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Archive for September, 2010

Where Does My Money Go?

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
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In part to celebrate International Right to Know Day (which was Tuesday) MFAN Partner Publish What You Fund has worked with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Open Knowledge Foundation to produce an aid data visualization for the UK.  This interactive map shows how the UK distributed its aid budget from 2004-2009, breaking it down by region and international agency.  With transparency and accountability being top priorities for the Obama administration, this accessible, innovative graphic is a great model for the public to see how their money is being spent.

See a snapshot of the 2008-2009 spending below and click here to use the interactive features:

DFID spending

Though they note this is still a work in progress, read more about this initiative by visiting the Where Does My Money Go blog.  You can also download the full data used for the graphic.

An Exploration of Integration: The next post in our GHI blog series

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
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A Guest Post by Janie Hayes, Communications Officer, Rotavirus Vaccine Program, PATH

In Washington, DC, integration is in the air. It is a centerpiece of the President’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) and a common theme in congressional deliberations on foreign assistance reform.  Integration is receiving so much attention for simple reasons: the need to find efficiencies and increase impact.

But what does integration mean?  The answer can vary by context.  For global health it means looking at the critical underlying factors that contribute to good health, such as improved nutrition and access to safe water.  It can also refer to the continuum of care across a lifetime, or multiple services at a single location. For mothers and their newborns, for example, integrated services can include family planning; voluntary counseling and testing for HIV; the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; safe delivery; emergency obstetric care; postnatal care; immunizations and other newborn care; and attention to nutrition, including exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Integration may also refer to multiple levels of service, from the large district hospital to the hard-to-reach village clinic.

All of these options will require innovative approaches.  New metrics to monitor the outcomes of integrated services, for example.  Increased training for healthcare workers with new responsibilities. Donor coordination to harmonize reporting requirements.

All will also require the engagement of local communities to identify the best ways to ensure the initiatives succeed in local contexts.

One example comes from the small, dusty market town of Bungoma in Western Province, Kenya.  Bungoma might not seem the likeliest incubator for global health integration.  But there in the Webuye District clinic, community workers and the handful of maxed-out staff that run the clinic have been forced to think creatively about how to help the lines of mothers who appear each morning with sick children, filling the yards and forming a snaking line that spills beyond the premises.

Many of the children who come to Webuye have common ailments, like diarrhea – which can be treated simply if caught in time but can turn into a deadly danger if not. Years ago, Webuye had a dedicated ORT (oral rehydration therapy) corner – a small space with table and chairs where mothers would triage from the line to feed their children a simple sugar-and-salt-and-water mixture until they were well enough to go home.

According to hospital staff, when a large increase of outside funding for specific diseases made its way into Kenya and eventually to Webuye, the furniture from the ORT corner was transferred to a new Voluntary Counseling and Testing center — and children with diarrhea once again had to wait for hours to get help.  In the past few months, though, the ORT corner has returned, and is now located in the clinic near the VCT center. The program that has supported the ORT corner revival, implemented by PATH, has paired with a USAID-funded HIV/AIDS program in Western Province called the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance (APHIA II) Project. APHIA II is one of the great examples of how the U.S. government has learned how to expand its support for integrated approaches.  The project promotes healthier behaviors, including increased use of services for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and expanded use of services for family planning, maternal and child health, and malaria prevention. The diarrheal disease initiative has leveraged expertise and infrastructure support from APHIA II to help expand its focus on child survival.

Even more important than program structure, the ORT corners provide a forum for integrated education at the point of contact directly for mothers. Because mothers usually spend several hours in an ORT corner, the nurses are able to share education not only about ORT, but about other treatment and prevention methods for diarrhea. They provide information on water purification and sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, zinc, and vaccines. It sounds simple; yet strangely, this prevention and treatment education on the most common child ailments is rarely provided to mothers in a comprehensive way. It may be one reason why diarrhea remains the top killers of children in the world.  Integrated education, as well as integrated delivery of services, may be one solution for saving more lives by doing things just a little bit differently.

Many excellent examples of successful integrated programs abound within global health today.  Like the hospital staff in Webuye, there are experts in cities, towns and villages around the world who can help us find them. And we must. Millions of lives depend on it.

MFAN Members Weigh in on New Development Policy

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
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Noam UngerMFAN Principal Noam Unger, Brookings Fellow and Policy Director of the Foreign Assistance Reform Project, co-wrote a piece exploring the major themes of the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development (PPD) with Homi Kharas, also of Brookings.  The authors suggest that the emphasis on modernizing development and ensuring that US agencies have the capacity and authority needed to carry this out, as well as the preeminence of economic growth and partnership reestablishes U.S. leadership in development.  Read the full piece here or see excerpts below:

“The president’s policy, however, seeks to ‘reestablish the United States as the global leader on international development’ by ‘rebuilding USAID as the U.S. government’s lead development agency.’ This is significant because the White House included 16 different agencies across the bureaucracy to review the U.S. approach to development, which fed into the creation of the new policy. Additionally, in his speech on the MDGs, President Obama emphasized that development policies and strategies are about more than foreign assistance. To be the leader for development, USAID, must be able to guide more than just aid. To do so requires clout, capacity and creativity.”

“The administration’s strategy indicates a commitment to a more comprehensive and coherent approach to supporting development outcomes. To the extent that President Obama succeeds in truly elevating USAID in a manner that lasts beyond his tenure, this might also represent a revolution. If the administration’s shift in tone on multilateral cooperation translates into real resources for engagement through such institutions, and through cooperation on the ground, then this too could be a revolution. The degree to which these revolutions succeed through policy implementation will determine whether the U.S. can lead on global development.”

Paul O'BrienAlso this week, MFAN member Paul O’Brien, vice president of policy and advocacy at MFAN Partner Oxfam America, published an op-ed praising President Obama’s speech announcing the new approach to U.S. global development.  O’Brien argued that both the President’s speech and the PPD are right to separate development objectives from security and political objectives carried out by diplomacy and defense.  Though development may support these objectives, the new policy makes clear that development serves long-term US interests of a stable, prosperous world.  Read O’Brien’s piece here and see a few excerpts below:

“The risk with elevating development on a par with diplomacy and defense as a national security tool is that its true purpose–helping people lift themselves out of poverty–will get lost.”

“By “changing how we view the ultimate goal of development”, he signaled that future USAID budgets will focus more on places like those he mentioned–Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh–and less on places where funds are being spent now–Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

In redefining development as more than “aid” and promising a coherent development policy for his government, Obama committed himself to tackle the confusion in US policy.”

USGLC Conference: Power Panel Talks PPD

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
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USGLC Conference 1

At yesterday’s U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) annual conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and president and CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Daniel Yohannes came together in a rare appearance to discuss President Obama’s new global development policy. The term “whole of government” is thrown around a lot in Washington these days, so it was a welcome reality for the development community to see the United States’ lead agency for development and other agencies that are integral to AID’s success like State, DoD, Treasury and MCC come together to underscore the administration’s commitment to these issues.

In her opening remarks, Secretary Clinton said that they have been implementing the principles in the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development (PPD) since the beginning of the administration even though the president just unveiled the PPD officially at the United Nations last week.  She said that “we truly are elevating development to the highest levels of the United States Government” and added that we can expect to see the release of the long-delayed Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) in the next 30 to 60 days.

In describing the new policy, Secretary Clinton talked about the importance of mutual accountability and said, “…we are looking for results and we’re looking for results that are nonpartisan, not just bipartisan. We want to establish development firmly so that no matter what the political winds may blow, they will not blow over the fundamental concept that development is a key element now and forever of our foreign policy objectives.”

State’s Role in Implementing the PPD

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
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Yesterday, the State Department put out the following release outlining State’s authority and role in ensuring policy objectives for development are met with respect to the new Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Global Development.   Major responsibilities include: ensuring accountability, here in Washington and in the field; coordinating across U.S. agencies; and building capabilities to work in both stable and conflict-ridden environments.  See the full release below:

The Department of State’s Role in Supporting the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development

Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC

September 28, 2010

The Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development calls for the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power and charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to reinforce and complement one another in an integrated, comprehensive approach to national security.

The Department of State plays a central role in achieving the goals of the PPD. The Secretary of State has responsibility for ensuring that diplomacy and development are effectively coordinated and mutually reinforcing in the operation of our foreign policy. In support of the PPD and the National Security Strategy, Secretary Clinton is overseeing the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which will propose steps to strengthen our diplomatic and development capabilities to better meet our foreign policy goals. The QDDR will provide the blueprint for our diplomatic and development efforts by aligning policy, strategy, authorities, and resources.

Many of the activities of the Department of State are central to advancing the development objectives of the PPD, including:

  • Promoting responsible country leadership and enabling environments for development: Our diplomats have broad and deep relationships with presidents and prime ministers, civil society activists and local citizens. They are uniquely placed to build stronger partnerships in support of development outcomes. Bilaterally, they are central to promoting policy reform and innovations; multilaterally, they mobilize contributions and coordinate efforts both regionally and globally to promote international policy agreements and standards that provide the basis for sound political and economic governance. The Department of State works to advance U.S. Government global development by, for example:
    • Championing human rights and democratic governance around the world;
    • Establishing global standards and norms that address key barriers to development such as corruption, transparency, and poor policy and regulatory regimes;
    • Supporting scientific advancement, energy, and economic policy, and strengthening their contribution to economic growth and poverty reduction;
    • Negotiating and enforcing international treaties that preserve natural resources and the global commons; and
    • Elevating the status of women and girls.
  • Ensuring coherence of U.S. efforts: U.S. engagement with foreign countries is based on a whole of government approach that leverages the resources and expertise of a wide range of U.S. Government agencies and institutions. In the field, the Chief of Mission is the President’s representative and acts as CEO of the mission, driving policy priorities, balancing competing demands, and ensuring coherence across our diverse efforts. In Washington, the Department of State plays a leading role in coordinating the administration’s major development initiatives: the Global Health Initiative, Feed the Future, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.
  • Coordinating U.S. bilateral foreign assistance efforts. The Secretary of State coordinates a foreign assistance budget totaling nearly $37 billion in FY 2010. The Department of State has launched, and will further institutionalize through the QDDR, an ambitious effort to deploy our foreign assistance consistent with principles of aid effectiveness including: country ownership and mutual responsibility; sustainability; cooperation, including with other bilateral donors, multilateral and nongovernmental organizations; accountability; and gender equality.
  • Building sustainable security sector capabilities. The Department of State oversees civilian efforts to support partner nations’ provision of security, safety, and justice in a way that is transparent, accountable to civilian authority, and responsive to the needs of the public. This capacity is an essential underpinning of development progress, by promoting stability; supporting conflict mitigation, management, and reconciliation; strengthening the rule of law; and enhancing transnational and local crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement.
  • Integrating capabilities in complex security environments. The Department of State develops integrated strategies in stabilization and post-crisis situations, tailored to specific contexts, balancing military and civilian power, and linking short-term interventions with long-term development goals. For example, in Afghanistan, U.S. diplomats and development personnel work alongside our military forces in the critical areas where the majority of U.S. combat forces are operating, partnering with Afghans to enhance the capacity of national and sub-national government institutions and rehabilitate Afghanistan’s key economic sectors. Their work helps to advance short-term stabilization objectives while supporting Afghans on a path toward long-term and sustainable economic, social, and political development.

As Secretary Clinton has said, our development efforts must be viewed and measured not in terms of charity, but as means to empower citizens, institutions, and societies to meet their own needs and sustain their own development and security progress. By supporting developing countries in their efforts to become prosperous, capable, democratic societies that can ensure the security and welfare of their citizens, the Department of State will increase the number of countries that can act as responsible partners with the United States in international affairs, and help to make Americans safer and more prosperous at home.