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MFAN Statement: Administration Chooses Not to Remedy Leadership, Coordination Issues That Ail Global Health Programs

July 10th, 2012
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July 10, 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:

The Obama Administration unfortunately yielded to inertia and interagency turf battles in deciding not to move leadership of the Global Health Initiative (GHI), America’s largest development program, to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), our premier development agency.

Transferring GHI leadership to USAID would have begun much-needed integration of our health programs into a more unified development structure, thereby strengthening our ability to take a holistic and strategic approach to alleviating poverty, fighting disease and driving economic growth in developing countries in the future.

We are concerned that our partners on the ground will continue to be confused about global health leadership and coordination, which will hamper efforts to effectively transition ownership of development programs to recipient countries. In addition, the practice of providing separate earmarks for development programs, which the Administration had specifically highlighted for reform, will continue to force agencies to compete against each other for dollars, rather than focus on cooperation and results. Viewed through these lenses, the Administration may have undermined its own landmark efforts to increase development effectiveness and accountability.

We cannot afford to let up on major reforms like this if we hope to show leadership and push further development progress in an era of economic and foreign policy challenges.


Field Feedback Series

July 10th, 2012
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Over the past few months, MFAN members have been reviewing the information on our Policy to Action microsite to better understand how U.S. government agencies working on development issues are implementing the President’s global development policy (click here for MFAN Co-Chair Jim Kolbe’s review of USTR and click here for Jim Kunder’s review of USAID). But if we are to read between the lines of the agency responses, we can see that implementation can break down between Washington and field programs throughout the developing world.

To better understand how the global development policy, and key presidential initiatives, are being put into practice in the field, we reached out to our network of implementing partners. These partners, whose field operations exist in countries from Afghanistan to Zambia, have spoken with local civil society to paint a picture of how reforms dictated from Washington are or are not bringing about real change for individuals, families, and communities suffering from poverty and disease.

This blog series will feature reporting from:

  • Oxfam America
  • Women Thrive Worldwide
  • Save the Children
  • PATH
  • Mercy Corps
  • Management Sciences for Health

Where applicable, we have asked our partners to provide further insight into how programs, such as the Feed the Future initiative, are working in countries that were specifically referenced in the response letters we received from various U.S. agencies. To read the agency responses and learn more about the microsite click here.


Roundup of #AidTransparency Tweets

July 5th, 2012
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In the interest of being transparent, below we’ve listed the tweets received through our aid transparency contest. Thanks to all who participated! Click here for a list of the winners and stay tuned for more on why aid transparency is important.

PorterMcConnell: #Aidtransparency, because citizens have a right to know what’s happening in their country. @ModernizeAid

MomsGetReal: @ModernizeAid @ONECampaign #Aidtransparency is crucial for ensuring incoming $$ goes further, helps people in need, with no hidden agenda!

*Semi-finalist karli_nicole: @modernizeaid we need #aidtransparency so we are humbly helping through partnership rather than inadvertently ruling by creating dependence.

NicoleCavino: #Aidtransparency ensures our $ benefits all-alleviates poverty abroad and creates business opportunities here at home. @ModernizeAid

USGLC: The more we learn about the good we do around the world, the more ownership we feel over our investment. #Aidtransparency @ModernizeAid

curry_nelson: @ModernizeAid: Loosen the blindfold: let us see your world. Efficient management means effective aid, and opportunity. #Aidtransparency

6t6qt: Need to globalize the defn of aid effectiveness. Enable crowd sourcing / collaboration by opening kimono.   @ModernizeAid  #Aidtransparency

maryrmendes: @ModernizeAid Citizens in #developingcountries know what aid their government is receiving & can monitor where it is going  #Aidtransparency

AidData: @Modernizeaid #Aidtransparency enables better collaboration and decision making

NoraInPalestine: #Aidtransparency is important so we can hold and be held accountable. @ModernizeAid

thehungerstrike: #aidtransparency is important so that we can all work together for greater good, instead of against each other for less. @modernizeaid

ONECampaign: #aidtransparency rocks b/c it ensures that we’re delivering the biggest impact possible in terms of poverty reduction. @modernizeaid

Redroserocker: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid Trans anything concerns me for so far the TRANS-parency campaign has been un-transparent & Sneaky cloudy instead

MarkShaw30: @ModernizeAid Make sure money isn’t being thrown away! Bring on #AidTransparency

fruitmmonster: @ModernizeAid #Aidtransparency Form my field experience cause n 1 of non-dev is lack of transparency from both govs and orgs.

UnaManoUnCuore: As billions of beneficiaries deserve better livelihoods, agencies owe it to all involved to @ModernizeAid & #transparency. #knowledgeispower

total_solo: Aid is crucial b/c it saves lives an prevents suffering and w/o #aidtransparency the potential of it is vastly undermined @ModernizeAid

AidData: @ComeAgainGod It’s a process, not an end goal. There’s always work to be done. It takes ALL of us to make #transparency work! @ModernizeAid

USADF: @ModernizeAid  Recepients can participate and direct in their own development #Aidtransparency

SGS_RFKennedy: #AidTransparency is req’d to assess effectiveness & IMPACT on #humanrights & 2 allow PARTICIPATION, key standards in int’l law @modernizeaid

*Semi-finalist StephPostar: We need #AidTransparency to increase accountability for all involved in foreign assistance programs. Knowledge=power @ModernizeAid

WomenThrive: “Women’s orgs report that without timely, complete info & #AidTransparency they can’t accessing critical funding. @ModernizeAid”

Bfry420: #AidTransparency is important work for influence, all meanings of the word, for a result, verification,& progress @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid

*Semi-finalist SeanKHiggins: #Aidtransparency enhances collaboration between donors and recipients and holds both accountable and responsible for change @ModernizeAid

DuncanMaru: observation drives innovation, #Aidtransparency drives effectiveness, a moral imperative to @ModernizeAid

*Grand Prize Winner nmcchoi: #Aidtransparency is a force multiplier. Helps us listen, learn, innovate, insist on results.  @ModernizeAid

freebalance: #Aidtransparency thru #IATI will @ModernizeAid will end #DeadAid debate, cut reporting costs, identify #aideffectiveness good practices

*Semi-finalist joemason733: @ModernizeAid @ONECampaign Why is aid transparency important? To silence the critics, ensure justice, meet desperate need. #Aidtransparency

sarahtlucas: #aidtransparency matters for learning what works and being accountable for what doesn’t @ModernizeAid

lixxyis: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid .so right . modernise now.

synisys: @ModernizeAid Empowers recipient governments to drive the aid process, and reduces duplication of efforts among donors #Aidtransparency

mearnyee: @modernizeaid,  the need is for global unity.  #aidtransparency will insure that global agencies are held accountable for funding & spending

KDCaulfeild: @ModernizeAid Hi, if we don’t have transparency we have suspicion & lies :D

trway1: @modernizeaid I think #aidtransparancy is important becoz EveryOne deserves 2see wats happening w/aid.

wholepoint: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid because one promotes oneness!!!

ChiquitaBlndita: @ModernizeAid The importance of #aidtransparency is vital to securing public trust and financial support for critical social justice work!

HighwayStarrrr: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid #aidtransparency is important for the simple reason that truth is paramount, especially with lives at stake.

ukmav: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid Aid transparency matters because it shows what we give goes where it is needed NOT to corrupt officials

PrettyOddrey: @modernizeaid We need #aidtransparency so resources find their way to assist those in poverty instead of sitting in greedy hands.

NikkyMiles: @modernizeaid #aidtransparency is important… the money isn’t meant for government but for people, we shall know w/ and how much of it goes

RFeddypoo: @ModernizeAid To help ensure that results are being delivered effectively and efficiently and thus, making a difference. #aidtransparency

cinwall01: @ONECampaign @ModernizeAid Sets in motion planning to never allow aides to be forgotton  while taking action now. All have a role.

yeEthiopialoga: @ModernizeAid  cos it’s a sign of commitment, accountability and democracy.

pacbrandeis: It’s time to @ModernizeAid because money well spent saves lives. We need #Aidtransparency to reduce waste, corruption, and gaps in funding.

jenna_strolls: @NGOAidMap @modernizeaid W/ aid contributions decreasing, #Aidtransparency is crucial so every $ makes as big a difference as possible!

AidEx2012: #aidtransparency so we can distinguish the honest & efficient aid from murky self-promotion at the expense of those in need! @ModernizeAid

WomenThrive: Why #aidtransparency asks @modernizeaid. If you can’t stand proud next to your aid in front of the whole world, then why are you giving it?

freebalance: Thru #aidtransparency, we will know where the money went & how effective it was spent, so @modernizeaid = discussing facts, not myths

*Semi-finalist Jon_Scanlon: #Aidtransparency is important because it’s 1 thing that 50+ bipartisan members of the House can agree on @ModernizeAid


#AidTransparency Winners Round II — Our Grand Prize Winner

July 2nd, 2012
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We wrapped up our Twitter contest on Friday and announced the last round of winners. Congratulations to Nancy Choi, director of products and operations at Development Gateway, for her grand prize-winning tweet:

nmcchoi: #Aidtransparency is a force multiplier. Helps us listen, learn, innovate, insist on results.  @ModernizeAid

MFAN agrees that transparency in foreign assistance is a “force multiplier.”

Here are our Round II semi-finalists (click here to see Round I winners):

  • joemason733: @ModernizeAid @ONECampaign Why is aid transparency important? To silence the critics, ensure justice, meet desperate need. #Aidtransparency
  • SeanKHiggins: #Aidtransparency enhances collaboration between donors and recipients and holds both accountable and responsible for change @ModernizeAid
  • Jon_Scanlon: #Aidtransparency is important because it’s 1 thing that 50+ bipartisan members of the House can agree on @ModernizeAid

We encourage you to follow our contest winners.

A big thank you to all who have participated! We had some exceptional responses that demonstrate the widespread support for transparency and MFAN plans to use this momentum to push policymakers over the coming months to take concrete steps toward more transparent foreign assistance.



Mark Your Calendars — Week of July 2, 2012

June 28th, 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

See below for a list of MFAN Partner events: