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Science-Based Approach Can Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness Of Public, Private Development Financing

Project Syndicate: Science and International Development Policy
Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America and professor emerita of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, and Kate Himes, foreign policy interrupted fellow and adjunct faculty at the Evergreen State College

“…A team of scientists and engineers, rather than diplomats and conflict-resolution experts, can provide a valuable pragmatic lens on what may appear to be a tangled set of political and cultural issues. … Science- and engineering-based solutions to global challenges have also sparked major innovations … Mark Green, who has just been nominated to head up the U.S. Agency for International Development, should bear [real-world examples] in mind. Green’s commitment to the ‘aid reform agenda’ has been hailed by organizations like the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition … To advance his goals, Green would do well to increase the role of science and technology in development practice, building on the work of the Global Development Lab at USAID, launched by Barack Obama’s administration. Scientific experimentation and technological innovation advance effectiveness and accountability through clear metrics of success and failure. … Evidence-based solutions call for evidence: results delivered, not resources invested. Original development solutions grounded in science are thus created in parallel with innovative monitoring systems that require program evaluation. The result is an efficient and effective use of public and private financing…” (5/22).