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This blog entry also appeared on The Huffington Post.
President Obama has signed a Presidential Study Directive (PSD) – an order to initiate policy review procedures -- authorizing National Security Advisor Jim Jones and Chairman of the National Economic Council Larry Summers to lead a whole-of-government review of U.S. global development policy. White House leadership of the exercise is important given the convening power necessary to secure high-level participation by the more than two dozen government entities currently responsible for portions of U.S. development policy. Although the contents of the PSD are yet to be made public, I suspect it will be much like its predecessor PSD-1 which authorized a review of U.S. policy and organizational capacity to address homeland security and counterterrorism.
This is a joint posting with Sarah Jane Staats and also appeared on the Huffington Post
Amidst of a month of partisan battles on Capitol Hill over a Supreme Court nominee, healthcare and financial regulation, a new bill was introduced this week that rose above party lines: the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524). Senators Kerry, Lugar, Menendez, Corker, Risch and Cardin--three Democrats and three Republicans--introduced the bill as “a first step toward comprehensive reform of U.S. foreign assistance,” showing they are ready, willing and able to work with the administration on a set of deeper reforms.
Burkina Faso was the first country to sign a threshold program with the MCC and the second nation to transition from a threshold program to compact implementation. In CGD’s latest MCA Monitor Report from the Field, Rebecca Schutte examines the implementation successes and challenges of the MCC’s programs in Burkina Faso at every level of society
In this companion note to "Round Three of the MCA: Which Countries are most likely to Qualify in FY 2006" Sheila Herrling and Steve Radelet offer advice to the MCC Board on how to balance the increase in qualifying countries, the desire for larger compacts, and limited funding.
The MCC Board of Directors faces many important decisions in the upcoming FY07 selection round. Perhaps the most controversial will be decisions about whether to select Indonesia and Jordan to be eligible this year. The MCA Monitor predicts that it is likely that the Board will select both countries due to a desire to include more predominantly Muslim countries and reward political allies. In this note the authors explain why they do not believe either would be a good choice.
Last week the MCC Board of Directors selected 23 countries as eligible to apply for FY 2006 assistance, and 13 countries eligible for threshold program. CGD's Steven Radelet welcomed the news but questioned the decision to include for the first time two lower-middle income countries.