Foreign Aid Remix: Yohannes and Shah Head Back to the Hill

April 24, 2013

MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah are heading back to Capitol Hill Thursday to testify together before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I expect Yohannes and Shah will sing different parts of the same tune: the United States is prepared to do more with less as it strives to fulfill the administration’s global development vision. But it should also be a remix of their joint hearing two years ago with questions on how Congress should prioritize among US development programs. Shah and Yohannes can hit some new high notes on how their agencies are being selective with aid dollars, sharing more aid data and doing better evaluation. They should also be clear about the differences between USAID and MCC. And let’s hope the committee members can avoid the low notes from two years ago when partisan spats (including some in Latin) marred what could have been an important development policy conversation between the executive branch and Congress.

Here’s a quick refresher on the issues and a reminder of what portion of US aid dollars USAID (35 percent) and MCC (2 percent) managed in 2011.

Source: U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook). FY 2011 economic assistance obligations. *Other includes: Peace Corps, Department of Interior, Department of Labor, United States Trade Development Agency, United States African Development Foundation, Inter-America Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Overseas Private Investment Corporation. (Thanks to Sarah Rose and William McKitterick for compiling data.)


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