US Foreign Assistance

Measuring the impact of changes to the US foreign assistance budget

As both the Administration and Congress debate the future shape and size of US foreign assistance, it is vital that they possess a solid understanding of the impact of their decisions. To contribute towards this evidence base, Publish What You Fund has launched a project to investigate the potential impact of future cuts.

US Foreign Assistance Budget, 2009 – 2018

The project will combine a deep-dive into the data and research in partner countries. The findings will be fed into the FY19 congressional budget debates through our strong network of US partners.

A key outcome will be to actively demonstrate how better data on foreign assistance can be used to improve decision making. A set of recommendations on how the US might further improve its aid transparency will be produced.

  • Research: The project will initially scope all available open aid data and analyze the political economy of a number of partner countries currently receiving foreign assistance. This will be followed by key informant interviews in Washington DC and each of the partner countries, as well as comparative research on other donor activities in those countries. This research aims to determine the potential impact of changes to the US budget.
  • Distribution: The findings will be written up into a main report accompanied by country-specific briefings. These will be distributed through face to face events as well as via our partners in Washington DC.
  • Transparency: Taking lessons from the scoping of available open aid data at the start of the project, we will produce a number of targeted recommendations for how the US government can improve its transparency. The aim of this is to enable both the government and others to access and use this information more effectively in future.



James Coe

James Coe

Senior Advocacy Advisor

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