Tag: Sarah Jane Staats


Slow and Steady Dashboard Progress, but How to Win the Race?

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The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department have added FY2009-FY2011 budget data to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. The dashboard aims to capture all US foreign aid spending from across twenty-some different US agencies. There's a long way to go before all the information is included, but the dashboard--and the latest updates from State and USAID plus previous contributions from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)--are important steps in the right direction. Can Congress or crowdsourcing help get to the finish line? The dashboard is designed to include all US foreign assistance data and break it down by country, sector, initiative and agency in a user-friendly format. While it's always a bit of a shock to realize this information doesn't already exist, the Foreign Assistance Dashboard is a welcome tool to improve foreign aid transparency. And the Obama administration deserves applause for getting the tool out there early, even if it's not yet complete (and hats off to the unsung heros who designed the website and entered the data).

Malawi’s Dramatic Turn of Events: Enough to Lift MCC Suspension?

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The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board of directors suspended Malawi’s $350 million compact in March. Fast forward three months: Malawi has a new president—Joyce Banda—who is moving quickly to improve the country’s governance and economy. The MCC’s June board meeting was expected to be about terminating Malawi’s compact; instead, it will be about whether to lift the compact suspension. And Banda will be in Washington this weekend to make her case to the MCC and other parts of the U.S. government.

Obama Updates Development Profile: Ag and Private Sector Now Friends

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President Obama announced $3 billion in new private sector investments in agriculture in three African countries at a packed event in Washington, D.C., last Friday. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is the cornerstone of the United States' 2012 G-8 commitments to development led by USAID and administrator Rajiv Shah. There's a lot to like about the partnership: presidential leadership, a link between public and private investment, and a focus on policy change. But all eyes are on how the relatively modest investments will be implemented and whether they can reach the ambitious poverty reduction targets.

MCC Terminates Mali Compact

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The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) board of directors has terminated Mali’s compact following the late-March military coup. The five-year, $460 million compact will end at least one month earlier than expected. Portions of the Bamako airport and Alatona irrigation projects won’t be finished.  And barring a major turn of events, the investments won’t yield the anticipated returns: two million beneficiaries and an estimated $400 million increase in household income.