Ambassador Mark Green continues his blog series on why conservatives should care about foreign assistance reform. He says that “conservatives have an opportunity, maybe a once-in-a-generation opportunity, to help scrutinize our foreign assistance policies and programs, and make them more effective and productive.”
On May 20, 2010, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted a day-long symposium on Agriculture and Food Security. Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, delivered the keynote address and shared the U.S. Government’s implementation strategy for its global hunger and food security initiative, now called “Feed the Future.” Feed the Future demonstrates adherence to key foreign assistance reform principles in accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
When evaluating the national security of the Atlantic nations, a strong defense clearly counts; an active diplomacy counts; and, equally clearly, reducing poverty, enhancing democratic participation, and providing hope for the future – which go by the name “international development” – also counts. London’s newly created National Security Council reflects all foreign policy elements of national security. It’s time for similar clarity in Washington.
MFAN Principal, former USAID Administrator, and current dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs J. Brian Atwood hosted renowned Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto as part of the University of Minnesota’s “Great Conversations” series last week. You can listen to the conversation here. De Soto’s perspective on the global economic crisis and the importance of … Continue reading MFAN Principal Hosts Hernando de Soto
The release of the new strategy should also tee up long-awaited announcements about the outcome of the Presidential Study Directive on U.S. Global Development Policy (PSD) and the findings of the State-USAID Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). Let’s hope the 2010 National Security Strategy gets the development policy ball rolling.”
“USAID is our main agency for international development, and the head of USAID should be given unambiguous authority to drive this urgent initiative,” said Beckmann.
Ambassador Mark Green, Managing Director of the Malaria Policy Center, writes a compelling narrative about why he cares about foreign assistance reform and why now is the right moment for action.
“Instead of losing ground on one front in order to gain on another, we should explore creative methods to finance all the work that needs to be done by demanding a stronger commitment from global leaders and the US Congress. More broadly, we must support the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S. 1524) introduced in July 2009. The bill promotes global development, good governance, and a reduction of poverty and hunger. Specifically, the passage of S. 1524 will rebuild and strengthen strategic planning and human resources at USAID; address USAID operating expenses; increase accountability and transparency in US foreign assistance; and improve development coordination in the field.”
In a recent Stimson Center blog post on national security spending, Laura A. Hall and Gordon Adams examine military and civilian roles in a variety of areas such as post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction and conflict prevention. “In the last 10 years, DoD has expanded its mission and resources to fill the gaps it perceives in civilian capabilities. Even DoD cites the importance of the vastly less expensive and more effective civilian solutions in areas like post-conflict stabilization. So why does DoD find an empty space to fill? There are a variety of political answers: Congressional mistrust of civilian departments, insufficient Administration leadership, uncertainty about overseas nation building. Yet most important is that Congress finds it far easier to fund the military due to a sense of military competence and a commitment to providing whatever is necessary for ‘defense’ activities.”
“We want to let people know about the work we do…our successes, our failures, and how we learn always to do better. I hope this will be a place where you can get to know the thousands of development entrepreneurs who make up USAID’s talented staff, the work of our partners, and the beneficiaries of America’s support around the world.”