Thursday, September 30, 2010

Foreign Policy and Development: Drip by Drip Erosion of USAID

A recent Devex article summarizes some points of a policy paper published Sept. 28, by Gerald Hyman of CSIS. The paper outlines how USAID’s independence has evolved, and eroded, in the last three administrations, as well as in the current one.

"The rise of development in the ranks of U.S. national priorities is a double-edged sword. It is a major gain for the development community but it could also mean the weakening of the U.S. Agency for International Development as an independent agency, some experts note.

The development community, including USAID, would almost inevitably become more engaged in foreign policy and security issues as development becomes central to the U.S.’s national security framework, explains Gerald Hyman, senior adviser and president of the Hills Program on Governance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies."

See the short Devex summary here.

1 comment:

  1. This report is so well done it is scary. On the other hand I don't agree with the basic premise that the horror is all around the diminution of USAID. What is horrid is the greater shift in US focus, funding, and world view. This is acting from a position of defense -- so large that we have to protect the whole perimeter. It is a view that people cannot think qualitatively, only measure outputs,and that the whole energy of the US is that of a nation, a civilization being attacked. There is no consideration of

    1. defense dept's role in all this, only state
    2. still relying on Cheney et al's belief in entelechy, that US's way is the pinnacle of development; this belies the success and rise of China's aid (which is not even addressed)
    3. there is little sense that maybe USAID should have looked inward and improved and changed and NOT gone on the "aggressive" but should have stopped being a do-good, development is god's work perspective, understood how the world is changing and been PROACTIVE
    4. there is of course no reference to change in global economy rules which are totally opaque within WTO
    5. there is no consideration of funding
    6. there is a very good explanation of the "F PROCESS" with its 5 x 5 boxes and 407 subboxes that rule USAID now
    7. there is no recognition, even acknowledgment that delivery/implementation is where all this actually happens
    8. there is no comment that the world is much worse off now than it was at the beginning of these changes and internal fights

    WHEW, this a fascinating SNAFU!