We’re already a few weeks into the new fiscal year, but nevertheless it’s good to see the House Foreign Affairs Committee has plans to delve into the FY2022 budget request for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), alongside the requests for DFC and the Peace Corps. Looking only at the topline figure, MCC appears to fare well this year, coming in at $912 million. This is the highest request since FY2017 and equal to last year’s enacted level. But that topline belies a major recission of $515 million in unobligated prior year funds, which could have real implications for the agency’s operations now and in the future.
CGD Policy Blogs
With COP26 only weeks away, policymakers around the world are focusing renewed attention on the climate crisis—and the US Congress is no exception. An upcoming House Foreign Affairs hearing, convened jointly by the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact and the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber, will profile US plans to combat climate change through development assistance.
Changing organizational culture to embrace evidence and its use in decision-making is a long, hard slog. Over the last decade, USAID has made progress in that journey and—in many ways—has outperformed many federal agencies on fulfilling certain evidence requirements. But room for improvement remains.
Next week, Atul Gawande, the prominent author, surgeon, researcher, and—most recently—presidential nominee to lead USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his nomination hearing to serve as Assistant Administrator.
Getting the Best We Can Buy: Three Solutions to Improve the Use of Value for Money Evidence in Global Development
The need for effective evidence-informed priority-setting in global development is more urgent than ever, with widespread global challenges and reduced funding due to both COVID-19 related public spending and economic slowdowns. This blog explores three key barriers to using value for money evidence in global development and offers three solutions to overcome these challenges.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power appeared before House and Senate authorizing committees late last week to discuss the agency’s FY22 budget. It wasn’t surprising to hear Administrator Power make a case for strong US global engagement—including robust aid investments and continued commitment to humanitarian response. But she also demonstrated—in a number of important ways—a clear-eyed focus on development effectiveness. Below we highlight several issues we were glad to see receive attention.
Even before the Biden-Harris administration took office, they made clear that one of their top international priorities would be renewing the United States’ commitment to multilateralism. Within the international financial institutions (IFIs)—the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—as well as the United Nations, the US agenda over the next four years will be one of re-engaging with management and rebuilding coalitions with allied shareholders to advance priority issues and approaches. One of these priority areas will be improving the effectiveness of engagement in fragile states.
Governments, impact investors, and philanthropists are increasingly looking for innovative ways to address tricky development challenges. USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)—which celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year—was set up to do just that.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, policymakers the world over found themselves grappling with urgent decisions in the face of uncertainty. The pandemic had quickly turned people’s lives and livelihoods on their heads, and the data available to guide policy response was often incomplete or outdated.
Not only is Ambassador Power a high-profile pick who will bring clout and deep foreign policy experience to USAID, but the announcement itself also conveyed a clear message that the Biden administration is keen to elevate global development. Here are some of the priorities Ambassador Power has highlighted and how they will translate to US development policy.