MFAN Partners Respond to Obama’s G8 Statement on Development

Sarah Jane StaatsIn a new post on the Center for Global Development’s Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog, MFAN member Sarah Jane Staats reviews Obama’s recently released announcement on the G8, “A New Approach to Advancing Development.” Staats applauds the statement for putting a “little more meat on the bones” of U.S. global development strategy, but notes that the real challenge will be putting the policy directive into practice and tailoring U.S. development policy to reflect the goals and guidelines expressed in the announcement. Read a few excerpts and a similar post by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition after the jump:

“Despite the delays, President Obama’s G8 announcement promises a new policy directive will be issued ‘in the near future.’ This puts to rest any fears that the review would not be turned into policy. It doesn’t mean implementing the policy directive will be easy, but it does mean we will see something concrete, and I hope sooner rather than later.”

“First, tailoring U.S. development policy to “select countries, regionsand sectors” is a much-needed focus, but will require overcoming entrenched commitments to other countries, regions and sectors. Second, the new “integrated” approach to development, diplomacy and defense gets tricky when it comes to budgeting, division of labor, and knowing who is in charge of what. Put these two together and you get another interesting issue: development may require more selectivity, but Secretary Clinton who is currently in charge of these integrated diplomatic and development tools says ‘we have to be present everywhere.’”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition also commented on the White House statement on their Global Impact Blog, remarking that the announcement reflects the Administration’s view that foreign development is essential to a broader National Security Strategy. Read the full post or take a look at the following excerpt:

“The objectives and principles outlined in the White House statement are encouraging, as is the first public commitment by the President to issue a new policy directive on global development.  We hope the upcoming policy directive will also include critical issues that appeared in an earlier leaked draft of the PSD, such as the call for a national global development strategy that can guide policy across the Administration.”

Read MFAN’s response to the Muskoko statement, praising Obama’s leadership in development here.

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