In a new policy brief called “Consultation & Participation for Local Ownership: What? Why? How?,” MFAN Partner Save the Children examines how to make the Obama Administration’s emphasis on “country ownership” a successful model for stakeholder participation in development programs.
“Without an innovative “civil-military” political strategy and careful consultation with both authorizing and appropriations committees, a Republican-dominated House is likely to place the International Affairs budget on the chopping block, even though it only accounts for a sliver of our federal budget. Our civilian and military leadership must speak in unison to underscore how vital rebuilding our civilian institutions is to our national security.”
The different gaps in USAID’s leadership have different consequences for the Agency’s clout in Washington and for offices in the field. Within our own conversations, we’ve heard reasons for why certain AA positions are more critical to fill than others; the health community, for example, has a valid point when it says that the missing AA for Global Health means that the Agency lacks the ability to coordinate strategy with the President’s new Global Health Initiative. But does that make it the most important AA position to fill? Or should the priority be on a particular regional bureau, on Legislative and Public Affairs or on something else?
In an article titled “Leading Through Civilian Power—Redefining American Diplomacy and Development” that will be published in the Nov/Dec edition of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lays out the contours of the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which was launched by the State Department in the summer of 2009 and is set to be finalized and made public by the end of the year.
This week’s Saturday profile in The New York Times featured Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. As one of the Obama administration’s most visible foreign policy players since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Shah has spearheaded an “ambitious campaign to rebuild Usaid that will ultimately determine his success or failure in Washington.”
“Ironically, while foreign assistance has grown in importance in U.S. foreign policy over the past two decades, it has deteriorated organizationally, substantively, and procedurally. It will not take long to see how great a difference the deterioration in structure and process will have on development content. Already, the tangible erosion has had discernable, negative effects on the quality of analysis, internal discourse, and decisionmaking.”
“Admittedly, getting anything through Congress is not easy these days. But there are benefits that outweigh the cost in time and effort. The legislative stamp of approval creates congressional support that tends to endure over time. We are asking for recipient country buy-in, so isn’t it a good idea to have congressional buy-in?”
In light of new confirmations this week, below is the latest version of the Center for Global Development’s USAID Staff Tracker. Of note, former MFAN Principal and MercyCorps President Nancy Lindborg was confirmed as the assistant administrator for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance at USAID on Wednesday. Read more about recent confirmations made before the … Continue reading MFAN Partner CGD’s Staff Tracker
At yesterday’s U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) annual conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and president and CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Daniel Yohannes came together in a rare appearance to discuss President Obama’s new … Continue reading USGLC Conference: Power Panel Talks PPD
The following are highlights from USAID’s participation in events in New York last week. USAID had a strong presence in the city, particularly USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah. On the morning of September 21st, Raj Shah, Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, and Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS … Continue reading A Review of USAID’s Major New York Events from Last Week: