Show Me the Money: How Transparency and Evaluation Can Make Aid Better


It’s no secret that foreign assistance is an invaluable part of U.S. foreign policy. Aid is a strong expression of U.S. moral, economic, and national security imperatives, and it helps advance all three. It’s also no secret that foreign assistance resources make up a tiny part of overall U.S. spending. The entire International Affairs Budget … Continue reading Show Me the Money: How Transparency and Evaluation Can Make Aid Better

New Study Reaffirms Investments Can Yield Convincing Development Returns


Last July, the Financing for Development Conference in Ethiopia saw more than 30 donor and developing nations come together to recognize domestic resource mobilization (DRM), and the role that it can play in making global development truly sustainable. Through the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI), key donors, including the United States, enthusiastically endorsed DRM and pledged … Continue reading New Study Reaffirms Investments Can Yield Convincing Development Returns

USAID’s Ex-Post Evaluations Identified Programs That Really Worked


The concept of ex-post evaluation is simple and powerful: to identify the programs that delivered lasting benefits. Not only what were the results while millions in donor aid were being invested, but what were the results two, three or five years later? Were the local government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and communities able to maintain the … Continue reading USAID’s Ex-Post Evaluations Identified Programs That Really Worked

USAID Didn’t Hit Its 30 Percent Target for Local Solutions – Here’s Why I’m Still Cheering


In what has become an annual spring rite, USAID recently released its latest round of USAID Forward data. USAID Forward is a series of reforms designed to bolster the Agency’s operational capacity around delivering results, pursuing partnerships, and promoting innovation. A key element of this reform initiative is Local Solutions (formerly known as Implementation and … Continue reading USAID Didn’t Hit Its 30 Percent Target for Local Solutions – Here’s Why I’m Still Cheering

Letter to House Committee on Armed Services on FY2017 NDAA


Download a formatted version of the Senate letter and the House letter. *** April 26, 2016 The Honorable Mac Thornberry Chairman Committee on Armed Services United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Adam Smith Ranking Member Committee on Armed Services United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Thornberry and … Continue reading Letter to House Committee on Armed Services on FY2017 NDAA

Letter to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith: ADS Revisions


Download a formatted version of the letter here. *** March 21, 2016 The Honorable Gayle Smith Administrator U.S. Agency for International Development Ronald Reagan Building Washington, D.C. 20523 Attn: Ms. Michele Sumilas Dear Administrator Smith: As you know, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) stands ready to work with you to ensure the reforms initiated … Continue reading Letter to USAID Administrator Gayle Smith: ADS Revisions

Event – ACCOUNTdown to 2017: Strengthening a Bipartisan Legacy of Aid Effectiveness


Please join the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) for a discussion on how Congress and the Administration can advance aid effectiveness Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:00 – 11:30 am Russell Senate Office Building – Room 485 Introductory Remarks by: The Honorable Jim Kolbe Former Congressman from Arizona, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund & … Continue reading Event – ACCOUNTdown to 2017: Strengthening a Bipartisan Legacy of Aid Effectiveness

Why Taxes Matter in Africa


Sometime in the next month or so, I’m going to sit down at my dining room table, open up a file folder stuffed with paper, and double-click on TurboTax. Then, like most Americans, I’m going to fill out forms that connect me to my government – forms that create a connection stronger, perhaps, than a … Continue reading Why Taxes Matter in Africa

MCC: Taking Stock and Moving Forward


First, a confession: when President Bush first proposed the creation of a Millennium Challenge Account in 2002, I thought it was a secret plot to undermine USAID.  When I first met staff of the newly-created Millennium Challenge Corporation, I saw them as egghead economists who didn’t have a clue about the real world of development.  … Continue reading MCC: Taking Stock and Moving Forward