MFAN Partner The German Marshall Fund, in cooperation with the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, created the Transatlantic Taskforce on Development. The mission for the taskforce — made up of 24 members from the U.S., Canada, and Europe — is as follows:
- To provide strategic recommendations to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in development
- To support the creation of conditions for reform.
The taskforce recently launched a blog series to explore what it identifies as a major challenge to development: coordination among the three Ds. The series is jointly written by former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios and former chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Richard Manning.
In a new post, Natsios notes the “policy paralysis” in the development debate and argues for what will need to happen in Washington in order for development to be elevated alongside diplomacy and defense in a blog titled, “Development and Security: Can the United States overcome beltway disputes and elevate Development alongside Defense and Diplomacy?” He lists three decisions made by the Obama Administration that have weakened USAID, as well as Secretary Clinton’s decision to build on the architecture put in place by Secretary Rice at the State Department during the Bush Administration. Most importantly, Natsios echoes MFAN’s Reform Within Reach call to action when he specifically urges the President to show leadership and create a strategy for U.S. development that will ensure the U.S. is an effective partner and leader in foreign assistance. See excerpts from Natsios’ post below:
“In the absence of a clear, unified vision for U.S. foreign assistance – particularly long-term economic development – the United States will continue to be limited in its ability to lead and partner with Europe, other donors, and host-countries in addressing major global challenges – from global health to fragile states.”
“Absent direct, personal intervention by President Obama to define his own vision of aid reform and to take the actions needed to enforce the reforms, the stalemate will continue, and plans to strengthen the third D will suffer. In the absence of a robust and institutionally independent foreign aid program underpinned by a strategy for U.S. foreign assistance, the United States will be unable to lead and strengthen global and transatlantic development partnerships, which are so critical to our success in spurring economic growth and poverty alleviation.”
Also see Richard Manning’s post for a European perspective on the issue.