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View CGD's memos for the presidential transition teams on proposals to improve US development policy that we hope the next president will prioritize once in office.
In this series of briefs, edited by Ben Leo and Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development experts present concrete, practical policy proposals that will promote growth and reduce poverty abroad. Each can make a difference at virtually no incremental cost to US taxpayers. Together, they can help secure America’s preeminence as a development and security power and partner.
Supplemental White House and the World Content These memos stem from expert roundtable discussions on global health, women's economic empowerment, and USAID:
In this series, we present more than
a dozen concrete and practical policy
proposals — ranging across trade, energy,
migration, investment, and climate policy,
as well as greater effectiveness of US
foreign aid programs — that will promote
growth and reduce poverty abroad.
Establish a full-service, self-sustaining
US Development Finance Corporation
(USDFC) that delivers development
results, advances US foreign and
commercial policy objectives, and
reduces the federal deficit through
modest operating profits.
Implement reforms to ensure that the
USDFC (1) crowds in private capital and
demonstrates clear “additionality,” (2)
publicly reports on its development
impact, and (3) has flexible portfolio and
staffing levels to adapt to shifting investor needs.
Strengthen the Power Africa Initiative through a multiyear congressional authorization with clear authorities.
Reform the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) or establish a modernized US Development Finance Corporation to catalyze and harness private capital for energy development (see related proposal — Bringing US Development Finance into the 21st Century).
Ease restrictions on countries that are most energy poor but least responsible for global emissions.
Upgrade to a realistic definition of modern energy access.
Reform US security assistance to target challenges identified by regular threat assessments, incorporate partner commitments to institutional reform, and promote civilian oversight through increased transparency.
Establish a Middle East and North Africa Fund to address constraints to economic growth in countries that demonstrate a willingness to tackle reform.
Elevate and amplify local voices pushing for reform in the region by mobilizing international support, sharing technology, and supporting a marketplace to connect activists with lawyers, strategists, and other service providers.
Institute a top-to-bottom review of USAID’s sector- and country-based activities based upon program effectiveness, allocation of USAID resources, alignment with partner priorities, and national security implications.
Commit to implement a comprehensive reform agenda based upon the review’s findings.
Provide USAID budgetary and policy primacy over areas in which the agency demonstrates efficacy and focuses its programmatic and staff resources.
Expand the proportion of US foreign assistance subject to MCC-type aid-effectiveness principles, while increasing the proportion of flexible funding that is not subject to congressional directives or administration initiatives.
Further strengthen the implementation of key aspects of MCC’s model, such as the commitment to cost-effective investments, advancing transparency efforts, and learning from ongoing and completed programs.
Pilot new approaches, such as outcome-based aid and regional compacts that address cross-border growth constraints.
Experiment with impact-based agreements to align policy, funding, and actions to drive progress toward an AIDS transition, with attention to rights and gender issues.
Measure what matters — new infections and AIDS-related mortality — to achieve maximum value for spending through better targeting and alignment of financial support with countries’ own financial commitments and progress on prevention and treatment.
Create incentives for co-financing by committing to a floor of support in hard-hit countries and developing matching funds for each additional person tested or on treatment.