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Posts Tagged ‘foreign aid reform’

CQ Article Quotes MFAN Co-Chairs, Highlights Hill Aid Reform Leadership

Monday, July 19th, 2010
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Howard Bermanart.kerry.lugar.giA CQ article (full text below) published today, which quotes MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram, gives a rundown of how the leadership of Congressional leaders Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) has helped drive unprecedented progress on foreign assistance reform.  The missing ingredient that could push reform efforts over the top, according to the article?  Presidential leadership.

To join MFAN’s effort to urge President Obama to show leadership on foreign assistance reform and strengthen the U.S. commitment to development, please sign our Open Letter to the President, which has already been endorsed by more than 70 organizations and prominent individuals.

CQ WEEKLY – IN FOCUS
July 19, 2010

Backers Say Time Is Ripe For Foreign Aid Overhaul

By Emily Cadei, CQ Staff

The earthquake that slammed Haiti in January also rocked the U.S. Agency for International Development and its brand-new administrator, Rajiv Shah, who were promptly assigned to head up the civilian U.S. response to the disaster. The experience of the next several months afterward was eye-opening and “helped me shape my agenda for reform for the agency writ large,” Shah said in a speech last month.

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USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Speaks on Global Health Initiative

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
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On Tuesday, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) regarding the president’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), and the steps that USAID is taking to provide effective, long-term assistance. Shah highlighted some of the work the U.S. has done to address global health challenges, and stated that the GHI would commit $63 billion to help countries achieve advances today, as well as reduce future need for aid. He also explained that the GHI will do “more of what works” and will focus on innovation and country ownership, especially prioritizing the needs of girls and women. Concerning the future of global health generally Shah declared, “health is, in fact, at the heart of human progress.” Check out some of the reactions of our partner organizations, ONE and U.S. Global Leadership Coalition after the jump:

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MFAN Partners Respond to Obama’s G8 Statement on Development

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
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Sarah Jane StaatsIn a new post on the Center for Global Development’s Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog, MFAN member Sarah Jane Staats reviews Obama’s recently released announcement on the G8, “A New Approach to Advancing Development.” Staats applauds the statement for putting a “little more meat on the bones” of U.S. global development strategy, but notes that the real challenge will be putting the policy directive into practice and tailoring U.S. development policy to reflect the goals and guidelines expressed in the announcement. Read a few excerpts and a similar post by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition after the jump:

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MFAN Statement: Praise for President Obama’s Development Leadership at the G8 Summit

Monday, June 28th, 2010
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June 28, 2010 (WASHINGTON)This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram:

MFAN commends President Obama for showing leadership on development with his statement at the G8 Summit in Muskoko.  We continue to strongly support the Administration’s efforts to elevate and institutionalize the idea, most recently articulated in the National Security Strategy, that fighting global poverty is a “moral, strategic, and economic imperative for the United States,” as well as a key component of our “comprehensive, integrated” foreign policy in a world of complex challenges.

We eagerly await the impending release of the development policy directive highlighted in the G8 statement, and we support the general themes of growth, innovation, partnership, and accountability that were affirmed in the document.  We are particularly hopeful that the directive will answer a critical question that has not yet been addressed by the Administration: How will the U.S. foreign assistance system be modernized to institutionalize the importance of development, make U.S. assistance more responsive to local priorities, and deliver transformative results for the poor people we are trying to help?

In conjunction with the release of the directive, we call on the Administration to take three important steps to catalyze and strengthen the reform process:

  • Fill the senior leadership void at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which currently lacks the full complement of Deputy Administrators and Assistant Administrators needed to effectively execute the Administration’s new approach;
  • Prepare America’s first-ever Global Development Strategy ahead of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in September, in order to set a strategic foundation for U.S. development efforts and deliver on the President’s pledge to announce “a plan” for how the U.S. will contribute to eradicating extreme poverty by the MDG deadline in 2015; and
  • Announce now that the Administration will work with Congress to modernize foreign assistance in a durable way, including by rewriting the antiquated Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective in support of global development and poverty reduction.

Partner Series: InterAction’s Mission to Reform Aid

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
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Continuing our series highlighting the work of MFAN’s partners in promoting foreign assistance reform, we will look at the campaign of our partner organization InterAction. InterAction is a coalition of U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) advocating greater coherence of U.S. foreign aid and development programs. InterAction has called for development to be elevated as a national priority, emphasizing its significance if our nation seeks greater engagement with the rest of the world.

InteractionRecently, the effort to improve our global development policy has become an increasingly important topic of discussion between Congress, the Obama administration and the aid community. At the recent InterAction Forum 2010, held from June 2-4, USAID administrator Rajiv Shah spoke during the opening plenary session, and commented on the agency’s commitment to working closely with Congress on foreign assistance reform. He said, “We have the unique opportunity to frame what development should be for the next 50 years. President Obama… sees development as a cornerstone of his national security strategy.” Shah cited Haiti as an example of the successes of evidence-based development, mentioning the great strides in improving access to clean water since the start of the post-quake recovery process. You can read more about Rajiv Shah’s opening remarks from InterAction and from our blog earlier this month. (more…)