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Archive for March, 2010

MFAN QDDR Blog Series: Time for Hard Questions

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
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The release of initial findings from the State Department’s landmark Quadrennial Diplomacy & Development Review (QDDR), which will for the first time provide a strategic blueprint for U.S. development and foreign assistance efforts, is expected soon.  Because this is such a key moment in the long push for foreign assistance reform, MFAN is launching a blog series to ensure lively debate about the goals and impacts of the QDDR.  Beginning with the piece below from MFAN Co-Chair George Ingram, development experts from across the MFAN community will post blogs on the QDDR and the importance of transparency, civil society engagement, gender, ownership, and legislation to making U.S. foreign assistance more effective and accountable.  Check back here and on for regular updates!

lg_George-Ingram.jpgIt’s Time for Hard Questions on the QDDR

By George Ingram

The initial findings from the State Department’s landmark Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) are set to be released any day now.  The impact of the QDDR on U.S. foreign policy could be significant – optimists might even say transformative – and its effects could be felt widely from the halls of Congress to the villages in developing countries where U.S. foreign assistance programs aim to save lives and help build more prosperous futures.

At a time when complex global challenges demand that we get the structures and policies of government right, the development community must be prepared to respond to the QDDR findings in order to create a more effective approach to our foreign policy objectives.


USAID Announces New Personnel

Thursday, March 11th, 2010
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March 11, 2010
Press Office: 202-712-4320
Public Information: 202-712-4810

WASHINGTON, D.C. – USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is pleased to announce that the following individuals recently joined the Agency:


What do you think about USAID’s role in the QDDR?

Thursday, March 11th, 2010
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Today, Alyssa Rosenberg at posed two questions about the heightened media attention around the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in relation to the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), set to release mid-term findings by the end of the month.  See her post below:

“This may be an idle thought, but for those of you out there who keep a close eye on the State Department, I’d appreciate some insight into this question: are questions of USAID’s staffing and budget dominating the coverage of the strategy review under way there because they are the critical questions? Or because USAID has aggressive stakeholders and its roles is very much enhanced because of Haiti, etc.?”

Let us know how you would answer her questions by leaving a comment below.

Nearly 50 Military Officials Call International Affairs Budget Critical to Security

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
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Members of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) National Security Advisory Committee released a letter today urging Congress to boost development and diplomacy spending.  “Our military works hand-in-hand with diplomats and development experts in meeting the challenges and responsibilities we face around the world,” said General Hagee.  “It is critical that our civilian agencies are properly resourced so they can lead key elements of our national security strategy.”

The President’s FY11 International Affairs Budget request represents only 1.4% of the entire federal budget and less than 7% of national security funding.    Knowing the great need that exists for more funding for development and diplomacy, the military leaders close their letter saying, “we urge you to support no less than the Administration’s request of $58.5 billion for the International Affairs Budget.”

The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, of which USGLC is a member, identifies increased funding and accountability of foreign assistance as a priority action in “New Day, New Way: U.S. Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century.”

Click here to view the letter.

Reps. Carnahan and Cao Launch American Engagement Caucus

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
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Russ_CarnahanJoe Cao

In an effort to address the many global challenges the U.S. faces today through increased partnership and multilateral engagement, Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and Congressman Anh “Joe” Cao (R-LA) created the American Engagement Caucus.  The new caucus establishes a forum for Members to discuss best practices and lessons learned from international bodies like the United Nations and the African Union and partnerships made between countries to overcome threats.  A statement from the caucus reads “America’s security, economic, environmental, and moral interests are inextricably linked with those of the international community.  The United States must find creative new approaches for working with other nations to create a safer, more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.”

MFAN Principal and President and CEO of InterAction Sam Worthington noted, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the new American Engagement Caucus and Representatives Carnahan and Cao as we draw on our common goal of an American foreign policy that demonstrates in word and deed the desire of the American people to work in a bipartisan manner with all of our partners and with multilateral institutions to build a more just and sustainable world.”