Mark Your Calendars – Week of January 30, 2012

Every Thursday, MFAN will post a list of upcoming events for the following week. For more information about each event and to RSVP, click on the links below.

MFAN’s Co-Chairs Note Progress, Look to Opportunities Ahead

Before offering our annual year in review on foreign assistance reform and some detail on MFAN’s priorities for 2012, we wanted to thank you, our partners, for your hard work, without which last year’s accomplishments would not have been possible. We ask for your continued and enthusiastic support in driving the foreign assistance reform agenda forward this year.

MFAN Statement: Agency Consolidation Must Be Done Carefully

The Obama Administration’s efforts to consolidate U.S. Government trade agencies into a more streamlined, efficient single entity are commendable. The goal of consolidation should be to increase coherence, effectiveness and accountability, and we have long argued that similar activities could strengthen the U.S. development system.

At USAID, it’s bye bye bureaucracy, hello local competition

As part of a broader reform effort to make US foreign aid more effective, USAID is peeling away layers of bureaucracy, bit by bit. The latest casualty in this battle against obscure and painful regulations that get in the way of helping people help themselves? A little thing called the Source, Origin, and Nationality regulation, or S/O/N. The S/O/N required USAID to buy all the goods it needed in the field from the US, and submitting to a lengthy waiver process when this was impractical or costly. After a year-long public consultation, reforms to this clunker of a rule went live this week.

InterAction Releases Paper Exploring Country Ownership

On December 15th, MFAN Partner InterAction released a paper titled “Country Ownership: Moving from Rhetoric to Action,” which aims to address the wide range of explanations and varying methods of promotion that have led to the issue’s unorganized discussions and approaches.

Stuck in the bottom of your stocking

Since Administrator Rajiv Shah came on board, USAID has been trying to rebuild itself so it can build stronger partnerships with poor countries and their people. It’s based in the reality of good development, which is that development isn’t something done by USAID—development is done by poor people and poor countries themselves.

Spring 2012 Interns — Apply Now!

The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) – a coalition of foreign policy experts, international development practitioners, and NGOs dedicated to effective foreign assistance programs – is seeking a motivated intern for the spring semester. MFAN’s learning internships offer an opportunity to explore the nuances of foreign aid reform and U.S. government advocacy.