Why We Did This Audit
Through modernized forms of subversive tactics—including election interference, disinformation campaigns, corruption, and organized crime—Russia continues to interfere in the domestic political affairs of other countries to destabilize democratic and pro-Western allies across Europe and Eurasia. USAID’s programming in Europe and Eurasia, while focused on strengthening democracy, governance, and economic growth, has been increasingly tied to countering Russian aggression. To focus its efforts on the most urgent threats posed by the Kremlin, USAID released its Countering Malign Kremlin Influence (CMKI) Development Framework in July 2019, with the overall goal of increasing the resilience of partner countries against Kremlin influence.
We conducted this audit to determine the extent to which (1) USAID applied risk management principles in the design of its CMKI Development Framework and (2) selected missions in Europe and Eurasia have integrated the objectives of the CMKI Development Framework into their country strategies.
USAID applied risk management principles in the design of its CMKI Development Framework. However, the Agency did not adequately document the deliberative process of designing the framework or develop a process to monitor whether the risk responses in the framework were succeeding, assess changes in risks, or update the framework as necessary. Furthermore, USAID did not engage all internal and external stakeholders during the framework’s design.
Selected missions in Europe and Eurasia—Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kosovo, and Ukraine—integrated the objectives of the CMKI Development Framework into their country strategies. These four missions also identified implementation challenges in designing activities, accessing needed skill sets, and addressing financial resource constraints.
We made three recommendations to the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia to strengthen USAID’s Countering Malign Kremlin Influence Development Framework.