MFAN Partners Break New Ground in Measuring Aid Impact


One theme received more attention than anticipated during newly-confirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – the effectiveness of foreign aid.  Over a dozen Senators questioned Tillerson on issues including transparency and accountability as well as specific initiatives like PEPFAR, Feed the Future, and Power Africa. In … Continue reading MFAN Partners Break New Ground in Measuring Aid Impact

Ray of Sunlight at the Pentagon: Defense Department adopts first evaluation policy


On January 13, the Pentagon adopted its first-ever Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation (AM&E) Policy for security cooperation programs. The new policy commits the Defense Department to systematically examine what’s working and what’s not with security cooperation programs, finally requiring a level of scrutiny that is already in place at the U.S. Agency for International Development … Continue reading Ray of Sunlight at the Pentagon: Defense Department adopts first evaluation policy

Improving Ownership in US Foreign Assistance


For over a decade, donors and developing countries alike have embraced the notion that “country ownership” should be central to the way aid is designed and delivered. Ownership is widely considered critical for achieving and sustaining program results, building local capacity to help countries transition from aid, and strengthening the citizen-state compact by shifting accountability … Continue reading Improving Ownership in US Foreign Assistance

Pentagon unveils major policy to evaluate security cooperation programs


Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) spends roughly $9 billion in taxpayer funds on engagements with foreign countries, much of it in the form of efforts to build the capacity of their militaries to provide effective, accountable security to their citizens.  These efforts – collectively called security cooperation – are not altruistic; rather, they … Continue reading Pentagon unveils major policy to evaluate security cooperation programs

Blog Series to Highlight MFAN’s Aid Effectiveness Recommendations for the New President and Congress


With the votes counted and the election results now in, MFAN is looking toward the next administration and Congress for opportunities to enhance U.S. development cooperation in 2017 and beyond. Recently, MFAN called for the continuation of strong, bipartisan support for robust and effective foreign assistance and outlined practical recommendations for how the next president … Continue reading Blog Series to Highlight MFAN’s Aid Effectiveness Recommendations for the New President and Congress

From Policy to Practice: Institutionalizing Evaluations at USAID


In a town that thrives on sound bites and photo ops, it’s rare to find an accomplishment that goes unheralded by its authors. Yet last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) quietly released a major overhaul of its operational guidelines with little more than a tweet. Known as the Automated Directives System (ADS), … Continue reading From Policy to Practice: Institutionalizing Evaluations at USAID

Thank You Letter to White House on the Addis Tax Initiative Baseline


Download a formatted version of the letter here. *** October 21, 2016 Mary Beth Goodman Senior Director for Development & Democracy National Security Council White House Washington, DC 20500 Dear Ms. Goodman: On behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), we are writing to thank you for the recent public announcement of the U.S. baseline … Continue reading Thank You Letter to White House on the Addis Tax Initiative Baseline

U.S. aid transparency: Looking back but pressing forward


Over the past decade aid transparency has moved from being a little-known concept to the norm. The value of making timely and accurate aid data publicly available is now widely accepted as essential to good decision-making. Good data is the foundation of rigorous monitoring and real-time feedback, and is at the heart of transparency and … Continue reading U.S. aid transparency: Looking back but pressing forward

Sustainability Through Local Ownership: Coming Soon to More USAID Missions


In a return to best practices, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s new policy and strategy guidance (ADS) tells the Missions to operationalize sustainability through local ownership in all parts of the program cycle. This is great news for many USAID career staff whose experience has shown that development programs cannot be effectively … Continue reading Sustainability Through Local Ownership: Coming Soon to More USAID Missions