Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Is USAID Set Up to Fail on Disaster Reconstruction?

With Hurricane Irma now pushing a devastating path through the Caribbean, USAID is gearing up to do what it does best. Its Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) do amazing work—deploying rapidly in the wake of natural hazards like hurricanes and often bringing the logistical might of the US military with them. These teams go in big and fast to save lives, distribute food, set up emergency shelter, and prevent secondary impacts like disease outbreaks. But then things begin to falter. 

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

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 Would You Like Me to Ask Raj Shah?

Next week, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will step down after five years of service. Before he goes, I will have a chance to sit down with him and record a CGD podcast reflecting on his lessons learned and aspirations for the agency in the years ahead.

Haiti Quake: Four Years Later, We Still Don’t Know Where the Money Has Gone

January 12, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the massive quake in Haiti that left over 200,000 people dead and several million people homeless.  The response from rich countries was overwhelming—over $9 billion was disbursed towards relief and reconstruction efforts ($3 billion from the United States, an estimated $3 billion in private contributions, and another $3 billion from foreign governments).

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