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Budget, Strategy Reforms At USAID Critical To Helping Countries Achieve Self-Reliance

Devex: Opinion: The toll of budget dysfunction on U.S. development leadership
Susan Reichle, president and chief executive officer at the International Youth Foundation

“…From shutdowns to delays, to other inefficiencies, the impact of a broken budget process takes an enormous toll on [America’s] ability to exert influence around the world. … Our counterparts on the ground question whether the U.S. government is a reliable partner and not surprisingly, it feeds into negative rhetoric about the lack of U.S leadership. Even when this government shutdown ends, budget paralysis will continue unless reforms are undertaken. … [USAID] Administrator Green has proposed bringing greater alignment between budget and strategy, which will not only lead to increased policy coherence, but it will help fulfill the vision of country self-reliance. This proposal, as well as other reforms, are now with Congress and deserve immediate approval. … America’s development leadership not only projects our unique values but is also clearly in our national interest … However, without reforms — including a more optimally structured USAID, a planning process free from endless clearances, and increased flexibility from Congress — American interests abroad and our partner countries’ development trajectories will suffer” (1/14).