Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

US Development Policy

CGD experts track US development policy and offer ideas and analysis to improve its impact on developing countries. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and Global Health Policy blog.

Rethinking US Development Policy Blog

 

USAID: Destined to Disappoint

The FY14 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee last week is a stinging reminder of the low esteem in which many members of Congress hold global development and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the primary federal agency charged with delivering US foreign assistance worldwide.

Send an Ambassador, Not an Envoy, to Khartoum

This week marks what some consider the tenth anniversary of the conflict in Darfur. Sadly, this is not the only conflict still ravaging the people of Sudan and South Sudan. As the White House is preparing to name the United States’ seventh special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan in the last 12 years, I believe it’s time for a different approach to US policy, one that puts the central governance challenges in each state at the forefront.

Why Khartoum Needs an Ambassador, Not a USAID Mission

The tragic loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Benghazi last week brought back all too vivid memories of USAID/Sudan’s loss of two dedicated staff in a terrorist attack on New Year’s morning 2008. (I was the head of USAID's Africa bureau at the time.) In the wake of last Friday’s attack on the US embassy in Khartoum, I’m pondering anew the rationale behind the official American presence in Khartoum and the Government of Sudan’s commitment to its safety.

Africa Doesn't Need the Pentagon's Charity - Why I'm Grumpy About DOD's Development Programs in Africa

This blog was originally featured at AllAfrica.com.

In her recent Foreign Policy column, "The Pivot to Africa," Rosa Brooks made a plea for letting go of comfortable old assumptions about roles and missions between the civilian and non-civilian sides of the US government, particularly when it comes to US civil-military cooperation in Africa. My plea is for an evidence-based discussion of US development policy and its intersection with US national security.

US interests will be ill-served if we merely move from comfortable old (and false) assumptions about poverty and terrorism in Africa to comfortable new (and equally false) assumptions about "whole-of-government responses" to complex challenges. While the United States should of course think and work creatively, skepticism and, dare I say, opposition, from civilian agencies to AFRICOM taking on non-traditional military roles is not rooted in turf battles but in legitimate concerns about efficiency and results.