Remembering the Contributions of USAID Staff: The Administrator’s Take (Part Two)


See below for a guest post from Peter McPherson, former USAID Administrator and MFAN Principal, in response to John Norris’ recent blog series for Devex, Inside USAID’s top job. *** I greatly appreciate the very nice comments about my time at USAID and also appreciate the major effort Mr. Norris put into his paper. What … Continue reading Remembering the Contributions of USAID Staff: The Administrator’s Take (Part Two)

The Clashes of the Nineties: The Administrator’s Take


See below for a guest post from J. Brian Atwood, former USAID Administrator and MFAN Principal, in response to John Norris’ recent blog series for Devex, Inside USAID’s top job. *** John Norris has performed a service in recounting the highlights of USAID’s history. I am convinced that no organization in the world has contributed … Continue reading The Clashes of the Nineties: The Administrator’s Take

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Africa’s Dramatic Development Story


See below for a guest post from George Ingram, Senior Fellow at Brookings and MFAN Co-Chair. This post originally appeared on the Brookings blog on July 28th. *** With the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit taking place on August 4, now is a good time to reexamine the storyline around Africa. The continent has made progress in … Continue reading The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: Africa’s Dramatic Development Story

ForeignAssistance.gov Is Getting Bigger; Here’s How to Make It Better


See below for a guest post from Sarah Rose, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Global Development. The piece originally appeared on CGD’s blog on June 23rd. *** We’re getting closer to knowing how the USG spends its foreign assistance dollars.  Recently, the State Department announced its first release of foreign assistance data on … Continue reading ForeignAssistance.gov Is Getting Bigger; Here’s How to Make It Better

Strength through Development


See below for a guest post from MFAN Executive Committee Member and Accountability Working Group Co-Chair Diana Ohlbaum. *** In his graduation speech at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama laid out a national security doctrine based on partnership, multilateralism, international law, diplomacy and development.  Explaining how democracy, free markets, and respect for human rights … Continue reading Strength through Development

President’s Global Development Council: Fine Work But Now What (and When)?


The President’s Global Development Council (GDC) released a much awaited report (Beyond Business as Usual) April 14 calling for a focus on the private sector, innovation, transparency and evidence, climate smart food security, and global leadership. Many of its points coincide with current thinking in development quarters, one of which is the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s (MFAN) new policy paper.

5 things the US government is doing to make foreign assistance more effective


President Barack Obama issued the US government’s first ever US Global Development Policy in September 2010. The policy clarifies that the primary purpose of US development aid is to pursue broad-based economic growth as the means to fight global poverty. The US Global Development Policy also offers a clear mandate for country ownership—that is, leadership by citizens and responsible governments in poor countries—is how the US government will support development. The US has been moving in this direction since the George W. Bush administration.

What the 2014 National Security Strategy Ought To Say, But Won’t


Development assistance is, plain and simple, an investment in a better, safer world. And it ought to be designed to achieve maximum development outcomes. We are finally starting to learn the lessons of 50 years of development assistance, such as the importance of data transparency, program monitoring and evaluation, clear strategies with measurable goals, country ownership, use of local systems, and harmonization with other donors. Let’s not abandon those lessons by attempting to leverage aid for short-term diplomatic gains – which doesn’t usually work, anyway.