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Tag: USAID

 

STOP. Attempting to Overhaul the US Foreign Aid Apparatus is a Trap

Blog Post

The last time Congress overhauled the US foreign assistance apparatus, John F. Kennedy was president.  The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) made some sweeping changes. There hasn’t been a wholesale reexamination of how US development programs are structured, administered, and coordinated.  Exhibit A is the fact that over 20 US agencies currently deliver aid programs.  As such, there is a compelling case for finally fixing a broken, fragmented, and underperforming system.  Yet pushing for a new FAA is a really bad idea. Whoever takes the White House in 2017 should not fall into this trap.

Gayle Smith Confirmed as USAID Administrator: Four Goals for 14 Months

Blog Post

Yesterday the US Senate voted to confirm Gayle Smith as USAID’s new administrator. Despite the rapidly expiring clock on this administration, filling USAID’s top post is critical for both the agency and for US leadership in global crises and development efforts abroad. The Syrian refugee crisis shows no sign of abating, just last week Liberia found new Ebola cases, and 700 million people still live on less than $1.25 each day. In all of these challenges (among many others), USAID is the leading US actor for response, prevention, and results.  

2015 Feed the Future Progress Report Leaves Food for Thought

Blog Post

Launched in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis, Feed the Future is the Administration’s flagship initiative for addressing global hunger, food security, and agricultural livelihoods. Along with Power Africa, the Initiative looks to be a key component of President Obama’s development legacy. This latest report provides a glimpse into what this $1 billion a year effort has achieved over the last five years. Even with this new report in hand, there are still more questions than answers. 

USAID Administrator Nomination Hearing Wednesday

Blog Post

Congress has not exactly had an impressive track record on confirmations for the past few years. So when Raj Shah stepped down as USAID Administrator in December 2014, many at CGD and elsewhere bemoaned the possibility of an empty top slot at the agency for the remainder of the administration. But President Obama and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proved the cynics wrong by quickly appointing National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith and scheduling a nomination hearing this Wednesday, respectively.

The State Department/USAID 2015 QDDR: We Already Do That

Blog Post

Are our foreign affairs agencies prepared to mitigate threats to global security and advance US interests?  That’s the central question the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) must answer.  And although the report is filled (literally, filled) with ideas for small improvements, there’s little in it that (a) identifies the reasons State and USAID are falling demonstrably short of the admirable ambitions outlined in the report, and (b) offers real, and sufficiently grand, solutions for addressing them. 

What the 2015 QDDR Means for USAID

Blog Post

The quick answer is: not too much. The longer answer is that the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) could be meaningful for USAID if the recommendations are backed by a shift in operations and funding within the Agency. Let me explain.

After reaffirming the elevation of development and its rightful place as a powerful foreign policy tool, the QDDR lays out four strategic priorities for USAID and the State Department:

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