“The overall frame that elevates “civilian power” is positive, but many in the development community will be troubled by the implied fusing of development resources so closely with short-term political interests. While the Secretary asserts that “the State Department and USAID have distinct roles and missions,” her article fails to ensure the leadership space necessary for development expertise and effectiveness to flourish. Instead, Clinton declares that “the two Ds (development and diplomacy) reflect the world as the State Department sees it today and as it envisions it in the future.” What about other development partners? Where do they fit in?”
In an article titled “Leading Through Civilian Power—Redefining American Diplomacy and Development” that will be published in the Nov/Dec edition of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lays out the contours of the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which was launched by the State Department in the summer of 2009 and is set to be finalized and made public by the end of the year.
“The Secretary’s discussion of how to make diplomacy and development work better together is consistent with the President’s recent review of global development policy, and both are welcome signs that the administration takes development seriously and wants to get it right. Like the policy review, the Secretary stresses the need to be more selective in targeting where, and in what sectors, we deliver assistance based on practical metrics and the willingness of countries to drive the reform process.”
Connie Veillette, Ph.D., the Director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance program at the Center for Global Development and MFAN’s newest Principal, guest blogged for The Will and The Wallet today. With one week left before the mid-term elections, Veillette ponders how the mounting budget deficit and the changing political dynamic will affect funding of the … Continue reading The 112th Congress: A Perfect Storm for Aid Cuts, or a Perfect Opportunity for Reform?
“If current polls hold, Republicans will make significant gains in the Senate and likely take the House of Representatives, elevating a set of lawmakers to new heights of power and complicating Obama’s efforts to execute his foreign-policy agenda.” -Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy
“Today, Pakistanis are far more mistrustful of U.S. motives for giving aid. Consider, for instance, these quite typical newspaper headlines in Pakistan: “U.S. pilots fly Pakistan flood aid to win hearts and minds,” reported the Dawn newspaper on August 10th. “$224 million pledged to win ‘hearts, minds” said the Nation’s headline on August 24th. Rarely is U.S. aid mentioned in a newspaper article without the term “hearts and minds” right alongside it.”
This week’s Saturday profile in The New York Times featured Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. As one of the Obama administration’s most visible foreign policy players since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Shah has spearheaded an “ambitious campaign to rebuild Usaid that will ultimately determine his success or failure in Washington.”
MFAN partner Oxfam and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) co-hosted an event on the release of the Open Budget Survey 2010, an independent measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world. See key findings and recommendations here.
Devex reported today that “the U.K. government’s new national security strategy goes beyond military efforts to counter threats of instability. It also recognizes the contribution of British development projects in promoting national security.” Click here to read A Strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The National Security Strategy.
In a guest post on the Stimson Center’s new blog, The Will and The Wallet, MFAN Principal and President of InterAction, Sam Worthington discusses the inherent tension between short-term and long-term development objectives. “What has not been encouraging is that the U.S. government is increasingly opting for a shorter-term approach in areas deemed crucial to U.S. national security interests. Much of this is under the banner of “winning the hearts and minds” of a local population with quick-fix projects.”