During a State Department Town Hall meeting, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed efforts by the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Assistance (USAID) to implement the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) since its release in December of 2010.
Foreign Aid Reform
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012” (S. 3341). The CBO “estimates that implementing S. 3341 would cost $8 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah released the Agency’s second annual letter, which according to a USAID press release “offers a progress report on major initiatives and events . . . [and] highlights how the agency’s recent efforts and reforms serve to integrate international development into America’s key diplomatic and national security priorities.”
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and provided a summary of the FY13 budget request for USAID highlighting efforts through the Feed the Future Initiative and the Global Health Initiative (GHI) including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
- Opening remarks by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, 18th; Committee Chair) expressing, among other things, her opposition to a proposed increase in FY13 funding for family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH).
- Opening remarks by Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th; Ranking Member) calling for, among other things, a revision and updating of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
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.
- Area: Congress
- Information Type: House Bills
- Organization/Initiative: USAID, State Dept.
- Issue/Condition: Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition/Food Security, Foreign Aid Reform, Water, Family Planning/Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health, Malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Congressional Budget Office – Cost Estimate of S. 1524: Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “estimates that implementing S. 1524 would cost $198 million over the 2010-2014 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized and estimated amounts.”
During remarks at the Society for International Development, Senator Richard Lugar reiterated Secretary Clintonâ€™s statement that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should â€œbe seen as the premier development agency in the worldâ€ and provided several suggestions on how U.S. development efforts could be improved, including:
– Independent Agency: â€œDevelopment must be an independent partner of diplomacyâ€ due to the inherent differences in mission and timeframe.
- Policy & Budgeting: USAID must be included in relevant policy and budget decisions and â€œmust have the capacity to evaluate programs and disseminate information about best practices and methods.â€
- Development Objectives: U.S. development efforts should be â€œguided by objectives rather than by how we organize our government to deliver development assistance.â€
- Leading Agency: A â€œwhole-of-governmentâ€ approach to development has benefits, but someone needs to lead, be accountable, and coordinate these efforts and â€œan integrated strategy can only come from an agency that understands development is a separate discipline.â€
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.
The report provides an overview of ongoing efforts in both Congress and the Administration to reform U.S. foreign assistance programs. Items reviewed in the report include:
- S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009;
- H.R. 2139, Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009;
- H.R. 2387, Strategy and Effectiveness of Foreign Policy and Assistance Act of 2009;
- The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR); and
- The Presidential Study Directive on U.S. Global Development Policy (PSD).
In response to President Obama’s speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit and the announcement of a new U.S. Global Development Policy, Representative Berman released a statement expressing his commitment to foreign aid reform and willingness to work with the Administration to turn the principles of the new development policy â€œinto legislation that will maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of United States foreign assistance.”