USAID Could Benefit From Reorganization To Better Address Transnational Issues, Opinion Piece Says

The Hill: U.S. policy must adjust to transnational issues
Jonathan Addleton, rector of Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan, and Alonzo Fulgham, executive vice president at VIATEQ

“…[S]ome of the biggest issues of our time are transnational, impervious to national boundaries and increasingly irrelevant to them. Examples include migration, social media, trade, urbanization, terrorism, pandemics, and environmental issues ranging from water to clean air to global warming. The diminishing importance of national boundaries combined with the flourishing of non-state actors … underscores the need to respond to some of the biggest concerns of our time in a different and more direct way. … USAID is one institution that would surely benefit from recognizing more explicitly the power of a transnational approach, perhaps reorganizing itself along largely functional, rather than geographic, lines. While USAID — and the State Department, for that matter — have long-established global bureaus, the institutional center of gravity of both organizations remains where it always has been, firmly pointed in a bilateral direction. Given the growing existential threats posed by global issues such as health and the environment, an effective reorganization of USAID might well start with the premise that the long-held bilateral country paradigm finally needs to be turned on its head, guided by a recognition that transnational approaches increasingly should stand at the center of its global mission” (10/18).

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