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Seattle Non-Profit Recommends Strategy For Improving U.S. Foreign Aid Efficacy

“[T]he United States needs a national strategy to clarify the goals of foreign aid, trade policy consistent with those goals, an easier process for small businesses to participate and support for international education programs,” according to a set of recommendations for improving the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid assistance released Tuesday by the Seattle-based non-profit Global Washington, the Seattle Times reports.

More than 40 development experts worked together to create the policy paper (.pdf), titled “Global Development through Aid, Partnerships, Trade and Education: Recommendations from Global Washington,” in response to a request by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. and Patty Murray, D-Wash., the newspaper notes. Cantwell and USAID Chief Innovation Officer Maura O’Neill joined representatives of Global Washington on Tuesday to discuss the report.

Among other targets outlined in the report, “Global Washington recommended that foreign aid be aligned with United Nations Millennium Development Goals, that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have autonomy from the departments of State and Defense, and that aid be based on priorities of local recipients and proportionally targeted to countries that are the poorest and most in need,” the Seattle Times writes (Heim, 7/6).

The paper offers “the first-ever regional perspective on improving the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance and represents the uniquely informed perspective of Washington state’s diverse and extensive global development community,” according to a Global Washington press release, which quotes Sen. Cantwell: “I look forward to taking this policy paper and recommendations to our nation’s capital to strengthen foreign aid and assistance policies, and I will continue to be a strong supporter of the important work being done by the more than 200 organizations in Washington involved in global development” (7/6).

The Seattle Times article includes additional comments by Sen. Cantwell as well as those made by USAID’s O’Neill and Yvonne Harrison, assistant professor of nonprofit leadership at Seattle University, who helped draft the recommendations (7/6).

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