Opinion Piece Outlines Recommendations On How To Reform, Strengthen USAID

The Hill: There is hope for the future: Create USAID 2.0
R. David Harden, managing director of the Georgetown Strategy Group

“…USAID needs a hard reset. USAID 2.0 will have to build dynamic global climate and health surveillance systems, unleash private capital and talent, innovate, and partner more effectively. … First, USAID should build a Climate Resilient Early Warning System and Network (CREWSNET), modelled after its groundbreaking work in the mid-1980s to establish the Famine Early Warning System (FEWSNET). … Second … USAID 2.0 should build upon Power Africa to create a Climate Investment Fund that expands private sector solutions for renewable power, water, and sanitation by leveraging private capital markets, technology, and talent to African, Asian, and Latin American markets to begin mitigating climate impact and creating a new century for American leadership, technology, and trade. Third, Andrew Natsios, former USAID administrator in the George W. Bush administration, recently proposed an infectious disease early warning system (PEWS) to partner with FEWSNET. As Natsios envisions it, PEWS would rely on satellite imagery, market data, animal health, and other data synthesized to predict and track early pandemic breakouts. … Fourth, humanitarian responses to complex emergencies and subsequent stabilization efforts in fragile or post-conflict countries are an increasingly large portion of the USAID budget. The operations, response, and results of these response efforts need to be ‘hacked’ to better determine results and value. … Fifth, Raj Shah, former USAID administrator in the Obama administration, set up the Global Development Lab — an innovative idea that never really took root within the agency. … Finally, USAID and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should work more closely together for the benefit of both agencies…” (9/30).

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