontractor responsibility; select an appropriate subcontract mechanism; and write compelling requests for contracting officer consent.


As a video training series, you have the flexibility of setting your own pace and rewatching videos to reinforce concepts that might be overwhelming the first time through. Tackle the exercises and quiz questions when you're ready. As you journey through the course, you have a direct line of communication with the instructor at all times via email and video calls.

  Who Should Join?

  • Junior and Mid-Level Cost Preparers

  • Business Development Staff Members

  • Project Management Teams


  • Building the Cost Proposal
    Cost Proposal Key Concepts and Definitions The Purpose of a Cost Proposal Identifying Cost Assumptions in the RFP Building Your Cost Checklist Building Your Excel Budget Shell Populating Your Budget Making Revisions to Your Budget Justifying Your Budget in the Narrative Cost Volume Supporting Documentation Excel Tips and Tricks
  • Regulation Bootcamp for USAID Cost Proposal
    The USAID Regulatory Framework Salaries and Consultant Rates Overview - Allowances and Differentials Deep Dive - Allowances and Differentials Travel, Transportation and Per Diem Indirect Cost Rates and Fixed Fee
  • Negotiating USAID Subcontractor Budgets
    Determining the Sub Ceiling and Mechanism Subcontractor Due Diligence Reviewing & Negotiating Subcontractor Submissions Info to Support Consent to Subcontract - Part 1 Info to Support Consent to Subcontract - Part 2
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