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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 releases second annual letter

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.”

USAID Administrator Shah testifies before House Committee on Foreign Affairs on FY13 budget request

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).

Additional Information:

  • 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.
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.

CRS Report – Foreign Aid Reform, National Strategy, and the Quadrennial Review

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).

Statement by Representative Berman on foreign aid reform and new U.S. Global Development Policy

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 “into legislation that will maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of United States foreign assistance.”

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.