On Friday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah joined Rep. Adam Smith and Rep. Jim McDermott for a discussion on U.S. foreign aid hosted by Global Washington in Seattle. Shah recognized the need to do more with the limited resources available for foreign aid dollars, making the case for development with an increased focus on transparency and innovation. Shah said, “If we can continue to show things are really effective, generate results with the dollars and take efficiency very, very seriously, I believe Americans want to do more.” Shah also spoke of the evidence-based approach the Agency has adopted, which has already yielded incredible success in Haiti.
Coverage of Shah’s visit by the Associated Press cites Shah alluding to a report on foreign assistance programs — presumably the Presidential Study Directive or PSD-7 — coming out next month. Referencing the aid programs spread across the U.S. government, AP reporter Donna Gordon Blankinship writes, “There are no plans to consolidate that work, Shah said, but the administration is concerned about efficiency and transparency and growing the reach and effectiveness of foreign aid. A report on these efforts is due out within the next month.”
Other speakers at the Global Washington event included Prema Arasu, associate vice president for international programs at Washington State University; Akhtar Badshah, senior director of global community affairs at Microsoft; Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global development program; and PATH CEO and President Christopher Elias.
Read more on the event here.