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CGD Policy Blogs

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A USAID logo on a cargo shipment

Optimism and Advice for Advancing USAID’s Vision for Locally-led Development: A Conversation With Randy Tift

I sat down with Randy Tift who, between 2017 and 2021, co-led USAID’s Effective Partnering and Procurement Reform (EPPR) process and launched the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI), under the leadership of then-USAID Administrator Mark Green. Randy is currently a Senior Associate at Oxford House. He’s also working on an in-depth paper on the past and future of USAID’s reform agenda, which CGD will publish in early 2022. Randy is optimistic about what he sees taking shape at the agency and has some ideas for how to advance Power’s vision. 

An image of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

“Challenge is our Middle Name:” Key Issues for MCC in FY2022

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.

An image of land impacted by a drought due to climate change.

A Hot Topic: The Role of US Development Assistance in Addressing the Climate Crisis

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.  

USAID Administrator Samantha Power speaks at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Power Play: USAID's Administrator Makes the Case for Global Engagement, More Focus on Effectiveness

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.  

An image of the White House in Washington DC

Renewing US Multilateral Engagement for a More Effective Approach to Fragile States

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.

A map showing MCC regional impacts in West Africa

Setting Expectations for MCC’s Regional Compacts: Country Eligibility Considerations

It’s also become increasingly clear that while regional compacts represent an important new tool in MCC’s toolbox, they’re likely to remain a limited part of the agency’s overall portfolio, in large part because of MCC’s country eligibility requirements. This blog outlines the limitations and poses some questions the agency will need to address when considering its next regional investments.

Mining construction workers on mountain top in Sierra Leone

5 Countries to Watch at MCC’s FY2021 Selection

On December 15, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s board of directors will hold its annual country selection meeting (the last of the Trump administration), identifying which countries will be made newly eligible for the agency’s funding. Every year CGD’s US Development Policy team highlights key issues the board will grapple with and predicts which countries the board will choose for compacts—large, five-year grant programs—and which it will select for threshold programs—smaller, more limited grant agreements.

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