Welcome to the inaugural edition of our new MFAN newsletter, which will be published bi-monthly to keep you apprised of our coalition’s work to strengthen the effectiveness and accountability of U.S. foreign assistance. We’re pleased to report that it’s been a busy first half of 2023.
At times like these when the demands on U.S. global health and development programs are acute, it’s imperative that we have a modern, nimble, and well-resourced development toolkit that prioritizes accountability and evidence of impact. That means:
Supporting evidence-based development programs, building on accountability and principles of monitoring, evaluation, and learning;
Utilizing new and innovative approaches to development;
Building and expanding the USG’s partnerships with new and diverse stakeholders, including national and local actors and the private sector;
Boosting financing for development; and
Improving USG foreign assistance policy and inter-agency coherence
Below are some highlights of MFAN’s recent work to advance these objectives:
We were pleased to submit testimony for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s March 9th hearing on USAID’s localization work and that one of our members (Bill O’Keeffe, Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy, Catholic Relief Services) testified at the hearing. The hearing provided important affirmation that there is bipartisan recognition of the merits of locally led development.
MFAN provided testimony on the fiscal year 2024 budget to both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on State-Foreign Operations. Our testimony focused on policy measures to strengthen the operations and programs of USAID, the MCC, and the DFC.
We’ve worked with the offices of Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Young Kim (R-CA) on the contents of the Fostering Innovation in Global Development Act (FIGDA), which was introduced on April 25. MFAN strongly supports the bill, as it will help USAID do more to finance and incentivize innovative solutions to development challenges.
Tied to the introduction of FIGDA, we partnered with Unlock Aid and the Federation of American Scientists in hosting a reception on Capitol Hill honoring innovators in global development. We were honored to have Reps. Castro and Kim speak at the event.
We partnered with MFAN member Publish What You Fund on research to establish an independent and replicable baseline to measure and track funding for USAID’s 25% localization funding target. USAID participated at the March 1 report launch, and we continue to be in frequent contact with USAID to press them to be bold and transparent with their localization work.