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Secretary Clinton Co-Chairs First Annual OGP Meeting

April 18th, 2012
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As part of her recent trip to Brazil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to co-chair the First Annual High-Level Meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched in September 2011 by Presidents Obama and Rousseff, OGP formally welcomed 42 new countries into the Partnership and announced concrete commitments to prevent corruption, promote transparency, and harness new technologies to empower citizens.

A fact sheet on OGP states that since its inception, it has become a “global community of government reformers, civil society leaders, and business innovators, who together are advancing a new standard of good governance in the 21st Century.”

In her opening statement, Clinton said, “In the 21st century, the United States is convinced that one of the most significant divisions among nations will not be north/south, east/west, religious, or any other category so much as whether they are open or closed societies. We believe that countries with open governments, open economies, and open societies will increasingly flourish. They will become more prosperous, healthier, more secure, and more peaceful…By contrast, those governments that hide from public view and dismiss the idea of openness and the aspirations of their people for greater freedom will find it increasingly difficult to maintain peace and security. “

Click here to watch Secretary Clinton deliver opening remarks at the First Annual High-Level meeting for OGP.

To demonstrate how OGP is already making good on its commitments, Clinton pointed to Chile, Estonia, Jordan, and Tanzania—all of which have a joined a host of other countries in making public data available to citizens on everything from crime statistics to local budgets and procurement through new websites.

The State Department is estimating that nearly 1.8 billion people will benefit from the commitments reached at the first meeting.

 

 

VIDEO: CDR-MFAN Panel on Global Development

April 13th, 2012
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In case you missed it, see below for a video of the panel event MFAN co-hosted with the Consensus for Development Reform (CDR) on the George W. Bush Administration legacy on global development. To learn more about the event, click here.

 

 

Mark Your Calendars – Week of April 16, 2012

April 12th, 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:

 

Mark Your Calendars — Week of April 9, 2012

April 6th, 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 Statement: Agencies Report Progress on Obama Development Policy

April 5th, 2012
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April 5, 2012 (WASHINGTON) This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann, George Ingram and Jim Kolbe:

Six months ago, MFAN challenged the U.S. government agencies involved in development to provide public information about how they were implementing President Obama’s Global Development Policy (PPD), which in September 2010 called for accelerating foreign assistance reform. The answers we received – which have been posted on MFAN’s new “Policy to Action” webpage – suggest that key agencies have made concrete changes in line with the PPD’s focus on economic growth, coordination, country ownership and accountability. (Click here to read MFAN’s full policy analysis of the PPD)

We applaud the Obama Administration for its transparency in these reports, as well as its recent commitment to join the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and its acknowledgement of Congress’ clear interest in open government, as outlined in the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2011 introduced by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Howard Berman (D-CA).

The highlights of the agency reports:

  • USAID is now making long-term program decisions based on Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS), five-year frameworks that prioritize local needs and local accountability;
  • MCC has new Threshold Program policies that help countries make smart reforms to bolster their eligibility for grants from the agency. This new policy was used to support Tunisia with its democratic and economic transition following the Arab Spring;
  • More than 3,000 Peace Corps volunteers helped to implement the Stomping out Malaria campaign in Africa, done in collaboration with the President’s Malaria Initiative, by assisting communities and distributing bed nets; and
  • Through the recently launched African Competitiveness and Trade Enhancement initiative, USTR is helping to provide technical assistance to sub-Saharan African countries to enhance regional and global trade, while growing exports to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

We now have initial evidence that reform is beginning to make our development assistance more strategic and effective. We urge Members of Congress to take note of this progress, particularly with budget negotiations underway. We believe that reforming development policy and foreign assistance is critical in this age of tight budgets, because it will allow us to get more out of every dollar in our efforts to maintain U.S. leadership on development, capitalize on the unprecedented gains made against poverty and disease over the last decade, and help developing countries achieve self-sufficiency.