On Tuesday October 27th, Save the Children published its fifth country study – Modernizing Foreign Assistance: Insights from Liberia. The Report highlights the political nature of USAID as well as the breadth and scope of development resources that the United States can bring to assist a developing nation, and notes that coordination is relatively strong amongst U.S. government agencies physically present in Liberia.
Key findings from the new report include:
- coherent, wide-ranging use of foreign policy tool kit
- strong coordination between U.S. government agencies with a presence in Liberia
- transition from humanitarian assistance to development assistance
- flexibility of funding mechanisms
- strengthening capacity of government
- inadequate support to local NGOs capacity building
- multi-donor trust funds
As part of its ongoing Ownership campaign, Oxfam’s Aid Effectiveness team released a new study on transparency between local governments and USAID in Indonesia. While formulating the national budget, USAID helped local governments seek community input in the process by training civil society organizations and encouraging public availability of the final budget.
The report offers three lessons that could be applied to U.S. foreign assistance reform:
1. Publish full and timely information about US foreign aid so that recipient country citizens and their governments (not to mention US taxpayers) can access it.
2. Sign on to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), and work with other donors to share crucial information with host country citizens and governments.
3. Make US foreign aid more predictable, providing countries with regular information about our three-to-five year aid plans.