Washington, DC, September 6, 2022 — The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, known as MFAN, is delighted to welcome three new members to its coalition: Reuben Abraham, Denise Namburete, and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
The addition of 3ie and two members from the global south will further enhance MFAN’s premier membership of think tanks, policy experts, advocacy groups and implementing entities advocating for a model of development that prioritizes accountability and evidence of impact and that gives greater voice, resources, and power over decision-making to local actors.
Dr. Reuben Abraham is the CEO and founder of Artha Global, a London-based think tank focused on state capability and political economy issues. A seasoned veteran and expert on economic development, Reuben most recently led and founded the IDFC Institute, a Mumbai-based independent, economic development think/do tank focused on the political, economic and spatial dimensions of India’s ongoing transition from a low-income, state-led country to a prosperous market-based economy. Before the IDFC Institute, he was on the faculty and Executive Director of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS), initially set up in partnership with Cornell University, at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. Reuben’s expertise lies in understanding the underlying processes of economic development, with a specific focus on state and institutional capacity, the political economy of implementation, and on well-managed urbanization as a key cause of economic growth and development. He is a Senior Fellow at New York University’s Marron Institute, a member of the International Advisory Board for the New Economy of the Govt of the United Arab Emirates, an Asia Fellow at the Milken Institute in Singapore, a Senior Advisor to Swiss Re in Zurich, and an Honorary Advisor to the New Zealand Asia Foundation in Wellington. Last year, Reuben was recognized for his efforts in tackling the COVID-19 crisis in India and was awarded “Think-Tanker of the Year” by Prospect Magazine.
Denise Namburete is a social change expert with extensive experience in policy outreach and advocacy who has devoted her 20-year career to enabling behavioral, social and policy change. She is the founder and Executive Director of N’weti, a Mozambican non-profit organization working in the field of health communication. N’weti’s mission is to improve the health status of Mozambicans and to promote access to universal, equitable and quality public health services. Recently, Denise successfully led the State Budget Monitoring Forum (FMO), a platform of 21 local and international organizations, in campaigning for fiscal transparency and accountability in the “hidden debt” scandal in which Mozambican officials embezzled nearly US$2 billion. Denise led the work pursuing various advocacy and litigation actions to nullify the loans, hold responsible parties accountable, and repatriate the funds. In 2021, she received the Anti-Corruption Champion Award by the U.S. State Department in recognition of her exceptional courage in holding her government accountable for its role in the scandal amid threats of violence and intimidation. Denise has also promoted a Sovereign Wealth Fund to ensure Mozambique’s future natural gas-fueled windfall is managed in a transparent way that benefits all Mozambicans.
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), with offices in New Delhi, London, and Washington DC, uses evidence-based approaches to effectively transform lives in low-and middle-income countries. Established in 2008, 3ie has been a global leader in supporting the production and understanding of impact evaluation evidence in international development. It works closely with governments, foundations, NGOs, development institutions, and research organizations to strengthen capacity building and achieve sustainable results. 3ie supports the generation and effective use of high-quality evidence to inform decision-making that helps shape policy goals into concrete programming ideas. 3ie’s holistic approach to designing and conducting impact evaluations will strengthen MFAN’s advocacy work in delivering impactful results on US foreign assistance.
Marie Gaarder is the Executive Director of 3ie. She has over 20 years of experience managing operational and research projects with a development focus. Prior to joining 3ie, she was a manager in the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group, overseeing thematic, sector, corporate, and project evaluations. Marie has also worked as the Director of the evaluation department at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, where she was in charge of independent evaluation of programs and activities financed over the Norwegian aid budget. Marie has also published extensively, including on evaluation of cash transfer programs, evaluation in fragile and conflict-affected states, among others. She is the co-chair of the International Development Coordinating Group within the Campbell Collaboration, a member of the Research Ethics Review Committee of the Partnership for Economic Policy, a member of the DFID-CDC Evaluation & Learning Programme Steering Group, and a member of the WFP’s impact evaluation Strategic Advisory Panel (SAP). She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University College London, an MSc in Economics from London School of Economics, and a graduate degree in Political Science, Arabic and Economics from the University of Oslo, Norway.
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MFAN is a diverse coalition composed of international development practitioners, development institutions, think tanks, and the private sector that advocates for more effective U.S. foreign assistance. MFAN was created to build upon the bipartisan consensus that the U.S. should play a global leadership role to support effective U.S. development cooperation in achieving economic growth, more resilient societies, poverty reduction, and promoting locally-led development and democratic approaches, and that the U.S. can play that role more effectively, efficiently, and transparently. To learn more about MFAN, please visit: www.modernizeaid.net.