February 13, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Lester Munson, and Tessie San Martin.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network applauds Congress for clearing the first of nine Congressional Notifications (CN) detailing the proposed reorganization and restructuring of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID’s proposed plan reorganizes the agency’s main functions in order to optimize its work and better achieve its mission. MFAN endorses many aspects of USAID’s anticipated restructuring. The reorganization plan meets a variety of recommendations for an effective redesign of the U.S. foreign assistance architecture, as agreed to by 170 leading organizations in the international affairs community.
The full proposal – developed with extensive consultation and input by the development community and USAID career staff – includes plans to unite policy, budget, and accountability functions; streamline technical expertise; elevate democracy, governance, and human rights; and ensure that private-sector, gender, and faith-based and community approaches are integrated across programs.
Congress recently cleared the proposal to merge the Offices of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and Food for Peace to form USAID’s new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. Eight additional elements of these reforms to improve aid effectiveness still await congressional action.
“USAID and Administrator Green have a goal of ending the need for foreign assistance, and the agency’s employees are proposing a structure to fit that worthy goal,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair and President & CEO of Plan International USA. “We’re glad that Congress is acting on these thoughtful measures to update our lead development agency.”
“The USAID reorganization plan submitted to Congress is the product of exhaustive employee input and extensive community consultation. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Congress and USAID as they implement their new structure,” said Lester Munson, MFAN Co-Chair and Principal at BGR Group.
“It’s encouraging to see that Congress is invested in USAID’s reorganization success,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “We look forward to consulting with Congress as they engage on the eight remaining Congressional Notifications.”
MFAN encourages Congress to consider the remainder of the reorganization proposal and looks forward to working with the administration to implement these changes.