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Sarah Bermeo

Targeted Development with Sarah Bermeo – CGD Podcast

Sarah Bermeo, political economist and author of Targeted Development: Industrialized Country Strategy in a Globalizing World, on how rich countries’ motivations for development have evolved, what they mean for developing countries, and where we are now.

US Capitol Building

Another Step Closer to a New and Improved US Development Finance Institution

The United States needs a bigger and better development finance institution. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is an overperforming federal agency, but is currently far too small and outdated to fulfill its mandate of catalyzing private investment in strategic emerging and frontier markets. We’ve been pushing for years to modernize US development finance, while the timing for a new agency is ideal right now. The bipartisan BUILD Act creating a new US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) was introduced in both houses a few months back and the administration has signaled support.

Will Trump’s Big Aid Cuts Hurt Chances for Reform?

The Trump administration delivered its FY 2019 budget request to Capitol Hill this week. Containing deep cuts to the international affairs budget, it looks a lot like a repeat of the FY 2018 request. And with a 30 percent reduction in topline spending, few programs were spared. Meanwhile, buried among the rubble are smart reform ideas that run the risk of being overshadowed—or even undermined—by the depth of the proposed spending reductions.

How Can USAID Work Itself Out of a Job? Ideas for Smart Strategic Transitions

In recent months, USAID has been working diligently to craft its approach to “strategic transitions,” framing the principles it will follow, the benchmarks that will help inform transition decisions, and the programs and tools it can bring to bear. This Thursday, in a public discussion with the agency’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), USAID will outline its initial thinking about strategic transitions. Our recent paper, Working Itself Out of a Job: USAID and Smart Strategic Transitions, offers some advice to the agency as it charts the course ahead. Here are the main takeaways.

US Backs Away from Its Commitment to Extractive Industry Transparency

The US Department of the Interior announced last week that the United States would no longer seek to comply with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international multi-stakeholder organization that aims to increase revenue transparency and accountability in natural resource extraction. The move—while disappointing—is not altogether unexpected. And sadly, it will put the United States further behind the curve when it comes to corporate transparency.

Attention Trump Administration: Five Important Questions for Redesigning US Foreign Assistance

The very same week that USAID and the Department of State submitted a joint redesign plan to the Office of Management and Budget, the coauthors of four recent reform proposals packed the CGD stage for a timely debate. Fragmentation, inclusive economic growth, humanitarian assistance and fragile states, global health, and country graduation were a few of the big questions that panel members grappled with as they authored their reports.

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