Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) delivered an engaging and broad-ranging speech on U.S. policy in Africa yesterday at John’s Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. Senator Isakson is the Senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, and he has traveled to the continent many times over the last several years. Senator Isakson focused his remarks on three primary areas: 1. U.S. foreign assistance to Africa; 2. U.S. private investment in Africa; and 3. China’s presence in Africa.
Though a sliver of our overall budget, U.S. foreign assistance delivers a real return-on-investment. The Obama administration and Congress need to support these programs and work together to make them more effective and accountable. And the American public deserves an honest debate about the importance of our foreign assistance.
As a new Congress gets into gear, both Republicans and Democrats have a solemn duty to do the people’s work and to make sure their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely. U.S. foreign assistance is already under the microscope, as it should be, but we believe policymakers should focus on making it better instead of slashing budgets. Foreign assistance accounts for less than 1% of our federal budget, and our investments in it can pay real dividends for the cost.
Sara Messer, policy manager for aid effectiveness, at MFAN Partner ONE, recently posted a blog about the reoccurring themes of innovation and competitiveness in President Obama’s State of the Union earlier this week. “At a time when government programs are on the chopping block and every dollar needs to be justified, it’s important that we support those programs that are making real reforms and changing lives for millions of people around the world.”
Last week, MFAN Partner the Center for American Progress teamed up with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research to host a joint event: The Road to Better Aid: An Emerging Bipartisan Consensus? Daniel Yohannes, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, gave the keynote address followed by a panel discussion with MFAN Principal John Norris, Executive Director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at CAP and Mauro De Lorenzo, Visiting Fellow at AEI. Philip I. Levy, Resident Scholar at AEI moderated the discussion.
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.
On November 18, 2010, The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a discussion of Jerry Hyman’s article “Foreign Policy and Development: Structure, Process, Policy and the Drip-by-Drip Erosion of USAID.” Panelists included Jerry Hyman, President of the Hills Program on Governance at CSIS; MFAN Principal Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund and former Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations; and Larry Garber, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa. The discussion, which was moderated by Dan Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at CSIS, focused on the inherent tensions between foreign policy and development policy. Runde said when the question is asked, “Who is in charge of U.S. development policy?” the answer is often times: “It depends.”
“If current polls hold, Republicans will make significant gains in the Senate and likely take the House of Representatives, elevating a set of lawmakers to new heights of power and complicating Obama’s efforts to execute his foreign-policy agenda.” -Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy
In a recent series of blog posts for MFAN’s ModernizeAid blog, former Congressman Mark Green (R-WI) of the Malaria No More Policy Center lays out the Conservative case for foreign assistance reform. Rep. Green, who also served as Ambassador to Tanzania under President George W. Bush, gives 10 reasons Conservatives should get on board with more effective U.S. foreign assistance.
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