November 17, 2017 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette.
MFAN has published seven guiding principles for strategically transitioning partner countries from development aid to new forms of cooperation with the United States. These principles are meant to inform ongoing reform efforts within the Administration and in Congress to ensure that all U.S. development efforts are working toward the goal of creating the conditions under which foreign assistance is no longer necessary.
MFAN believes transition strategies and development programs should:
- Advance country ownership;
- Determine transition readiness by development progress;
- Mobilize domestic resources for development;
- Catalyze private sector investment for inclusive growth;
- Prioritize transparency, evaluation, and accountability;
- Safeguard gains and continue progress; and
- Celebrate responsible transitions.
Adhering to these principles will ensure that partner countries meet certain benchmarks, like good governance, and are taking on responsibility for and leadership of their own development progress. And that they do so in a transparent way that protects prior U.S. investments and harnesses private and public funds for development.
“These principles provide a way to fundamentally reorient U.S. assistance to put partner countries first,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair and President and CEO of Plan International USA. “This approach offers a responsible alternative to abruptly closing missions or cutting off aid from partner countries and people in need.”
“With properly planned and executed transition strategies, countries will continue on a path toward becoming prosperous, stable allies for the United States,” said Connie Veillette, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Lugar Center. “These principles outline how the U.S. Government can better partner with countries to ensure continued collaboration after they have transitioned away from assistance.”
“MFAN’s principles change the way we think about country transition,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “Rather than simply touting our long-term presence in a partner country, we celebrate when a country no longer needs aid and has the capacity to provide for its own citizens.”
We look forward to working with Congress, USAID Administrator Mark Green, and other foreign assistance agencies to advance the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of U.S. development efforts.