OTI closely tracks developments in countries throughout the world and selectively conducts assessments to determine whether or not a country's current circumstance meets OTI's criteria for engagement. In consultation with U.S. Government counterparts, strategies and programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each situation. There are no set responses and once started, programs adjust to better address changing political dynamics as they unfold.
 
OTI strives to limit its programs to two to three years to seize important windows of opportunity during a transition period. When appropriate, OTI passes its programs to USAID Missions, host governments, or donors among others.

Criteria for Engagement

AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

IS THE OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT AN IMPORTANT U.S. FOREIGN POLICY INTEREST?
In consultation with USAID Missions, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, and with the consent of Congress, OTI seeks to focus its resources where they will have the greatest impact on U.S. diplomatic and security interests.
 
IS THERE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: A DECISIVE SHIFT IN THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE THAT CREATES AN OPENING TO SUPPORT VIABLE LOCAL POLITICAL WILL?
OTI can neither create a transition nor impose democracy, but it can identify and amplify the efforts of key individuals and groups who are committed to peaceful, participatory reform.
CAN OTI'S MODEL BRING A COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE TO SUPPORT POSITIVE POLITICAL MOMENTUM DURING THE CRITICAL PERIOD?
OTI ensures that its programs neither duplicate nor substitute other U.S. Government efforts, reserving its resources for those situations in which it can make a unique contribution.
 
DOES THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT ALLOW FOR OTI'S SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES TO BE OPTIMIZED?
OTI is an operational office with staff working on the ground at the community level. OTI's comparative advantage lies in its experience working in some of the world's most sensitive and dangerous places. There must be enough stability to enable programming to reach outside of the capital to implement and monitor OTI-managed activities.

Supporting Historic Transitions

POST FALL OF BERLIN WALL: CREATION AND GROWTH OF A NEW OFFICE

 

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, countries across the globe entered a period of dramatic political change. USAID established OTI as the U.S. Government's mechanism for meeting the rapid-response assistance needs of the new era, such as jump starting democratic transitions, mitigating conflict, and stabilizing war-torn nations. During this period, OTI played a significant role in many successful political transitions around the globe, including the Balkans, Rwanda, Indonesia and Haiti.

1994

POST SEPTEMBER 11TH: SCALING THE MODEL

 

The attacks of 9/11 led to significant and widespread changes in U.S. foreign policy, with an increased focus on countering terrorism and extremism, and stabilizing fragile states whose instability threaten the entire world community. To address these emerging policy priorities, OTI implemented large-scale programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, and Sudan. OTI programs built resilience in high-pressure conflict environments within these countries by empowering communities, gathering information on the ground, and looking to local solutions.

2001

ARAB SPRING TO PRESENT: CREATIVE PROGRAMMING FOR A CHANGING WORLD

 

Sparked by the December 2010 protests in Tunisia, the Arab Spring created a wave of popular movements that toppled a number of autocratic regimes with potentially far-reaching consequences.

 

Today, OTI continues to serve as a catalyst for positive political change in places like Tunisia, Burma, Syria and Mali, in support of the aspirations of people around the world. Using new technologies and innovations in programming, OTI is helping to translate this window of opportunity into a real prospect for greater political openness and improved governance informed by a newly empowered generation of youth and women

2011 to Present