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Archive for the ‘State Department’ Category

Rieff: Clinton’s “Muddled” Approach to Development

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
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Yesterday, The New Republic foreign policy blog, “Entanglements,” posted a piece by David Rieff examining Secretary Clinton’s recent speech on the Global Health Initiative (GHI) at Johns Hopkins’ SAIS.  Rieff discusses Clinton’s speech in terms of the Obama administration’s approach to development – questioning whether there is enough funding and bureaucratic support to realize the numerous goals Clinton laid out.  Rieff offers a critical review of GHI and other development efforts:  the decision to have three agencies in charge of GHI’s day-to-day operations; policymakers’ claims of development assistance as a tool of “public diplomacy” and a way to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the continued priority funding for military programs.  Despite the critical tone, Rieff raises some interesting points about the overall direction of the Obama administration’s approach to development.  Read full text of the post here and see key excerpts below:


Secretary Clinton Speaks about GHI at SAIS

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
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Clinton SAISYesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed a packed room of students and faculty from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to discuss next steps for the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI).  The speech focused less on the policy and implementation of GHI, and instead placed GHI as the next phase of American leadership in global health and, more broadly, development.  Clinton remarked, “What exactly does maternal health, or immunizations, or the fight against HIV and AIDS have to do with foreign policy? Well, my answer is everything.”

Clinton used the speech as a platform to get buy-in from the community for GHI — underscoring the fact that global health continues to be a nonpartisan issue that even the American public wants to support.  She reiterated the GHI’s holistic approach to global health prevention and treatment with a specific focus on outcomes not inputs, priority care for women and girls, and innovation.

Watch the full event here and read excerpts from Clinton’s speech after the jump:


100 + Businesses, NGOs, Think Tanks and Individuals Sign MFAN’s Open Letter – Deadline Extended Until 7/29 – Sign on NOW!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
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Thanks to your efforts, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) is happy to report that the response to the Open Letter to the President on the U.S. Commitment to Global Development has been tremendous thus far.  In order to make sure we get as many supporters as possible on board this important and timely effort, we have extended the deadline for organizational endorsements and signatures from prominent individuals until THURSDAY, JULY 29th.

If you have any questions or would like to sign on to MFAN’s letter, please contact Jenni Rothenberg, MFAN’s Outreach Coordinator, at or 202-464-8191.

Just to name a few of the signatories:

ActionAid USA


Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services, University of Washington School of Law



Foundation Builders -Nigeria

Helen Keller International

International Population & Health Services, LLC

Just Foreign Policy

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Outreach International

Peace Action West



Student Global AIDS Campaign

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wellstart International

World Learning

Check back over the coming weeks to learn about new signers and follow us on Twitter @modernizeaid.

You can take a few steps to join help us spread the word and get more organizations to join this important call to action:

  • Circulate the Open Letter
  • Download a badge for your Facebook, MySpace, or other profile to show you support more effective foreign aid and get your network to sign the letter
  • Tweet: “I signed a letter urging Pres Obama to increase U.S. foreign aid’s impact.  YOUR TURN! #ReformWithinReach”

New GMF Paper Creates a Model for a Global Development Strategy

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
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MFAN Partner the German Marshall Fund of the United States this week hosted a discussion on a new paper that offers a model for a U.S. Global Development Strategy.  The paper was written by MFAN Principal and GMF Senior Resident Fellow Jim Kunder and MFAN member Jonathan White, senior program officer at GMF.  The paper, titled “The Roadmap for a Grand Bargain: Comments on a U.S. Global Development Strategy,” draws from existing foreign assistance approaches and recent support from the Obama Administration and Congress for the notion of formulating the United States’ first-ever global development strategy for the 21st century.  The major distinction in the new model is that it fundamentally changes the way the U.S. approaches development – moving from a focus on inputs to a focus on outcomes.


MFAN Partner CGD Reviews New FAA Draft, Questions Sec. Clinton’s Rationale for Elevating Development

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
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In a new post on the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog, MFAN member Sarah Jane Staats, director of policy outreach at CGD, offers a reaction to the recently released discussion draft of the development portions of the “Global Partnerships Act of 2010,” which is the proposed title of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman’s (D-CA) much-anticipated initial rewrite of the antiquated Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Staats applauds three aspects of the working draft:

1) it appropriately defines the scope of “development” as being far broader than foreign assistance, to include debt relief, trade, agriculture, migration, environmental protection, arms sales, and all other U.S. policies that affect development;

2) it restores authority to the administrator of the U.S. Government’s lead development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and calls for the administrator to serve at a minimum as vice-chair of a new interagency Development Policy Committee (the chair is left at the President’s discretion); and