In the biggest step forward in US development policy since the creation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and PEPFAR, Congress approved legislation to establish a new, modernized US development finance agency.
CGD Policy Blogs
Sarah Bermeo, political economist and author of Targeted Development: Industrialized Country Strategy in a Globalizing World, on how rich countries’ motivations for development have evolved, what they mean for developing countries, and where we are now.
The United States needs a bigger and better development finance institution. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is an overperforming federal agency, but is currently far too small and outdated to fulfill its mandate of catalyzing private investment in strategic emerging and frontier markets. We’ve been pushing for years to modernize US development finance, while the timing for a new agency is ideal right now. The bipartisan BUILD Act creating a new US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) was introduced in both houses a few months back and the administration has signaled support.
Last week, Congress completed work on a spending package that funds the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. As far as development and diplomacy are concerned, the bill is an unmistakable rejection of the deep cuts proposed by the Trump administration. Here are a few standouts from CGD’s most-watched list.
Demand for development finance as a key complement to traditional aid is growing, but despite the impressive strength of the US private sector, the US government’s ability to respond—to date— has fallen short. The good news: Congress got the memo.
The Trump administration delivered its FY 2019 budget request to Capitol Hill this week. Containing deep cuts to the international affairs budget, it looks a lot like a repeat of the FY 2018 request. And with a 30 percent reduction in topline spending, few programs were spared. Meanwhile, buried among the rubble are smart reform ideas that run the risk of being overshadowed—or even undermined—by the depth of the proposed spending reductions.
In recent months, USAID has been working diligently to craft its approach to “strategic transitions,” framing the principles it will follow, the benchmarks that will help inform transition decisions, and the programs and tools it can bring to bear. This Thursday, in a public discussion with the agency’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA), USAID will outline its initial thinking about strategic transitions. Our recent paper, Working Itself Out of a Job: USAID and Smart Strategic Transitions, offers some advice to the agency as it charts the course ahead. Here are the main takeaways.