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Transformational Diplomacy Still Transforming

* This is a joint post from Sheila Herrling and Sarah Jane Hise.
In a meeting hosted by InterAction on Tuesday, staff of the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance (OFA) provided an updated foreign assistance framework, as last reported by Sheila and me. There are some nice additions since the last round, including several recommendations from a working group of experts in development, diplomacy and defense organized by the Aspen Institute Global Interdependence Initiative. Most notably:
the addition of a category for global/regional issues;
clarification of the category “other USG agency contributions” over which Tobias would have coordinating but not budgetary authority; and
changing one of the basket titles from “reforming countries” to “restrictive countries,” to avoid the eyebrow-raising that the former titled inspired.

Uganda provides free ACTs for malaria

The Daily Monitor reports that the Ugandan government is now providing Novartis' artemisinin-based combination therapy, Coartem, free of charge in both public and private hospitals and clinics, going so far as to pass a law against selling the drug for profit. While I applaud the government's effort to increase access to such essential medicines among the poor, I can't help wondering how this will impact resistance to the drug, particularly in light of the frequent overdiagnosis of the disease.

GAO Audits MCC Performance in First 3 Countries

GAO's audit (pdf) of MCC operations in Madagascar, Cape Verde and Honduras--the first three compacts--is out. The report is LONG, so let me break out some of the notables in the report. Also, bear in mind that many of the findings and recommendations included in this audit have in fact been applied by the MCC in subsequent compacts:

    MCC Applying Lesson Learned in Tanzania

    In her latest MCA Monitor Report from the Field, Sarah Lucas assesses the MCA threshold and compact processes in Tanzania. Sarah reports out a pretty positive story:

    "It may have been a blessing in disguise that the country didn’t make the cut for the full Compact program in the first two years. As a third-round country, Tanzania stands to benefit from the lessons learned by the MCC and recipient countries in the early rounds"

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