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Archive for the ‘USAID’ Category

A Look Back at USAID’s Major Reforms: Shah Talks to David Lane

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
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In mid-September, USAID Administrator Raj Shah joined MFAN Principal and then President and CEO of ONE David Lane as part of the State Department’s “Conversations with America” series. The discussion, which aired just days before the Millennium Development Goals summit, centered on the development challenges and opportunities facing the US today. Still, Shah used the conversation as an opportunity to list the internal reforms USAID would be undertaking to help reform the overall aid structure.

At one point Shah said, “We have spent a lot of time listening and learning about how we can do this work better, more effectively. And the number one thing we’ve learned is we need to be more capable of supporting country-owned efforts and building real capacity through our investments around the world. So there are three good examples of this. One is in Feed the Future in our Global Health Initiative, frankly, across all the rest of the things we’re doing. We are moving much more towards a model a little bit pioneered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation where we’re saying, “We want to see strong country plans, we want to be supportive of those plans, and we don’t want to do things in parallel in a way that’s not visible to and in partnership with country governments, civil society organizations, private sector organizations.”

A Look Back at USAID’s Major Reforms: Policy, Procurement and Budget Reforms

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
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Earlier, we took a look back at the launch of the US Foreign Assistance Dashboard. Now, in recognition of the significant reforms USAID has already undergone, we turn to more bureaucratic reforms tackled this year. First up is the establishment, or reestablishment, of a Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning at USAID. Announced in early June, this was one of the first major reforms Shah launched. In a statement, MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram said: “The Bureau will restore the ability of USAID’s world-class development professionals to plan and execute innovative, 21st-century programs that deliver better results for the people we are trying to empower and U.S. taxpayers, while also contributing expert input into important national security and foreign policy debates that have major development components.”


The Modern Development Enterprise – A Look Back at USAID’s Major Reforms

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
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In advance of USAID Administrator Raj Shah’s major speech tomorrow, hosted by MFAN Partner the Center for Global Development, we’re revisiting some of the agency’s major reforms over the past year. Be sure to check ModernizeAid throughout the coming days for complete coverage of the speech, including MFAN Partner reactions. Also, look for us on Twitter as we live-tweet the speech by following @modernizeaid and retweet often!

One of the most exciting developments was the launch of the US Foreign Assistance Dashboard—the first comprehensive, web-based tool that provides information to policymakers, aid partners, and the public about where U.S. foreign assistance is going and what impact it is having in saving lives and helping vulnerable people build livelihoods.slide_1MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram said, “It is hard to overstate how important this new tool is to making U.S. foreign assistance more effective.  The Dashboard increases transparency in U.S. foreign assistance in an unprecedented way, and in doing so, it allows policymakers and aid partners to make more informed decisions, while also helping citizens here and abroad hold their leaders accountable for delivering results on development.”

Publish What You Fund, a valuable MFAN Partner, praised the launch of and commented, “The most important and exciting thing about the site is that it is the beginning of more and better things to come.  This is the first output of an important interagency aid transparency process working to develop a common framework and publish aid information, documents and data across all of the agencies providing foreign assistance.”

Our friends at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights said, “The work of the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights with Zanmi Lasante in Haiti over the last eight years has demonstrated that impacted communities tend to be the last to know critical details of planned international interventions.  Communities may not be informed of project plans or how to seek redress for any problems that arise.  The increased transparency from the Dashboard will allow those with internet access to gain important information, but it is necessary that information is made accessible in a variety of ways appropriate to each context, including multiple languages and formats.”

For more responses and reactions to the new foreign assistance dashboard, visit our blog here.

Shah to Give Major Speech on Development

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
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Tomorrow, MFAN Partner the Center for Global Development will host USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah for a major speech on development. Dubbed “The Modern Development Enterprise,” we expect to hear details about the agency’s reform agenda, USAID Forward, as well as his experience leading the agency over the past year. The event is now full, but will be webcast on the CGD website. Event details below:

The Modern Development Enterprise

Keynote speech by
Dr. Rajiv Shah
Administrator, USAID

Introduction and remarks by
Nancy Birdsall
President, Center for Global Development

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top of the Hill Conference Center
One Constitution Ave, NE in Washington, DC

This event is now full, if you are unable to register, please join us via webcast during the event.
or add your name to the wait list

Since being sworn in as the 16th administrator of USAID on January 7th, Dr. Rajiv Shah has taken a number of steps to position U.S. development efforts as a critical and dynamic component of U.S. foreign policy.  From taking the lead on the Feed the Future initiative to internal reforms within USAID, Dr. Shah has demonstrated his leadership in making the agency a cutting edge actor in development, one that puts renewed emphasis on partnerships, innovation and learning, and evidenced-based results.  Over the last 12 months, Shah also co-chaired the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and played an active role in the formulation of President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive on U.S. Global Development Policy.

***Please note you will need to RSVP and show photo ID to enter the event.  Doors will open at 1:15pm.Guests must arrive before 1:45pm to clear security. Those who arrive after 1:45pm may not be admitted.***

MFAN Partner Launches USAID Monitor

Monday, January 10th, 2011
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Today, MFAN Partner the Center for Global Development launched the USAID Monitor. This new initiative will include research andUSAID Monitor analysis aimed at monitoring the implementation of key reforms, including the Presidential Policy Directive and the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review—as they relate to the administration’s pledge to establish USAID as the world’s premier development agency. Like its sister the MCA monitor, CGD writes:

“The Monitor will focus on aid effectiveness, transparency, and the efficient use of federal funds to support U.S. foreign policy. It will track new initiatives begun by Administrator Shah as embodied in USAID Forward. It will pay special attention to the agency’s new approach to evidence-based policy and planning and will monitor congressional activities that affect its authorities and capacity to achieve development objectives.”

“With the increasing number of government agencies administering some type of foreign assistance, and the State Department’s adoption of a “whole-of-government” approach to development, the Monitor will scrutinize the role the agency plays in new White House initiatives such as Feed the Future, the Global Health Initiative, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.”

Be sure to check back for updates from CGD and stay tuned for MFAN’s benchmarks for reform.