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Archive for the ‘State Department’ Category

QDDR Blog Series: MFAN Principal Ray Offenheiser on Country Ownership

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
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The fifth installment in MFAN’s QDDR blog series comes from MFAN Principal Ray Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.  To see other posts in the series, click on the following names - George IngramNoam Unger, David Beckmann, Ritu Sharma & Nora O’Connell.

Ray Offenheiser 1Oxfam

The PSD & QDDR: What’s in it for poor countries?

by Raymond C. Offenheiser

President Obama and his administration have emphasized the need for U.S. development policy and practice to support “country ownership”—the idea that poor countries and their people need to lead their own development.  As Secretary Clinton has said, “In Africa and elsewhere, we seek more agile, effective, and creative partnerships. We will focus on country-driven solutions that give responsible governments more information, capacity, and control as they tailor strategies to meet their needs.”  So how can the PSD and the QDDR interim report suggest ways to better transfer information, capacity and control to recipients?


QDDR Blog Series: Women Thrive Worldwide on Gender Integration

Friday, March 19th, 2010
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The fourth  installment in MFAN’s QDDR blog series comes from MFAN Principal Ritu Sharma, president and co-founder, and MFAN member Nora O’Connell, vice president — both of the leading women and gender advocacy organization Women Thrive Worldwide.  To see other posts in the series, click on the following names - George IngramNoam Unger, David Beckmann.

Women ThriveGender and effective development: Not “separate, but equal”; it’s “together, but different.”

By Ritu Sharma & Nora O’Connell

Each year, the U.S. spends billions on global development – and that money does a lot of good supporting programs that provide vaccines, help kids go to school, and help mothers feed their families.

The problem is that while these programs may look good on their own, when you put them all together, the system is outdated, fragmented, and uncoordinated.  Think of it like a computer you bought back in 2000 and are still trying to use today. You can get new add-ons – a new mouse, a faster modem, or a web cam – but the components don’t really work that well together and it’s a lot less efficient than you need it to be.


QDDR Blog Series: MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann on Poverty

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
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The third installment in MFAN’s QDDR blog series comes from our Co-Chair, Rev. David Beckmann, who is president of the leading anti-poverty advocacy organization Bread for the World.  To see other posts in the series, click on the following names – George Ingram, Noam Unger.


The QDDR and Poverty Reduction

by Rev. David Beckmann

Bread for the World wants a reform of U.S. foreign assistance that will make it more effective in reducing poverty.

The Obama administration has already taken important steps towards reforming foreign assistance.  President Obama and Secretary Clinton have made development and global poverty reduction a higher priority in U.S. foreign policy.  They have achieved increased funding for development assistance and added staffing to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  They have also launched the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative (which thrills us at Bread for the World) and announced a more integrated approach to global health.


QDDR Blog Series: MFAN Principal Noam Unger on the Relation to the PSD

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
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MFAN has launched a blog series on the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), the initial findings of which are set to be released any day. The QDDR will provide a piece of the blueprint for making U.S. foreign assistance programs more effective and accountable, supplementing other key actions including the Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy and bipartisan reform efforts in the House, where Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) is working on a rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act, and the Senate, where Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Minority Member Dick Lugar (R-IL) have championed empowering USAID and bolstering foreign assistance accountability.

Noam UngerA Note on Process – the QDDR and the PSD

By Noam Unger

The State Department and USAID will soon unveil the interim findings of their inaugural Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).  While the anticipated release is far from the endgame, it represents yet another salvo in an ongoing policy debate.  Given the prominence of global development within the overall focus for the QDDR, it is expected that the actual report – due in the fall of 2010 – will have plenty to say on how to bolster State, USAID and the MCC to engage more effectively in poor and fragile states.  As someone focused on foreign assistance reform, I will be reading the forthcoming QDDR interim report to gauge the extent to which this ongoing review may contribute to a coherent and effective approach to both stabilization and broader development efforts.


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.