This weekly posting includes key news stories and opinion pieces related to foreign assistance reform and the larger development community.
- Interview: Raymond A. Joseph (ForeignPolicy.com-Elizabeth Dickinson, April 2)The money should not be sent to NGOs because NGOs cannot develop the country: NGOs cannot take care of the infrastructure, they cannot build the roads, and they cannot have electric plants. It has been said that Haiti is a republic of NGOs.
- Rebuilding Haiti: A Global Response to a Global Crisis (Huffington Post-Esther Brimmer, April 7) To that end, as Haiti’s leaders assume responsibility for their nation’s reconstruction, the UN and international cooperation with the Government of Haiti must be closely coordinated, their action plan sustainable, accountable and inclusive of all Haitians. We must also continue to focus on the immediate humanitarian assistance in Haiti – that will help provide a stable environment for Haitians and allow for long-term rebuilding efforts.
- State Opens New Office to Combat Global Hunger (Politico-Laura Rozen, April 7) Amb. Patricia Haslach, a former assistant chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, will serve as the deputy coordinator for diplomacy, and William Garvelink, U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, will serve as the deputy coordinator for development, in the new office, starting in May, according to a memo issued by the secretary of state’s office today. The deputies’ “diplomacy” and “development” titles suggest they are linked to the forthcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.
- The Futility of Budget Cuts (Washington Independent-Annie Lowrey, April 8) The most expendable programs, according to poll takers, were mass transit, housing, agriculture, environment and foreign aid, the runaway winner at 71 percent. The problem? These programs together barely comprise 3 percent of the federal budget. Even if the programs were entirely eliminated, the cuts would do nothing to solve the United States’ long-term entitlement program.
- Opinion: Foreign aid industry inherently flawed (Global Post- Christian Hennemeyer, April 9) The good news is that there are two high-powered, presidentially mandated evaluations underway, as well as draft legislation being developed by several congressmen. The bad news is these efforts are badly behind schedule, probably duplicative and, most worryingly, will almost certainly focus on tinkering with an appallingly bad system rather than reforming the very nature of foreign aid.