Getting balance right is key to U.S. development policy

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.

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“There is always tension between short- and long-term objectives. We face it every day in the decisions we make, both as individuals and collectively as a country. Do we buy a flashy new laptop now, or stick with our slow old desktop and save to send our children to college? Should government forego additional taxes to stimulate the economy, or would it be better to raise them and avert a potential long-term fiscal crisis?”

“The same tension exists for U.S. government investments in international development.  Short-term projects based primarily on immediate national security needs and objectives often compete for resources that would otherwise be dedicated to effective development work aimed at poverty alleviation and institutional capacity-building. At the heart of this tension is the need to address both short- and long-term objectives well, rather than having an ad hoc approach that fails on both fronts.”

To read the full blog post, click here.

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