January 7, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram:
At yesterday’s speech hosted by the Center for Global Development, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton articulated a positive and transformative vision for the future of U.S. efforts to alleviate poverty, fight disease, create economic opportunity, and promote human rights in developing countries. We strongly support the core of the Secretary’s vision: that development “is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative – as central to advancing American interests and solving global problems as diplomacy or defense.”
To answer Secretary Clinton’s call for a new mindset and a new approach, it is critical that we take – as she suggested – a whole-of-government approach to reforming the outdated structures and legislation that support U.S. development and foreign assistance efforts. Reform will lay an effective and accountable foundation for reaching the goal the Secretary articulated: getting better development results for both recipients and U.S. taxpayers through: increased partnership by way of country-conceived plans; improved coordination in Washington and in the field; stronger measurement of development outcomes; and a renewed commitment to technology and innovation.
We look forward to working with Secretary Clinton, USAID Administrator Shah, other Obama Administration officials, and Congressional leaders to realize these goals – and the pledges made by President Obama during his campaign to revamp the U.S. approach to development and revitalize USAID – by building on the momentum for foreign assistance reform that was created in 2009. As several important milestones approach, including the release of findings from the President Study Directive on Global Development Policy (PSD), the unveiling of interim recommendations from the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), and the introduction of a draft rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, MFAN is eager to work with the Executive and Legislative branches to ensure a more effective U.S. approach to global development.