October 14, 2021 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Tessie San Martin.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) commends the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for their work in consolidating two separate websites that had displayed U.S. foreign assistance funding for the past several years. The websites had contained similar data but used different interfaces, and at times the reporting did not align.
Upon observing the existence of contradictory data on the two dashboards and differing processes to verify the accuracy of posted information, MFAN worked in partnership with Publish What You Fund to call attention to both the inefficiency of taxpayer dollars and the inability of dashboard users to gain dependable information on the amount of funding for foreign aid programs or the status of their implementation. We called on both agencies and Congress to unite the two dashboards. Together we also reviewed the strengths of each and developed a set of principles for what items we believed should be retained in a single site.
“The effort to consolidate the two foreign aid dashboards has been multiple years in the making, but we are extremely pleased that the integration of the two websites is finally complete,” said Lester Munson, MFAN Co-Chair and Principal at the BGR Group.
“We understood that accountability – which includes transparency – a key MFAN reform pillar, could not be achieved with competing and contradictory information from the U.S. government. We look forward to being able to utilize the new site and for the opportunity to evaluate U.S. foreign assistance programs based upon credible and timely numbers,” said Larry Nowels, MFAN Co-Chair.
“We commend the staff of both the State Department and USAID, as well as Congress for its leadership, in working together to integrate the comprehensive data about U.S. foreign assistance funding and programming into a single website, www.foreignassistance.gov. We expect that this site with its multiple integrated components will strengthen accountability of U.S. foreign assistance for both U.S. taxpayers and our partners across the globe,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair, and CEO of FHI 360.
Read more about recommendations for next steps on the single dashboard from MFAN Steering Committee members Sally Paxton and George Ingram.