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Foreign Aid Reform

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Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act introduced in the House

Representative Ted Poe (R-TX, 2nd) introduced the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 3159), which would establish guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. foreign assistance programs. The bill would also require the Administration to establish and maintain a website providing detailed information on U.S. foreign assistance programs.

Access Representative Poe’s press release about the bill here.

USAID Administrator Shah and MCC CEO Yohannes testify before Congress on the FY 2012 Budget Requests

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Daniel Yohannes testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on the FY 2012 budget requests and future directions in foreign assistance.

USAID Administrator Shah testifies before Congress on the FY 2012 budget request for USAID

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah testified before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the FY 2012 budget request for USAID.

USAID Administrator Shah and MCC CEO Yohannes testify before Congress on the International Development Budget

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Daniel Yohannes testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the FY 2012 budget requests and international development policy priorities.

Representative Berman releases draft foreign aid reform bill

Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th; Ranking Member House Committee on Foreign Affairs) released a discussion draft of the Global Partnerships Act of 2011, a bill aimed at “replac[ing] the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which serves as the foundation for U.S. international aid programs” including those addressing global health. The proposed bill highlights health as a goal of foreign assistance and “lists 4 specific objectives in pursuit of that goal: reducing maternal and child mortality; preventing, treating, and controlling HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, polio and other infectious and chronic diseases; preventing unintended pregnancies and improving reproductive health; and strengthening health systems.” Among other things, the proposed bill would also require the development of multiple development-related strategies (both country and sector specific) and would restructure the multiple accounts that provide funding for U.S. development programs.

Additional Information:

  • Access a press release announcing the release of the draft bill here.
  • Access additional resources including an Executive Summary, highlights of proposed reforms, and a section-by-section analysis of the draft bill here.
Foreign assistance reform bill introduced in House

Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th) introduced the “Global Partnership Act of 2012” (H.R. 6644). According to a press release from Representative Berman, the bill would reform the U.S. foreign aid system and replace “both the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which covers economic, and development assistance, and the Arms Export Control Act, which deals with arms sales and military aid” The proposed bill includes specific sections addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning and reproductive health, noncommunicable diseases, water, and food security.

Senator Lugar (R-IN) delivers remarks on “Foreign Assistance and Development in a New Era”

During remarks at the Society for International Development, Senator Richard Lugar reiterated Secretary Clinton’s statement that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should “be seen as the premier development agency in the world” and provided several suggestions on how U.S. development efforts could be improved, including:
– Independent Agency: “Development must be an independent partner of diplomacy” due to the inherent differences in mission and timeframe.

- Policy & Budgeting: USAID must be included in relevant policy and budget decisions and “must have the capacity to evaluate programs and disseminate information about best practices and methods.”

- Development Objectives: U.S. development efforts should be “guided by objectives rather than by how we organize our government to deliver development assistance.”

- Leading Agency: A “whole-of-government” approach to development has benefits, but someone needs to lead, be accountable, and coordinate these efforts and “an integrated strategy can only come from an agency that understands development is a separate discipline.”

USAID releases factsheet detailing “USAID FORWARD” reform initiative

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a factsheet outlining USAID FORWARD, a reform initiative aimed at changing the way the agency conducts business. The factsheet highlights seven key areas including: implementation and procurement reform; talent management; rebuilding policy capacity; strengthening monitoring and evaluation; rebuilding budget management; science and technology; and innovation.