The wait is finally over: President Obama has announced Senator John Kerry’s (D-MA) nomination as the next Secretary of State. Given Senator Kerry’s leading role in advocating a smarter approach towards development in Pakistan, his appointment could be a game-changer for the US’ work in the country.
CGD Policy Blogs
The House was expected to vote on the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 3159) this week but didn't quite get to it before concluding business. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), requires standard monitoring and evaluation across all US foreign aid agencies and would make the Foreign Assistance Dashboard a lasting—and required—tool to track US aid spending.
The State Department and USAID get a gold star this week for publishing a detailed plan for reporting all US government aid data to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) by the end of 2015.
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Niger are the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)'s newest eligible partners. The MCC board selected these three new countries--plus two new countries eligible for second compacts and four countries already developing compact proposals--as eligible for FY13 assistance. We predicted 8 of the 9 picks. The outlier? Morocco. The big takeaway: MCC is putting competition back into the compact proposal process.
Here are the decisions:
What were the most popular Rethinking US Foreign Assistance blog posts in 2012? White House development initiatives get a lot of attention. Major evaluation and learning efforts do too (think: MCC). Budget battles and the more troubling aid stories in aid get a lot of interest, too.
Take a look at our top 10 list below. We look forward to bringing you more analysis and commentary from our CGD experts in 2013. Leave a comment and tell us what you’d like to see more (or less of) in 2013.
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced a 923-page rewrite of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act last week. He first vowed to rewrite the bill in 2008 when he was chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Unfortunately, Berman has only days left in Congress and the bill won’t go anywhere before he leaves. Still, the draft captures years of thinking about the United States’ legislative approach to foreign assistance and offers a possible blueprint for co-sponsor Gerry Connolly (D-VA) or others to carry forward.
The race is on for FY2013 Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funding. The MCC board of directors meets December 19th to decide which countries will be eligible for FY2013 assistance. CGD’s MCA Monitor offers a sneak peek at the countries we think the MCC is most likely to select as eligible for compacts or threshold programs and why.
As Washington waits for a fiscal cliff deal, negotiations on the FY13 appropriations bills are moving. The deal is likely to affect the final numbers in those bills. But barring a series of continuing resolutions, we can expect to see minibuses or an omnibus appropriations bill once a deal is reached. What the State and Foreign Operations appropriations will look like is being negotiated now. And if the House has its way, the US won’t be fulfilling all of this year’s portions of its multi-year commitments for paid in capital to the international financial institutions.
The MCC will soon select countries that are eligible for FY2013 funding. This is the tenth time the MCC has used its indicators-based selection system, but only the second time it has required countries to pass the control of corruption indicator and either the political rights or the civil liberties indicator.