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U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan Update
February 7, 2013


With the US elections over and Pakistan's general elections ahead, it's a good time to pull together news about US support for development in Pakistan. From a Pakistan angle on US Senator John Kerry’s appointment as Secretary of State, to demography and an executive order that could save children’s lives, the articles below will be of interest to Pakistan-watchers and those interested more broadly in US development policies. I welcome your ideas on how CGD can continue to encourage constructive dialogue on the US approach to development in Pakistan. Please email me, connect on twitter (@asowa), or give me a ring (202-416-4021) to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.


Alexis Sowa
Senior Policy Analyst

Senator Secretary John F. Kerry

The Senate recently confirmed President Obama's nomination of Senator John Kerry to be the next Secretary of State.  See here for thoughts on what his appointment could mean for Pakistan, especially in the context of Special Representative Marc Grossman’s resignation and the musical chairs in the 113th Congress. And to brush up on key messages about US assistance, see the Pakistan cheat sheet I wrote to help the (then) Senator prepare for his confirmation hearing.

Image: World Economic Forum

An Executive Order That Could Save Children’s Lives

In response to the tragic violence against polio vaccination workers in Pakistan, CGD Senior Fellows Charles Kenny and Amanda Glassman have a specific policy request of the US Government: make an explicit declaration that public health interventions will not be used to gather intelligence.  Read more about their idea here.

Image: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Pakistan’s Demographic Challenges

CGD Visiting Fellow John May shares his thoughts about two concurrent transformations occurring in Pakistan: a democratic transition and a demographic evolution.  With the country poised to become the fifth largest nation in the world by 2050, John writes that harnessing the socioeconomic benefits of this young demographic composition can “help shape the destiny of a great nation.”


Image: DFID

Nancy Birdsall’s ideas on “Raising USAID’s stature in the World”

In a recent opinion piece in Politico, Nancy Birdsall writes about Secretary Clinton’s commitment to make USAID the premier development agency in the world as a “promise in progress.”  Nancy discusses how Clinton has elevated development within, rather than alongside, diplomacy, and how she would like to see a more autonomous USAID.  A must-read given that many of Nancy’s observations were informed by following the US approach to development in Pakistan.

Image: Flickr user bethany.egan/ CC

Senator Richard Lugar receives CGD’s 2012 Commitment to Development Award

At a ceremony commemorating his receipt of the award, Senator Lugar was praised for his "guts to lead on issues like Pakistan, even when these were not popular." Senator Lugar was one of three co-sponsors of the 2009 Enhanced Partnership for Pakistan Act, and his deep commitment to Pakistan's development will be missed in the Senate. In his remarks, the Senator emphasized the importance of a long-term partnership between the U.S. and the people and civilian government of Pakistan. 

He also endorsed CGD's recommendation that Congress and the administration spend KLB over more years, stating that "Instead of a five-year bill we ought to be thinking in terms of a 10-year plan...Pakistan will continue to be a very important country, security wise for us, but likewise in opportunities for the development of human beings."  Read here for the full press release and here for highlights from the event.

Image: Pictured left to right: Peter Scoblic, Ed Scott, Senator Richard Lugar, Nancy Birdsall