From Policy to Practice
At less than one percent of the federal budget, U.S. development programs save and improve millions of lives that would otherwise be lost or mired in poverty. We support these programs not only because it is right, but because it is in our vital national interest.
Both Republican and Democratic administrations have taken important steps toward reforming U.S. development policy and practice, and still more work needs to be done.
Ultimately, the full promise of this Administration’s emphasis on more effective development rests with its ability to partner with Congress to enact durable, bipartisan legislation that reflects current challenges and cuts through the layers of burdensome red tape that have made assistance efforts too slow and too bureaucratic. In doing this, the Administration and Congress must focus on the following:
- Maximizing efficiencies by eliminating wasteful regulations, better coordinating and leveraging work with partners, and demanding clear results through better evaluation;
- Increasing accountability to U.S. taxpayers as well as people in developing countries;
- Codifying a shared Executive-Legislative vision for the U.S. approach to development built around sound strategic planning, greater transparency, accountability for results, and the flexibility to spend resources according to needs and opportunities on the ground;
- Ensuring assistance is responsive to local priorities and supportive of local policy reforms that will lead to sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty;
- Recognizing and institutionalizing the distinctiveness between diplomacy and development so that short-term humanitarian and political goals and long-term development goals are complementary and work together to achieve U.S. objectives; and
- Empowering and strengthening USAID as a 21st-Century development agency.