Local Leaders Report Positive Changes In How U.S. Government Invests Its Aid

“Oxfam is hearing that local leaders are starting to give the U.S. government better marks for how the U.S. invests its aid,” Gregory Adams, director of aid effectiveness at Oxfam, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, noting Oxfam “conducted extensive field interviews with citizens, civil society representatives, businesspeople and public officials in Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Senegal to find out” whether “changes in U.S. government development policies in Washington changed practice on the ground.” He continues, “For too long the aid that the U.S. government provided was not a useful tool for local leaders,” but “over the past few years, … a number of U.S. policymakers and political leaders have increasingly tried to reorient U.S. development policies and programs to make them more responsive to and useful to local partners.” He highlights “a range of policies designed to support and leverage the leadership of local partners,” and writes, “The fight now is not only to ensure that these reforms prevail politically in Washington, but also to help improve their implementation and accelerate their progress, in order to restore the United States’ historic role as a global development leader” (5/13).