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.


SOTU 2014: The Developmentista Edition

This is a joint post with Erin Collinson.

President Obama will deliver his 2014 State of the Union speech Tuesday, January 28. We polled CGD experts to find out what they’re hoping to hear when the president addresses Congress and the nation.  Check out their oratorical contributions below and read about the development-related decisions and policies they would like to emerge in support of the rhetoric.

DAC Data Doesn’t Tell All

Global aid flows fell by nearly 3 percent in 2011 according to a recent announcement from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The drop in development assistance is considered a result of the global recession and fiscal-tightening as governments trim expenditures to balance budgets. Altogether, aid flows fell by $3.4 billion to a total of $133 billion, the first decrease in development assistance since 1997 (disregarding years of exceptional debt relief).

Up Next: Secretary Clinton Budget Hearings

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify this week before four separate congressional committees on the FY13 president’s budget request for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. The hearings will likely run the gamut of U.S. priorities in national security and foreign policy (all through the lens of budget austerity) and can be expected to hone in on hot button issues like Afghanistan, the Arab spring, and family planning.

The Value of 0.7% - New Analysis by a New Rethink Analyst

The Rethink team has a new addition - research assistant Jake Grover - who joins us from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jake will be teaming with Casey Dunning to support Rethink's continuing analysis of U.S. aid programs and all things reform-related. Jake has provided the following answer to the question of just what 0.7% would look like for the U.S. aid budget.

The New USAID Evaluation Policy is Not Getting Nearly Enough Attention

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis.

USAID’s new evaluation policy, announced by Raj Shah at a CGD event on January 19, and written about by Bill Savedoff already on this site here, is not getting nearly enough attention. It not only outlines a new policy. It amounts to fostering a new culture, of transparency and learning.

In a presentation on the new policy hosted yesterday by Carol Lancaster, Dean of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, Ruth Levine of USAID said the new policy responds to the “need to learn” and to “generate accountability”, noting there can be tension between those two.

Here are things to like about it beyond what Bill already highlighted – with some notes of caution (the “buts” below):