MFAN Network Celebrates Final Passage of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act

This week the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 3766). The bill was also unanimously approved by the Senate last week and is now headed to President Obama to be signed into law.  This legislation, sponsored by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), would codify key reforms to ensure that U.S. agencies involved in foreign assistance are doing rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation, and are making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available.

See below for a roundup of reactions from around the MFAN community to the news of final passage, and also check out blogs from ONE and InterAction.

George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair; Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution:  We are deeply grateful to the bill sponsors for their tireless efforts to work together across the aisle and across chambers in order to see this bill passed into law. This legislation has been introduced in each of the last three congresses and marks an important step towards making U.S. foreign assistance more effective.

Carolyn Miles, MFAN Co-Chair; President and CEO, Save the Children: As the United States faces an ever-growing number of humanitarian and development challenges around the world, effective U.S. foreign assistance is more important than ever. Recognizing that our resources are limited, we must be doing all that we can to use them most effectively so that they can have the most impact on those in need around the world.

Connie Veillette, MFAN Co-Chair; Senior Fellow, The Lugar Center: By passing this bill, Congress has institutionalized the important gains that have already been made in the areas of transparency and evaluation. This legislation will help to ensure that our aid programs are being driven by evidence-based decisions and that our assistance is accountable to U.S. taxpayers and developing country stakeholders.

Senator Richard Lugar (Ret.), President and Chairman of the Board, The Lugar Center: Together with bipartisan efforts by the bill’s lead sponsors Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) in the House and my former colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), both taxpayers who provide funding for U.S. foreign aid programs and those who receive that aid in the form of vital food, medicines, water, and education programs to name just a few, may now have greater confidence in the quality and effectiveness of these programs.

Rob Mosbacher and Ambassador Mark Green, Consensus for Development Reform Co-Chairs: This legislation places transparency and accountability at the center of U.S. foreign assistance programs, and its implementation will help to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being invested in the best-performing programs with proven results.

Liz Schrayer, President and CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Hats off to Congress for voting to deliver results for farmers and families around the world – and for the American taxpayer. This is smart aid at its best. And it’s what the future looks like as we leverage strategic partnerships between governments, businesses, and non-profits working together.

Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA: The legislation promotes important practices like impact and ex-post evaluations, which help identify programs with lasting results. That’s key to ensuring our scarce foreign assistance dollars are used efficiently and effectively

David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World: Making U.S. foreign assistance more transparent and accountable will help ensure that our tax dollars are used effectively. This is especially important now that the global community has embraced new goals to end hunger and poverty by 2030.

Also see reactions from the bill’s champions on Capitol Hill:

– House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
– House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
– House sponsors, Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX)Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
– Senate sponsors, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) & Ben Cardin (D-MD)

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