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Partners Speak Out on MFAN’s New Agenda

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See below for a collection of quotes from MFAN Principals and Partners on the new agenda and how policymakers can build on already significant reform progress to make U.S. global development efforts more effective at alleviating poverty, eradicating disease, and driving sustainable economic growth in developing countries:

“When effectively delivered, U.S. assistance will accelerate inclusive growth, reduce poverty, improve people’s lives, support stability and build democratic governance in fragile states. Those results support American security and contribute to our prosperity.”

-G. William Anderson

“In this tight budget environment, we must ensure that U.S. foreign assistance programs are more effective, results-driven and accountable, and stretch taxpayer dollars to create lasting change for children around the world. Foreign assistance should be driven by local priorities, through consultation and partnership with local civil society organizations to best serve the needs of vulnerable children and their families in each community. These principles, included in the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s From Policy to Practice: Maximizing the Impact and Accountability of U.S. Global Development Efforts, underpin the critical reforms the U.S. government must make to better promote sustainable poverty reduction and build a stronger and more stable world for all of us.”

-Charles MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children

“ONE welcomes MFAN’s New Reform Agenda that lays out concrete steps to make the most out of the less than 1 percent that America spends in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.  Making U.S. efforts more efficient, more accountable, and driven by local priorities will help ensure that U.S. development policy is both sustainable and delivers results.  ONE looks forward to working with MFAN to promote these vital reforms and strengthen America’s life-saving work in the poorest places in the world.”

- Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director, ONE

“Over the last two decades, we have learned all around the globe what makes development effective: local ownership, a clear emphasis on results, accountability, transparency, and a lively partnership with other donors, civil society and the private sector.  The real challenge now is to effectively reform our own system of delivering assistance so that we fully capitalize on those best practices, and that is exactly what MFAN has been working so hard to achieve.”

-John Norris, Executive Director, Sustainable Security Program, Center for American Progress

“Today foreign aid is getting a boost in effectiveness. The time is now to bring our aid practices into the 21st century. We don’t drive cars manufactured the way they were in the 1960s, so why is our government still delivering aid built on legislation from the 1960s. MFAN’s new global development model delivers clear, practical recommendations for how policymakers can build on already significant reform progress in making the most of U.S. aid dollars in fighting poverty.”

-Ray Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America

“As an alliance of business leaders working to reduce global poverty, the Initiative for Global Development endorses MFAN’s updated policy agenda and its emphasis on achieving the most from our scarce government resources in the short-term, as well as creating a system that over the long-term delivers sustainable results. Our country’s approach to global development needs to be further sharpened to better measure impact, target resources to what works, leverage contributions of the private sector and strengthen poor countries so they can meet the needs of their own people, with the ultimate objective of transitioning from a relationship based on aid to a partnership based on trade and investment.”

-Jennifer Potter, President and CEO, Initiative for Global Development

“In our interconnected world, global challenges are American challenges. Alleviating poverty, creating growing, stable economies in developing countries, curing disease — these are goals that would lessen human suffering around the world. And because many of our security and economic concerns are globally linked, these very goals should top America’s foreign policy agenda. America’s overwhelming military power will not address these challenges — we need stronger tools for foreign assistance. The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s agenda lays out how we can more effectively lessen suffering while creating a more stable world — one that will be better for all of us.”

-Jon Rainwater, Executive Director, Peace Action West

“The reformed and strengthened strategy for U.S. foreign assistance not only increases the efficiency and effectiveness of American dollars spent overseas, but also ensures closer integration of development, environmental sustainability and national security interests.”

-Carter Roberts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund

“We have an obligation to ensure that we are using foreign assistance to achieve the maximum impact in improving the lives of the poor and vulnerable around the world.  This responsibility becomes only the more critical at a time of tight budget constraints. MFAN has built consensus among key stakeholders on an actionable set of reforms to modernize the way that we provide foreign assistance. A principle at the heart of those proposed reforms is that we ensure accountability for results both to donors and the people we serve. Now is the time to come together and adopt these crucial reforms.”

-George Rupp, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee

“Severe budget cuts in Washington to U.S. international assistance programs threaten to truly turn into ‘cuts that kill’ at a time of political instability, economic distress and rising food prices worldwide. The need for a robust, inclusive and effective foreign assistance system has never been greater. For women, the majority of the world’s poor and hungry, this is doubly true: it has taken fifty years for U.S. foreign assistance to meaningfully integrate gender into its programs. Now is not the time to step back.  This is the moment to grab the real chance we have to recreate a system that works for our own national interest and for millions of the world’s most vulnerable citizens. MFAN’s new reform agenda lays out a blueprint to make such a future real.”

-Ritu Sharma, Co-founder and President, Women Thrive Worldwide

“MFAN is a unique coalition with an important agenda to make U.S. global development investments more strategic, effective and accountable. Through sound improvements, the U.S. government can take great strides in helping poor people around the world while also advancing American values, economic interests, and security.”

-Noam Unger, Fellow and Policy Director, Foreign Assistance Reform Project, Brookings



One Response to “Partners Speak Out on MFAN’s New Agenda”

  1. Joe Ryan says:

    Greetings to those of you I’ve met! I haven’t had a look at your website for a while, but I just did read the update of “From Policy to Practice” and I reviewed the blog entries for the past twelve months. Here are a few quick notes.

    Accountability: Take care about calling for more accountability — see Andrew Natsios’s essay on the “counter-bureaucracy,” which MFAN’s blog took notice of last year. We risk a system-wide “work to rule strike.”

    Host-government planning: Referring in a general way to the “host country government” overlooks the tremendous diversity inside countries. A critical task of development assistance is to be able to tell the sheep from the goats, to find the reform leaders, and to support those leaders. In contrast, a national planning (or national aid programming) process is typically led by conservative bureaucrats, not change agents. Top-level country assistance agreements therefore need to stay on a general level, enabling assistance agencies to work directly with reformers.

    QDDR: Critical review is needed of a document that says that the USG will stop assistance to education and that domestic USG agencies have spare staff who will lead sectoral field assistance in low-income countries. Also, was it wise, from a bipartisan point of view, to put photographs of Pres. Obama and Sec. Clinton on every second page of the document?

    MCC and G2G: A critical look is needed at the deepening trend towards eliminating the provision of internationally recruited experts to work alongside reform champions to accelerate change (aka, technical assistance) and replacing it with budget support to allow recipient governments to do more of what they’ve been doing so far.

    Capacity Building: Do we know how “capacity building” (or “institution building”) works? Do we have a technology for assisting it that we are confident is effective? I think we need to have a fresh look at this question and to re-emphasize it in our development assistance policy.


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