Rajiv Shah promises U.S. aid transparency

A conversation between David Lane, President and CEO of ONE, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah on 16th September addressed the important issue of coordination in U.S. foreign assistance. Part of the Bureau of Public Affairs’ “Conversations with America” series, Lane and Shah discussed how best to manage the 26 U.S government agencies involved in development programs.

A listener asked a question about how the U.S. will address MDG 8’s call for greater coordination, consistency and transparency in donor funding. Shah recounted the Lael Brainard chart showing the “infinitely complex” U.S. foreign aid goals funding authorities.

However, encouragingly, Shah stated that the Presidential Study Directive and Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review are near completion, and will bring “a great deal of clarity to the system and allow for more standard setting and accountability across the board”. He also referred to a website to come soon which will track foreign assistance and demonstrate the categories of aid being allocated in each country. With a pledge to fulfil Obama’s instruction of transparency in all government departments, Shah promised USAID will soon be delivering “real evaluations and real knowledge”.

We are pleased to see aid transparency is a priority in the U.S. Coordination of U.S. aid will ensure greater transparency for recipient countries and for other donors who will be able to allocate their own aid better based on this extra information.

Watch the conversation here.

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