Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs


The Budget Is Coming: Expectations High for Foreign Aid Reform

President Obama is set to release his FY2014 budget request tomorrow and expectations for foreign aid reform are high. At the top of the list is a widely-anticipated overhaul of US food aid that my colleague Kim Elliott says could be a bipartisan proposal that shakes up the status quo (and saves money and lives, too). Meanwhile, USAID has hinted that the budget will show some reductions in country program areas that either no longer need USAID to continue or were too small to have an impact.  The request will also matter for the MCC, which has a record number of countries eligible for compacts  but could be facing near record low funding. And I’ll be looking for signs that the budget reflects the president’s global development priorities outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive, including a focus on economic growth and results, leadership in the multilateral development banks and progress on food security. More than anything, I’m hoping the budget request shows a smarter way to rethink US foreign aid than the across-the-board sequestration cuts.

I hope you’ll help us read through the budget request tomorrow and share your views on whether it meets, exceeds or falls short of expectations.

How Committed to Equity are Latin American Governments?

Latin America’s distribution of income and wealth has long been the most unequal in the world—but poverty and inequality have been falling consistently since 2000 in most countries of the region. What has changed in Latin America? Are the region’s governments more committed to equality than in the past? Have their tax and spending policies improved? Which governments are most committed? Which least? What policies and programs have been most effective in redistributing income? Are they sustainable? What is holding Latin America back from faster gains?