Washington Post Preview of New Development Policy from Obama Administration

Earlier today, Mary Beth Sheridan of The Washington Post published a preview of the new development  policy President Obama is scheduled to unveil this afternoon in his speech at the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit.  Two MFAN principals were quoted in the article. Click here to read the full article and be sure to visit ModernizeAid later today to get a read-out of President Obama’s speech.

Key Excerpts Below:

“What we’d like to do is focus selectively on a subset of countries, or regions, subregions, and try and make sure all our development resources . . . are being applied in those countries in a way to maximize economic growth,” said one senior official in the article, speaking on condition of anonymity before Obama’s speech at the United Nations.

Carol Lancaster, dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a MFAN Principal, said, “It is not clear how the administration will choose its targets…it could be difficult to pull out of some countries because of diplomatic or congressional pressures.”

“A hint of how the new policy will work can be found in the president’s ‘Feed the Future’ program. It focuses on a small group of countries that have come up with detailed plans for their agricultural sectors. The countries have ’skin in the game,’ officials note – their own funds.”

“There used to be a debate that economic growth didn’t affect the poorest of the poor,” said J. Brian Atwood, who was USAID administrator under President Bill Clinton. Atwood currently serves as dean at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and is a Principal of MFAN. According to Bread for the World, a member of MFAN, “the administration’s strategy places stronger emphasis on support for inclusive, sustained economic growth…innovation and technology.”

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