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Archive for March, 2012

Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 26, 2012

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
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Every Thursday, MFAN will post a list of upcoming events for the following week. For more information about each event and to RSVP, click on the links below. If your organization is hosting an event next week and you don’t see yourself on the list, please email info@modernizeaid.net.

See below for a list of MFAN Partner events:

MFAN is co-hosting an event with the Consensus for Development Reform on Wednesday, March 28 to discuss the Bush Administration’s legacy on global development. Click here to learn more and RSVP!

New USAID Gender Policy: A Game Changer for Women?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
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See below for a guest post from MFAN Partner Women Thrive Worldwide evaluating USAID’s new gender policy, released earlier this month.

This March, International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month saw a bold change of direction for U.S. foreign assistance that could impact millions of girls and women worldwide. For the first time in thirty years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) revamped its policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment, which recognizes the integration of women and girls across all of its work including food security, health, climate and technology, and economic growth.  Now, any program that USAID works on has to truly benefit both women and men.

The reason this policy is such a big deal is because it fundamentally changes the way billions of dollars in U.S. aid will be designed, delivered, and judged. And as a major donor and global power, what the U.S. does on gender can both send a powerful message and reach millions of women through direct programs. This sets a good precedent for what we might expect to see in the future: consistent integration of both women’s and men’s needs and priorities across international assistance.

Rather than focusing primarily on ad-hoc or separate women’s projects, the agency will now integrate women’s and men’s needs into the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of all projects—a best practice that will increase the effectiveness of foreign assistance overall and improve the lives of millions of women, men, boys, and girls around the world.

The policy’s overarching goals are to shrink the gaping disparities between women and men, reduce violence against women and girls, and increase their capacity of women and girls make their own life decisions and pursue their own potential.

With this policy, the U.S. government has now explicitly stated as a goal that assistance will be more effectively used to advance the progress of women and girls. For example, agriculture programs will be designed to increase overall food security through empowering women farmers to have more control of their crops and by ensuring that they keep more of their own money. Further, everyone in USAID, not just a handful of gender advisors, will be trained on how to see through a “gender lens” and design better projects for both women and men. No contractor can get money from USAID unless they adequately address gender equality and demonstrate that they really know how to deliver on women’s empowerment.

We’ve fought long and hard for accountability and for gender to be systematically integrated into U.S. policies and programs, and we applaud this policy’s comprehensive approach to gender inclusion. But our work is not done. We’ll be watching closely to ensure that these good intentions are adequately resourced and implemented consistently so that women, girls, men and boys around the world truly benefit from this historic policy.

EVENT: Bush Administration’s Legacy on Development

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
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The Consensus for Development Reform and the

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

invite you to a special panel discussion.

The Bush Administration’s Legacy on Global Development:

Lessons for the Next Decade and Beyond

**

Wednesday, March 28th

The Naval Heritage Center – 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

With opening remarks by:

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on African Affairs

Featuring:

Ambassador John Danilovich, Former CEO, the Millennium Challenge Corporation

Ambassador Mark Dybul, Distinguished Scholar and Co-Director, Global Health Law Program, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University; Inaugural Global Health Fellow, The George W. Bush Institute; Former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

Gary Edson, Executive Director of the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund; Former Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy National Economic Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs

The Honorable Jim Kolbe, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund; Former Member of Congress and Chairman of the House State/Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee

Moderated by:

Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, Vice-President, Strategic Planning, and Co-Director, Project on U.S. Leadership in Development, CSIS

**

CDR is a platform for leading conservative voices to discuss and develop prescriptions for smart and sustained global development policy reform; MFAN is a coalition of international development and foreign policy practitioners, policy advocates and experts, concerned citizens and private sector organizations that remains committed to maximizing effectiveness and delivering results by modernizing our approach to global development.

RSVP to AMevent@modernizeaid.net

For more information, please contact Sarah Tansey at stansey@modernizeaid.net or 202-688-1089.


Mark Your Calendars — Week of March 19, 2012

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
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Every Thursday, MFAN will post a list of upcoming events for the following week. For more information about each event and to RSVP, click on the links below. If your organization is hosting an event next week and you don’t see yourself on the list, please email info@modernizeaid.net.

See below for a list of MFAN Partner events:

MFAN is co-hosting an event with the Consensus for Development Reform on Wednesday, March 28 to discuss the Bush Administration’s legacy on global development. Click here to learn more and RSVP!

 

USAID’s Development Credit Authority “Puts Local Wealth to Work”

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
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This blog post is part of a continuing series exploring how U.S. agencies are promoting economic growth in their development work. The Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, released in September 2010, set broad-based economic growth as a pillar of sustainable, effective development policy. In the first post, we take a look at USAID’s Development Credit Authority.

USAID’s Development Credit Authority is working to help meet the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development’s call to provide a new breed of foreign assistance. The PPD emphasizes the importance of emerging markets in driving development–elevating broad-based economic growth as a top priority. Looking past traditional donors and Official Development Assistance, DCA encourages entrepreneurship in developing countries where capital isn’t readily available.

“Missing private capital” can quash emerging businesses in underserved, finance-strapped regions. DCA works with entrepreneurs to attract loans through partial credit guarantees, sharing the risk with local banks that provide start-up capital for credit-worthy borrowers. Rather than providing traditional, U.S.-led aid, DCA places development squarely in the hands of those it seeks to help. DCA taps into local wealth to fund innovative businesses–ranging from water availability and clean energy to housing and microfinance – that foster sustainable development in the community.

The model has shown success from a business and a development standpoint. DCA reports that 98.25% of their borrowers successfully repay their loans–in Ghana, EcoBank continues to lend to seven of the eight sectors initially backed by USAID’s guarantees. DCA has mobilized over $2 billion of credit in 67 countries, and USAID has deployed Field Investment Officers to regional missions to develop alternative financing solutions.

USAID has collected more in bank fees than it has paid out on defaults ($10 million compared to $8.3 million). DCA stretches the agency’s budget for greater impact: “By encouraging local channels of financing, USAID is empowering entrepreneurs in developing countries to improve their lives at a minimal cost to the U.S. taxpayer.”

DCA reached its 100,000th borrower this year. Hear Hannington and Justine’s story below.