U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg spoke at MFAN partner InterAction’s Forum 2011 yesterday, offering insight into the “new development landscape.” He assessed the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s recent review of U.S. development efforts, highlighting some of their recommendations:
“We’ve moved forward on aid effectiveness principles, including accountability, transparency and sustainability by focusing on procurement reform, country ownership, on-budget programs, and monitoring and evaluation….
“They warned that there is diminishing support for foreign assistance in the U.S. Congress in light of severe fiscal constraints and pressing domestic needs. They questioned whether the U.S. will maintain current assistance levels; much less ever achieve the 0.7 percent of GDP level.
“They again highlighted the confusion of 27 separate U.S. government agencies in the development arena, threatening policy coherence and risking redundancy. They warned that humanitarian and development priorities are increasingly influenced by national security concerns, especially counter-insurgency and stabilization operations.
“And they called on the U.S. to re-emerge as a thought leader, building on AID’s progress in re-establishing its policy bureau; conducting evidence summits and grand challenges; incorporating science, technology and innovation in our work; and launching new strategies in education, climate change, countering violent extremism, gender and the youth bulge.”
In preparation for this winter’s High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Deputy Administrator Steinberg laid out several key issues. The U.S. “must put results at the center of our development agenda,” “move beyond a focus on Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a broader concern with ‘development effectiveness,’” and ensure “realistic and transparent” coordination among donor nations and NGOs.
Deputy Administrator Steinberg’s full remarks are available here.