White House Foreign Assistance Review Serves As Opportunity To Reform U.S. Development Approach

Devex: Opinion: White House foreign aid review is long overdue. Here’s how to get reform right.
Mark Dybul, co-chair, Rob Mosbacher, co-chair, and John Danilovich, member, all of the Consensus for Development Reform

“…[E]ffectively reformed foreign assistance is a powerful tool that can simultaneously advance our national interests and those of the people we seek to help. But the particulars of the foreign aid review [– led by the White House –] are critically important, and we are concerned that a process that in the end renders a development strategy and budget that simply divides countries into two categories — friends and everyone else — is unlikely to have a positive effect on our national interests and could actually harm them. … We believe that [the creation of the new International Development Finance Corporation under the BUILD Act and the reforms and restructuring of USAID that is being undertaken by Administrator Mark Green] will make our development dollars more effective for those we seek to help, provide better value for the American people, and more clearly advance our broad national interests. While these are positive developments, there is a risk that the White House’s broader foreign assistance review will miss the mark in achieving transformative and lasting reforms, by ignoring the lessons learned from past reform efforts. … The administration’s pending review … holds the potential to reshape our approach to development and the benefits and value it provides. Our sincere hope is that the administration uses this opening to build consensus and drive those reforms in the right direction and toward success” (10/29).

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