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Global development isn't exactly a campaign issue. But we at CGD hope it's a policy area both presidential transition teams are taking very seriously. The next US president will need to confront and prevent crises where our development and humanitarian assistance is a far more useful (and less expensive) response than guns and bombs. And smart development policy can help secure US economic interests by building markets. But more than a tool for US national security and economic gains, US development policy is fundamental to American leadership in the world. When you strip away the partisan rhetoric and the misinformation, most Americans say it’s the right thing to do too.
To that end, led by Scott Morris, we at the CGD Rethinking US Development Policy program put together a short memo to the transition teams. It's not comprehensive, there's so much more that could be done (see White House and the World and we'll be hearing from some other CGD experts on additional fronts soon); but these are the three big new ideas and three critical reforms we think need to get attention starting today with the transition teams. These ideas and reforms take into account where the United States has the ability to have the most impact on the biggest problems and the biggest opportunities and build on the successes of the Obama administration.
Seize on the catalytic and multiplier effects of investing in women and girls and launch a $1 billion incentive fund targeted at women’s economic empowerment.
Be the global leader in sustainable infrastructure investment, including through launching the US Development Finance Corporation, new commitments to the MDBs, and scaling Power Africa.
Target the migration crisis with humanitarian compacts for countries hosting a large number of refugees.
Take country ownership to the next level to make our development investments sustainable.
Relentlessly focus on results, from effective evaluations to adaptive management to outcomes-based funding models.
Allow USAID more flexibility, starting with Effectiveness Pilots.
And, of course, we'd love to hear your responses to these and your ideas. Send me an email: email@example.com or include in the comments below!
To say that John Bolton, President-elect Trump’s expected pick for #2 at the State Department, is a well-known UN critic would be an understatement. But it’s well worth noting that he has opinions about the IMF and the multilateral development banks too.
Uncertainties abound for the United States’ developing country trade partners in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president. As I chronicled previously, the US presidential campaign featured plenty of tough rhetoric on trade.
Now, with a new administration, I believe it is our obligation—more so than ever before—to stick to the facts and continue to bring the best possible economic and policy analysis to the global issues and decision-makers of our day.
CGD founding president Nancy Birdsall has seen a few US presidents come and go in her long career as a leading development economist, but her message to all occupants of the White House has remained fairly steady: Enact smart policies that help developing countries build stable, prosperous economies of their own—and that will help people at home too. This week she joins the CGD Podcast to talk about some of those ideas, and why development should be a priority for the next US president.