Congress has officially departed Washington for the summer, leaving behind a lengthy to-do list for September. In the final weeks of session, both chambers clamored to advance spending bills for the 2017 fiscal year. Though draft bills funding the State Department and foreign assistance were among the last to emerge, both House and Senate Appropriations Committees managed to report out measures before the clock struck recess. So without further ado, here’s a quick rundown of what caught our attention as we sifted through pages of bill text and report language.
CGD Policy Blogs
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently took an interest in one key form of foreign aid—US economic assistance—convening a hearing to investigate the topic. We had high hopes going in and were pleased to hear all three of the hearing’s witnesses—Jeffrey Herbst, Alicia Phillips Mandaville, and CGD’s Todd Moss—champion the use of rigorous analysis, evaluation, and selectivity in aid to promote economic opportunity in developing countries.
With election-year events crowding out the legislative calendar, there’s only so many more opportunities for the Senate to show its commitment to development and its interest in improving US development policy. Legislators still have a week and a half in town, and we were encouraged to see the Senate Foreign Relations Committee fit in an important hearing on the role of US foreign aid in spurring economic growth.
For some time, we’ve been cheering MCC’s interest in pursuing approaches that pay for outcomes and encouraging the agency’s stakeholders to get onboard (here and here). Now we can applaud an important step forward. The agency’s new compact with Morocco, which both partners celebrated at an event last Thursday in Rabat, spells out the potential for a results-based financing component—a welcome development.
In an election year, it can start to seem like every policy issue qualifies as contentious. Perhaps that’s why the constructive, bipartisan discussion featured in last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the West Africa Ebola epidemic was so refreshing.
Dear Administrator Smith,
In addition to the initiatives you hope to institutionalize in the next 10 months, we hope you’ll also seize the opportunity to put USAID in the forefront of testing a new approach to delivering aid.
One of the biggest years for global development has come to a close, but it left us with plenty to look forward to in 2016 and beyond. Keeping with CGD’s annual tradition, we polled our colleagues to come up with predictions of what’s going to be hot and not in development (and otherwise) this year based on trends we saw in 2015.