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GlobalPost Blog Examines First Progress Report For ‘USAID Forward’ Initiative

USAID on Wednesday “released its first progress report [.pdf] for USAID Forward, the major reform effort it initiated in 2010 ‘to change the way the agency does business,'” GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports. “With USAID Forward, the agency has put forth a new model for development very much defined by the language of business,” the blog writes, adding, “In the few years since the launch of USAID Forward, the program has initiated significant changes, including an effort to end preventable child deaths around the world.” However, “despite [the agency's] new emphasis on transparency and accountability, there were few details in the USAID Forward report about the agency’s progress towards reducing child mortality,” the blog writes, adding, “The achievements USAID did share are encouraging, but vague.”

“The report itself briefly highlighted several country-specific programs that have reduced, or are aiming to reduce, child mortality, including those in Afghanistan and Bangladesh,” according to “Global Pulse,” which adds, “And in his annual letter, also published this week, Shah pointed to evolving work with local partners to improve child health in several countries, including in India and Nigeria. But neither the report nor Shah’s annual letter provided a comprehensive analysis of program achievements.” The blog notes, “Non-profits such as Oxfam America and ONE commended USAID Forward’s progress report and overarching strategy to end global poverty. But they also pushed for more progress.” The blog continues, “Shah acknowledged that the USAID results were not ‘perfect.’ Rather, he said, they show ‘we are trying to learn and get better’ every day” (Miley, 3/21).