Below are excerpts from MFAN Partners’ statements in reaction to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s extraordinary speech last week. Stay tuned for coverage of the Republican Study Group’s call for severe cuts to USAID’s budget.
Connie Veillette, MFAN Principal and director of the Center for Global Development’s Rethinking US Foreign Assistance initiative, responded, “Yesterday, CGD was honored to host USAID administrator Raj Shah for a major speech outlining what he and USAID have accomplished over the past year and plans in the works for further changes to the business model. He ambitiously seeks to transform the way USAID operates by injecting an entrepreneurial business model within the agency. Shah’s general approach and specific proposals need to be supported, even while recognizing the challenges.”
MFAN Principal and executive director of the US Global Leadership Coalition Liz Schrayer stated, “The USGLC commends Dr. Shah’s actions yesterday calling for aggressive reform in how U.S. development efforts are implemented. USAID programming must be effective, accountable, and transparent, and Shah has outlined steps to ensure that our development dollars are having their intended impact. We are pleased this reform is not just talk but is already under way, as demonstrated through the new Foreign Assistance Dashboard and innovative monitoring and evaluation policy.”
MFAN Partner Oxfam America’s director of aid effectiveness Greg Adams said, “In a tough budget cycle, the US will be required to make difficult decisions about its investments to create ‘efficient local governments, thriving civil societies, and vibrant private sectors.’ Administrator Shah described for the America public that making smart business decisions means having the best people with the best information. Protecting these investments will be vital in ensuring that USAID’s workforce remains strengthened and its monitoring and evaluation reforms are carried forward.”
Todd Shelton, senior director of policy at MFAN Partner InterAction, reacted: “While the Administrator noted that more American families donated to Haiti than watched the Super Bowl, he failed to mention that this outpouring of private voluntary contributions was largely provided through U.S. NGOs. InterAction members are instrumental in the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti, in local capacity-building efforts in Pakistan, as well as in important development projects in sub-Saharan Africa and throughout the developing world. We hope to build on our partnerships with USAID in support of the Administrator’s new vision for U.S. global development.”
Also, be sure to check out MFAN Member Sara Messer’s interview with Shah following his speech. Messer is ONE’s policy manager for aid effectiveness.