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GAO releases report on trends in U.S. and Chinese economic engagement with Africa

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled, “Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends in U.S. and Chinese Economic Engagement,” which reviews how the U.S. and China are currently engaged with countries in sub-Saharan Africa and examines: “(1) goals and policies in sub-Saharan Africa; (2) trade, grants and loans, and investment activities…

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: USAID Is Taking Actions to Improve Monitoring and Evaluation of Nonemergency Food Aid, but Weaknesses in Planning Could Impede Efforts

In this report, which was mandated by Congress in passage of the Food for Peace Act in 2008, GAO “reviews (1) USAID’s plans and actions to improve its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid programs and (2) the extent to which USAID has integrated its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid with program management.”

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight

In an effort to inform the discussion on the Administration’s plans to develop a “new global approach to hunger,” GAO summarized and evaluated previous food assistance reports with the objectives of “(1) updat[ing] U.S. agencies’ responses to GAO’s previous international food assistance recommendations and (2) identif[ing] potential oversight questions for Congressional consideration.” As a result of this evalution, the GAO “identified five issues for Congressional consideration to ensure more efficient and effective international food assistance: (1) coordination and integration, (2) needs assessments and market information, (3) transportation and logistics, (4) nutrition and food quality control, and (5) monitoring and evaluation.”

GAO Testimony on USAID Acquisition and Assistance

In a hearing before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), GAO staff provided testimony on the challenges facing the development of USAID’s strategic workforce plan for its Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) efforts. GAO stated that USAID “has shifted from conducting its own activities to managing acquisition and assistance (A&A) instruments – contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements – it awards to implementing organization” and that USAID staff are now “responsible for monitoring the activities of A&A recipients to provide reasonable assurance that the funds provided are used in accordance with applicable regulations and policies and sound business practices.” GAO found that “USAID lacks the capacity to develop and implement a strategic workforce plan because it is missing two elements: (1) sufficiently reliable and up-to-date data on its overseas A&A staff levels and (2) comprehensive information on the competencies of its overseas A&A staff.”

Representative Berman states U.S. needs comprehensive foreign assistance strategy

Responding to a Government Accountability Report (GAO) on Foreign Aid Reform, Congressman Berman stated that “the findings of a GAO report issued today prove the need for a comprehensive strategy for U.S. foreign assistance efforts”. The Congressman also stated he “would soon introduce legislation to ensure that the United States has a comprehensive strategy to reduce global poverty and promote broad-based economic growth in developing countries.”

GAO Report – Foreign Aid Reform: Comprehensive Strategy, Interagency Coordination, and Operational Improvements Would Bolster Current Efforts

At the request of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th), the General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an analysis of an effort initiated in January 2006 by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “to better align foreign assistance programs with U.S. foreign policy.” Recommendations made by the GAO to improve this alignment process include developing a government wide foreign assistance strategy, improving interdepartmental communications, and establishing a long-term workforce management plan.

GAO Report – Developing Countries: The United States Has Not Fully Funded Its Share of Debt Relief, and the Impact of Debt Relief on Countries’ Poverty-Reducing Spending Is Unknown

The report provides an overview of debt relief to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and includes analysis on how the U.S. is financing debt relief efforts and how debt relief impacts the resources available to developing countries.

GAO releases report titled “Farm Bill: Issues to Consider for Reauthorization”, includes section on U.S. Global Food Security Strategy and International Food Assistance Programs

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Farm Bill: Issues to Consider for Reauthorization” and included, among other things, specific issues to consider regarding mitigating risk in implementing the USG’s government-wide Global Food Security Strategy and concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. international food assistance programs.

GAO releases report on WHO reform agenda

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “World Health Organization: Reform Agenda Developed, but U.S. Actions to Monitor Progress Could be Enhanced,” which “examines (1) the steps WHO has taken to develop and implement a reform agenda that aligns with the challenges identified by stakeholders and (2) the input the United States has provided to WHO reforms.”  

Based on its analysis, the GAO recommended “that the Secretary of State enhance State’s guidance on completing its assessment tool for monitoring WHO’s progress in implementing transparency and accountability reforms.”