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Open Letter 1: Guidelines for Effective Aid in Pakistan, 3/29/10

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

At the Center for Global Development, I have launched a new initiative to provide constructive commentary and practical recommendations for you and your colleagues over the next year on the U.S. foreign assistance and development program in Pakistan. At the core of this initiative is the CGD Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan, comprising experts in development economics, aid effectiveness, and national security, and including several prominent Pakistanis (please see attached list of study group members). We will convene the study group regularly over the next year to consider how the United States can best deploy its aid resources and other measures, including trade and investment policies, in Pakistan over the next five years.

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Open Letter #2: U.S. Development Assistance to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, 5/03/10

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

At the second meeting of the CGD Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan, we focused on what U.S. policies and aid programs would be most effective in dealing with the security and development challenges in the FATA region and vulnerable neighboring states. I would like to make the following three points, guided by input from our study group members.

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Open Letter #3: U.S. Development Assistance to Pakistan’s Energy Sector, 5/25/10

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

This is the third in our series of open letters, through which we aim to provide constructive commentary and practical recommendations over the next year on the U.S. foreign assistance and development program in Pakistan. As with the first and second letters, this letter is meant not only for you but for your colleagues throughout the Administration, including in the White House and at USAID, as well as for interested readers in the policy and research communities At the third meeting of the CGD Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan, we focused on what U.S. policies and aid programs would be most effective in addressing Pakistan’s energy crisis. We understand the administration’s decision to support a major investment program in Pakistan’s power sector. From a national security, diplomatic, and short-term stability perspective, Secretary Clinton’s announcement last fall of six energy projects was a good first start in what we understand is a multiple-part signature energy program.

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Open Letter #4:
Adequate Staffing of the Development Assistance Program in Pakistan, 6/23/10

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

In this letter, I address the need for USAID to be strengthened in its staff capacity to design and deploy an effective development strategy. USAID is in the midst of a substantial build-up of personnel in both Afghanistan and in Pakistan. By the end of this fiscal year, USAID will have 245 staff on the ground in Pakistan—up 60 percent from this March—of which 53 will be American direct hires. However, we understand that the current plan is for the overwhelming majority of newly hired employees in Pakistan to be contract officers, tasked with monitoring and administering the increased spending levels in the country. We understand the need to guard against waste and corruption, as you emphasized in your recent letter to Senator Kerry. However, we hope that with the shift towards a greater reliance on Pakistani institutions, more of the increase in USAID staffing can be concentrated on deployment of policy and program experts with substantial experience working in developing countries (including in close dialogue with recipient governments), and that as many of them as possible would have past experience in Pakistan itself.

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Open Letter #5: U.S. Development Assistance to Pakistan’s Education Sector, 9/28/10

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke:

This is the fifth in our series of open letters, through which we aim to provide constructive commentary and practical recommendations on the U.S. foreign assistance and development program in Pakistan. At the fourth meeting of the CGD Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan, we focused on what U.S. policies and aid programs would be most effective in strengthening Pakistan’s education sector. Our meeting was held before Pakistan was hit by the devastating floods. The four points set out below are guided by input from our study group members, and take into account the new challenges and constraints the Government of Pakistan face, and the United States faces in managing its assistance to that government.

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Open Letter #6: U.S. Support for Pakistan’s Private Sector , 1/06/12

Dear Secretary Nides:

In this open letter, I am conveying the recommendations that emerged from the most recent meeting of our study group, in which we focused on what U.S. policies would be most effective in expanding economic opportunities and creating jobs via Pakistan’s private sector. I recognize that you and your team have been working on a variety of policy initiatives to expand economic opportunity for ordinary Pakistanis. Indeed, your November 2011 report recognizes that “greater emphasis on economic growth that brings economic opportunity to the rapidly growing population is key to Pakistan’s future success and stability.”.

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Open letter #7, U.S. support for Pakistan’s “democratic machinery”, 6/19/12

Dear Secretary Nides:


This correspondence marks the seventh in our series of open letters to officials of the Obama Administration. The purpose of these open letters is to provide constructive commentary and practical recommendations on the deployment of Kerry-Lugar-Berman funds and more broadly on U.S. trade, investment and other policies that can contribute to long-term growth and development in Pakistan. The letters are the outcome of consultations with a Center for Global Development study group made up of policy experts and scholars on economic development, Pakistan, and U.S. foreign affairs. The overall aim of the group is to encourage increased attention by the United States to long-term growth, human development, and democracy in Pakistan as the best investments in a more stable partner for the United States.

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