Tag: USAID

 

Let's DevTalk about Country Ownership

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I want to discuss country ownership in US development activities. Let’s take the case of El Salvador. As you may have heard, El Salvador has the highest homicide rate in the world right now. But what you may not know is that El Salvador is also home to the largest locally-led public-private partnership in USAID’s history.

A Lot of Vision, A Little Time: Gayle Smith’s First Major Policy Speech

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Yesterday, USAID Administrator Gayle Smith delivered her first major policy speech in a cavernous Capitol Hill auditorium that was filled to capacity. Introducing USAID’s new head, Senator David Perdue expressed hope that Smith would have more time in the job than she thought she would. That’s remarkably high praise from a Republican senator in a year that will mark the end of the Obama administration.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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