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Aid Transparency Bill Would Create Accountability, Ensure Effectiveness Of U.S. Foreign Assistance

The Hill: Getting the most out of foreign aid
Diana Ohlbaum, co-chair of the Accountability Working Group of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and principal of Turner4D

“…A bipartisan bill, introduced last week in the House … would require the president to publish comprehensive, timely, and comparable information about U.S. foreign assistance, and to ensure that aid programs are properly monitored and evaluated. … Only a handful of the more than 20 agencies that carry out overseas programs report their spending to the foreign assistance website [www.foreignassistance.gov] … The most recent Aid Transparency Index, compiled by Publish What You Fund, ranked only one U.S. government agency (MCC) as ‘very good,’ two (USAID and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR) as ‘fair’ and three (the State, Treasury, and Defense Departments) as ‘poor.’ … In the end, aid transparency is more than a matter of citizens’ right to know. It’s about harnessing data for good decision-making. It’s about strengthening democratic processes in countries receiving aid. And it’s about ensuring that U.S. foreign assistance has maximum positive impact…” (10/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.