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USAID Reform Is Moving In Right Direction

Noting USAID on Wednesday released USAID Forward, “a progress report on its three-year-old reform effort … which in the words of Administrator Rajiv Shah has the ultimate goal of putting ‘ourselves out of business,’” Bill Lane, the director of International Governmental Affairs for Caterpillar, and Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children — co-presidents of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition — write in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” “We applaud the goals of USAID Forward to modernize and strengthen U.S. development programs, and while every indicator in the report is not perfect, the reforms are moving in the right direction.” They continue, “By measuring progress and evaluating programs, they are learning what needs to be done to adapt and meet the challenges in today’s rapidly changing world, even if that means cutting your losses and admitting that something isn’t working.”

“Our international affairs programs, like all government programs, should be evaluated to make sure they are delivering the intended results,” Lane and Miles write, adding, “From results-driven programming to leveraging the private sector, reforming the way we do development helps to drive innovative solutions to global challenges.” They state, “The focus on innovations, science, and technology is to be commended as a critical way to lead to a cost-effective impact on communities and economies in the developing world.” They conclude, “While we’re not there yet, our hats are off to the men and women of USAID for holding themselves and their work to a high standard to ensure we are delivering cost-effective results critical to building a better, safer world” (3/21).