Rethinking US Development Policy

The Rethinking US Development Policy Blog complements CGD's Rethinking US Development Policy initiative. Both are for professionals interested in tracking US development policy and its impact on developing countries.

 

Getting to 1504 in 2016: Long-Awaited Progress on Extractive Industry Transparency

At long last, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published the rule requiring extractive industry investors—oil, gas, and mining companies—to publish all payments of $100,000 or more that they make to governments as part of their operations. Great congratulations are in order to all those, including Oxfam and Publish What You Pay, who have worked so hard to get this rule published!

Country Ownership in El Salvador: USAID and Local Solutions

“If we don’t take a risk, we won’t reap the rewards.” We heard this refrain from a USAID official working in El Salvador to advance USAID’s agenda to promote greater country ownership by cultivating public-private partnerships with local actors. Partnering directly with local entities can pose potential risks to USAID, but in El Salvador the decision to increase local implementation has proved pragmatic and beneficial, as it capitalized on local knowledge and the local private sector.

Inspiring Words for Aspiring Young Development Workers

On May 19, USAID Administrator Gayle Smith achieved that rare feat of a truly inspirational graduation speech, drawing on her experiences as a journalist, human rights activist, and senior government official to call graduates of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University to public service.

Is OPIC Focused on the Private Sector’s Biggest Constraints?

In an ideal world, development finance institutions (DFIs) should focus on the biggest constraints for businesses in developing countries. This helps to expand their impact beyond a single project or investment, thereby producing more systemic benefits. However, this is a particularly challenging issue for many DFIs given their operating models, which are typically driven by investor priorities.

A Small Change That Would Make Big Sense for MCC

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was designed to provide large-scale grant funding to poor, well-governed countries. It’s become clear, however, that the (legislated) definition of which countries are “poor” is inadequate. In a 

Country Ownership at USAID: Enabling and Empowering Liberia’s Ministry of Health

The recent Ebola outbreak in Liberia underscored the need to focus on health systems strengthening and local resiliency. But who should take the lead? As the case of Liberia shows, even in a country still reeling from a health crisis and with perpetually low capacity, there are opportunities for donors to take a more ambitious approach to country ownership and institution strengthening.

There Wasn't a Decent OPIC Database, So We Spent Months Making One

Even among policymakers, there is plenty of misunderstanding around how the US government’s premier agency charged with advancing a private sector-based development agenda, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), actually operates. When we searched for a database with key OPIC project-level information, we couldn’t find one. So we spent months manually entering all of the publicly available information on OPIC projects into a single location, the OPIC Scraped Portfolio dataset.

MCC Gets Serious About Paying for Results

For some time, we’ve been cheering MCC’s interest in pursuing approaches that pay for outcomes and encouraging the agency’s stakeholders to get onboard (here and here). Now we can applaud an important step forward. The agency’s new compact with Morocco, which both partners celebrated at an event last Thursday in Rabat, spells out the potential for a results-based financing component—a welcome development.

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