Friday, January 11, 2019 – UAA and DACOR will honor the prestigious Service to America Medal (Sammies) 2018 Winner for National Security and International Affairs – USAID’s Andrew M. Herscowitz and the Power Africa Team. Join us for lunch at DACOR to meet Andy Herscowitz and hear about this important USAID program.
Monday, March 11, 2019 – Tony Barclay, widely admired former DAI CEO and Board Member/Chair of several Washington area development organizations, will speak at DACOR on the future of USAID from the contractors’ viewpoint. Barclay is also the author of “50 Years of Development: How Private Companies Adapt and Deliver”.
UAA Annual General Meeting
The Ninth UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on October 26, 2018, at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. The meeting was organized around four topics:
1) USAID’s role in the United States government’s response to fragile situations with a panel discussion by Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator Tom Staal; Brigadier General (Ret.) Tim McAfee, former Deputy Director of J5 Strategy and Plans at United States Africa Command (AFRICOM); Patricia Haslach, former Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; and panel moderator Ambassador James Michel, UAA;
2) The UAA-sponsored history of USAID’s 60 years of development experience, with a conversation between John Norris, author, and Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD);
3) The UAA’s future with a discussion among the membership;
4) USAID reform remarks by USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Policy Planning and Learning, Jim Richardson. USAID Administrator
Mark Green also delivered brief remarks.
140 people attended the meeting, including UAA members, speakers, and guests. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to meet with friends and former colleagues and to interact with speakers and guests from USAID, CGD and other collaborating organizations.
Become a UAA Mentor
This is an opportunity for you to participate in a challenging but highly rewarding program that contributes meaningfully to the success of USAID through field staff strengthening. The UAA/USAID Mentoring Program has been expanded over the past several years to include partnering arrangements with several bureaus including Africa, E&E, PPL, LAC and GH. UAA’s purpose in supporting the program is to contribute to the development of the next generation of Agency leaders at all levels, including recent recruits and seasoned veterans up to the Mission Director level. To date seven cohorts of matched mentors/mentees (just over 100 pairs) have been trained and mobilized. USAID is very pleased with results of the program to date.
This is a rewarding and enjoyable activity and will keep you engaged and up to speed with what is happening in the field and the evolution of Agency policy. Excellent training is provided to the mentors and the mentees at the start of the program. We sincerely hope that those of you who are interested will respond. If you are interested, please send all responses to Roberta Mahoney firstname.lastname@example.org or Rose Rakas email@example.com. You will immediately receive a brief profile document to apply.
USAID HISTORY PROJECT UPDATE
As reported at the AGM and in monthly UAA Newsletters, the USAID History Project is well underway. Our author John Norris has now completed six of the eighteen months needed to prepare a finished manuscript. He has done vast amounts of research and collected many hundreds of pages of valuable material. He has read every one of the more than a hundred oral histories of retired USAID staff, perused the relevant documents available online in USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC), read all the relevant USAID-related news clippings he could find, read many – but not yet all – of the many published books on aspects of USAID’s work, and drawn on many other sources as well. He has now begin to refine the material, starting to turn it into chapters while also working on a book proposal to shop to publishers.
As noted last month, Presidential libraries are important repository of key documents. Two UAA members in the Boston area have done valuable research for John in the JFK Library, and Carol Peasley has been in Texas recently to dig into the LBJ and Bush presidential libraries. We repeat our request – if you live near a Presidential library and would like to help John’s research, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once again, we want to thank our generous UAA members for their tremendous support for the project. About $210,000 has been received from more than 150 donors. We continue to encourage contributions to be sure the project can be completed and to promote various post-publication educational activities drawing on the book. Moreover, we believe that the widest possible UAA member participation – at whatever dollar level – in this important project is a key to its ultimate success.
If you have not contributed, please do so now by sending a check payable to the “UAA/USAID History Project” to the UAA/USAID History Project, c/o DACOR, 4th Floor, 1801 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. You will receive a grateful acknowledgment from the UAA co-chairs and a receipt for tax purposes.
2018 UAA Membership Survey Results
There was a 52% increase in participation of UAA registered members in the 2018 survey, compared to 2017. Participation continued to be about evenly divided between DC area and outside of DC area residents.
The results show a stable organization: the same features of the newsletter and the Website continue to be the most popular; the same events continue to be the most popular; and the reasons for attending events or not are also similar year over year. Comments also show a continuing interest in activities outside the DC area.
A new question was asked this year about our process for electing Board members. Among those who answered, the current process was overwhelmingly supported.
We also inquired about member interest in participating in public speaking, mentoring, committee activities related to our six goals, the Annual General Meeting committee, and the Board. Those working with each of these groups are reviewing these expressions of interest and will be contacting respondents directly. The full report on this survey may be found here.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the UAA’s most important event each year. Accordingly, the Executive Committee greatly values your feedback on the event. The results of our inquiries on the AGM are available here for your review. To see them, click on the report title: 2017 AGM Evaluation Summary and 2017 AGM Non-Attendee Summary.
Annual Survey of the UAA Membership
As it does every year, in January, the UAA sent a survey document to all of its members. The purpose of the survey was to understand better how well the organization is serving the needs and interests of its member constituents. By clicking here, you can read a summary of the survey results, as brilliantly composed by Carol Dabbs.
UAA 2017-19 Strategic Plan
Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: The UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2017-2019. This statement provides a medium-term guide for the work of the UAA. It is intended to be a working document that will be reviewed and revised from time to time to reflect evolving circumstances. Members are invited to provide comments and suggestions on the goals and implementing actions at any time.
Bibliography of USAID Authors
November ’18 Update!
After the October, 2018 edition of the Bibliography of USAID Authors was announced in the prior UAA newsletter, John P received suggestions to add a rash of new (and old) books. Hence, this November, 2018 edition includes 7 books about Asia by David Sternberg, 3 books about the effect of culture on development by former LAC mission director Larry Harrison, 2 books by Theodore (Ted) Weihe (coops and chocolate), a new book of fiction set in Somalia by Mark Wentling, a new book on CORDS by Stephen Young. and a history of USAID development aid in Nepal from 1951-1991. Perhaps most interestingly, we have a new piece of fiction, Two Lies and a Diamond, set in Ireland and written by Hazel Kevlihan, the teenage daughter of FSO Laurel Fain.
To view the updated bibliography, click here.
Please send information on any other new (or older) books by USAID authors to Jpielemeie@aol.com.
UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:
The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues is a series of interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals.
Below are summaries of the most recent events. Each includes a link either to an audio or video of the event. Being able to listen or watch an event should be of particular interest to Association members who live outside the DC area.
New! On Monday, December 3, 2018, at a UAA Development Dialogue at DACOR, former senior USAID staff member Larry Garber offered a presentation on “Zimbabwe Deja Vu: An International Observer Returns after 33 Years“. Garber was the co-leader of the International Republican Institute/National Democratic Institute Zimbabwe International Election Observer Mission. Hear the audio of his presentation and the Q&A.
On November 5, 2018, Larry Cooley, highly respected long-time leader of the development community, founder and emeritus president of the consulting firm MSI and also current President of the Society for International Development, spoke about The Changing Role of International Development in Achieving Sustainable Outcomes at Scale. Hear the presentation and the following discussion here.
Rick Barton and Aaron Williams
On September 14, 2018, Ambassador Rick Barton and former Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams led a conversation with a very large and appreciative audience at DACOR focused on Rick’s stimulating new book Peace Works – America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World. Click here for the audio of this event.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Walter Wurfel, Malcolm Baldwin, Paul Deuster, John Koehring, Jack Stone, John Heard, Bob Huddleston, Douglas Ramsey, Richard Zenger, Princeton Lyman, and Peter Askin. A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in the In Memoriam section.
If you would like to provide a brief obituary or personal tribute for these former colleagues and friends to be posted on this website or if you know of other people who have passed way and have not been noted here, please send the information to: email@example.com Attn: Memorials.
UAA is your organization. Your getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. Below are just some of the ways you can participate:
- UAA Speakers Roster
The UAA has a roster of some 65 alumni around the country who regularly speak to community groups, universities and others about a range of international development and foreign affairs issues, and who are available for additional engagements. Further information about the UAA Speakers Bureau can be found in the attached brochure. To become a member of the Speakers’ Roster is simple. Just fill in the information here and press the “send” button. If you are interested in finding USAID alumni in your area to speak at an event or to consult about a future program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UAA Committees
UAA has five committees. These include: Membership Services, Public Outreach, Strengthening USAID, Development Issues and Finance and Administration. You can find descriptions of the committees here. Your ideas, involvement and energy would be very welcomed in any one of these.
- Alumni Groupings
In several regions around the country (and, perhaps, eventually abroad), people have organized local USAID alumni groups. Find out about these and get contact information about them here.
Do you belong to a local alumni group not posted here? Please share it with all of us. Send information to email@example.com Attn: Alumni Groupings.
- Job and Volunteer Opportunities
Alumni looking for work? On request, UAA vets and posts USAID-related jobs and volunteer opportunities. For a full listing, see: Job Opportunities.
Also, from time to time, the AFSA Job Board may have employment or volunteer opportunities of relevance to USAID alums.
If you wish to post a job or volunteer opportunity, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Jobs/Volunteers.
Below are the most recent postings:
New! The Montgomery County Volunteer Center’s 50+ Volunteer Network, connecting skilled volunteers with nonprofits in need, officially launched in January 2018 and is already having a profound positive impact. Through personal consultations with volunteers and ongoing relationships with nonprofit and government organizations, the program has already helped scores of county residents ages 50 and up find meaningful community service opportunities. You can read more about this unique program at www.montgomeryserves.org, or send an email to email@example.com. 1/7
The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is hiring individuals to serve as Personal Services Contractors (PSCs). USAID/OFDA is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crisis and disasters, and leads the USG’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 70 disasters in over 50 countries a year. OFDA is looking for qualified humanitarian professionals to serve in Washington, DC and Internationally as Regional Advisors, Policy Advisors, Program Officers, Training Specialists, Administrative Specialists, Communication Specialists, and Team Leaders. Full announcements of open positions can be found at www.ofdajobs.net. PSC positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.
– Peace Corp Response Program: The Peace Corps Response Program complements the traditional 2-year Peace Corps tour by providing volunteers to do short term (3-12 months), high impact projects to address critical needs in host countries. Many of these volunteer slots have been opened recently to professionals with at least 10 years of experience. Although many USAID alumni are returned Peace Corps Volunteers, even those who are not possess exactly the kind of skills needed as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer. These positions come with the same benefits as the 2-year program, including travel to and from the country of service, full medical benefits, and a living stipend. To learn more about the program and view open positions, visit: peacecorps.gov/response. New positions are posted on this website as they are requested by the host country, so please check back regularly. For additional information and response to any questions, please contact Allison McReynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(NOTE: Inclusion of any given article or web link does not constitute endorsement by UAA.)
Articles and Videos
Below are recent articles on development happenings, issues, etc. If you have comments on them, please share them with us in the Forum. If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit them here or feel free to post or link them in the Forum.
Over time, this list of articles has grown. To keep this page at a manageable size, older articles have been removed. To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.
- New! Bolton Says ‘Predatory’ China is Outpacing the U.S. in Africa (Washington Post) – He indicated that a full review of U.S. foreign aid is near completion, and will evaluate aid on factors including whether recipients oppose or work against U.S. policies and interests.
- New! USAID’s Proposed Transformation Highlights & Questions (MFAN) – A summary of the aid effectiveness elements of USAID’s proposal, and questions for Congress and stakeholders to consider.
- New! Guidance Warning Feds Not to Discuss ‘Resistance’ or ‘Impeachment’ at Work Sparks Uproar (Government Executive) – the USG’s enforcer of the Hatch Act issued new guidance this week that moves the ball on several political issues, cautioning federal employees in their use of such slogans as “resistance” and “impeachment.”
- New! Development Agencies: Fit for the Future? (CGD) – Development agencies today are facing complex, unprecedented challenges—rising nationalism, declining multilateralism, and increased risks. How should they proceed?
- New! In a Twist, Trump Fights to Keep Some Palestinian Aid Alive (Associated Press) – Amid signs it may finally roll out its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, the administration is scrambling to save what little remaining Palestinian assistance it provides. Without action, all aid to the region could end in January.
- New! USAID to Create Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (Reuters) – The creation of a new Bureau for Resilience and Food Security will cement momentum behind the global poverty-reduction approach.
- New! Launch of the Humanitarian Assistance Steering Council (State Dept) – The purpose of the Council is to coordinate U.S. government efforts in order to achieve seamless, efficient, and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance overseas in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives, including promoting burden-sharing and UN humanitarian reform.
- New! The Next Battle for US Aid is About to Begin (Devex) – Shortly, Trump administration will release a foreign assistance review that is expected to set the tone for another round of harsh White House budget proposals in the coming months.
- New! Cash Is Replacing Other Forms of Aid, Even in Conflict Zones (The Economist) – Money has advantages over in-kind aid. Recipients can choose what they want. Most use it wisely. It helps people save, is easier to carry and supports local traders—unlike in-kind aid,
- New! USAID’s New Web Tool Measures How Countries Are Developing With Foreign Aid (Federal News Network) – USAID has deployed a new online tool called the Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps Portal. It lets users look up metrics of low and middle income countries to see how they are progressing towards no longer needing foreign aid.
- New! DHS PDAS John Barsa to be Asst Administrator for USAID/Latin America and the Caribbean (Diplopundit) – Barsa, currently with DHS, will be the next USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin American and the Caribbean.
- New! USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks At The Concordia Summit’s Journey To Self-Reliance Event (USAID) – On September 25, Administrator Green delivered remarks at the Ending the Need for Foreign Assistance event at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit.
- New! Trump Vows to Reduce Aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador As Migrant Caravan Grows (Washington Post) – Trump vows to cut off or “substantially” reduce aid to three Latin American nations, voicing fresh frustration as a growing caravan of migrants that originated in Honduras continued to make its way toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
- New! 23 Charts and Maps that Show the World is Getting Much, Much Better (Vox) – Bleak as politics may be, this is interesting evidence that the world is less bad shape than we may think.
- New! Acting Leader Removed from Agency White House Used to Provide Jobs to Trump Supporters (Washington Post) – The White House has removed the acting chief of the MCC less than two months after he was put in place. He simultaneously serves as a USAID Assistant Administrator.
- New! In Rural Madagascar, Women Face the Ripple Effects of U.S. Abortion Politics (Washington Post) – Madagascar is one of dozens of countries where health providers are facing cutbacks or other disruptions after a dramatic change to foreign aid by the Trump administration.
- New! Internet Connectivity Seen as Having Positive Impact on Life in Sub-Saharan Africa (Pew Research) – Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced dramatic gains in internet use in recent years. Large majorities say this has had a good influence on education in their country, and half or more say the same about the economy, personal relationships and politics.
- New! The World Bank Just Released the First Human Capital Index. The U.S. Did Not Do Well (Fortune) – The World Bank released a global ranking it calls the Human Capital Index, which seeks to measure how well governments enable their people to reach their full potential. Singapore ranked first.
- New! A New US Development Finance Agency Takes Flight (Devex) – The. Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development, or BUILD Act, which will create a new U.S. government agency — the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Development. The DFC will combine OPIC and USAID’s Development Credit Authority.
- Which Foreign Aid Programs Work? The U.S. Runs A Test — But Won’t Talk About It (NPR) – USDH Daniel Handel convinced the Rwanda Mission to try an experiment: Take one of USAID’s typical programs and test it against cash aid. The Agency has since tried it in four other countries, but has not shared results with the public.*
- USAID’s Andrew M. Herscowitz and the Power Africa Team Awarded (Diplopundit) – The Service to America Medal’s (Sammies) 2018 WINNER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS is USAID’s Andrew M. Herscowitz and the Power Africa Team.
- USAID at the UN General Assembly (USAID) – Read various comments by Administrator Green on topics such as the battle against tuberculosis and the link between conflict and hunger.
- Trump Keeps Threatening to End Foreign Aid for Disloyal Countries (Washington Post) – The proposals include revoking assistance to countries that do not vote with the U.S. at the UN and those that have developed strong financial ties to China.
- Foreign Aid As a Cash-Only Transaction? It’s Worth a Try. (Washington Post) – A new USAID study compared the traditional approach to foreign aid against just giving the beneficiaries cash — and the results should make us think.
- Melania Trump Will Visit Four Countries On Her first Major International Trip Without the President (Washington Post) – She chose four African countries that have worked alongside USAID to make great progress. See an update on her visit.
- New! The World Bank’s Latest Tool for Fighting Famine: Artificial Intelligence (Washington Post) – A coalition of international organizations are partnering with tech companies in an effort to prevent future famines using technology.
- New! Hunger, Not Violence, Fuels Guatemalan Migration Surge, U.S. Says (Washington Post) – Rather than a spike in violence, refugee families at the US border appear to be fleeing a hunger crisis in Guatemala’s western highlands.
- New! 12 Things We Can Agree On about Global Poverty (Devex)– There is a lot of heat on the topic of global poverty, but fundamentally a lot of agreement, too. Here is an attempt at a brief consensus position.
- New! Top 15 Recipients of U.S. Foreign Assistance, FY2019 Request (Diplopundit)
- New! Mark Green on why he is an ‘optimist’ about USAID (Devex) – Green believes that under the right circumstances, the end of a foreign assistance program can be cause for a “massive celebration.”
These are links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts. If you have links you would like to submit, please send them here. Over time, this list of articles has grown. To keep this page at a manageable size, older articles have been removed. To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.
- New! ForeignAssistance.gov (USG) – ForeignAssistance.gov provides a view of U.S. Government foreign assistance funds across agencies and enables users to explore, analyze, and review aid.
- Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit) – Around the world, democratic governance appears to be on the decline.
- ADST (The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) is dedicated to capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats to enrich the professional knowledge of practitioners and strengthen public appreciation of diplomacy’s contribution to America’s national interests. This link will take you the website’s oral history page, which contains an increasingly large number of histories from USAID officers.
- A new blog, Craftofdevelopment.com, by alum Jose Garzon, responds to requests by students and young professionals for more “straight talk” about the development profession. It attempts to cultivate informal learning and information sharing on topics that are not normally covered in other sites, such as how to dissent, personnel evaluations, and dealing with political transitions.
- USAID Leads (USAID) – USAID Leads is a new podcast that features A/AID Mark Green and specialists across the Agency. The podcast informs employees about Agency updates and priorities. Each episode highlights important elements of USAID’s work.
- USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse (USAID) – Search 50 years of development history.
- CGD Commitment to Development Index (CGD) – This very interesting database ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries in how well their policies help to spread global prosperity to the developing world.
- August 2017 USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
- September/October 2017 Frontlines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
- Rule of Law Index (World Justice Institute) – The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents and legal experts, reflecting the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalized sectors of society.
- The World Poverty Clock – The World Poverty Clock provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030 for almost every country in the world. It monitors progress toward eliminating Extreme Poverty, the first of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals.
- Infographic on Attacks on AID Workers (Dept. of State) – Maps, tables and graphs clearly demonstrate elevated risk levels.
- January 2017 Update! Transparency International Corruption Perception Index – Transparency International is a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption. The Corruption Perception Index scores the perceptions of business people.
- Update Fragile States Index (Fund for Peace) – This index uses 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators and ranks 60 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict.
- USAID Map – Find a country and click on its USAID stories and results.
- NGO Aid Map This an InterAction initiative that provides detailed information on members’ work around the world through a web-based mapping platform.
- The Good Country Index – This is an index that measures what each country contributes to the common good of humanity and to the planet.
- OneVote16.org asked each candidate to go “on the record” with a video statement to say what they’d do to fight extreme poverty, if elected. There are short videos for each of the candidates that have responded.
- The new USAID International Data & Economic Analysis website (IDEA) is the Agency’s comprehensive source of economic and social data and analysis.
- Mindless Foreign Aid is a new development blog by Tom Dichter. It addresses how foreign aid for development has become mindless. Dichter has nearly 50 years of experience promoting development in over sixty developing countries on four continents.
- Telling USAID’s Story – This is a new web page put together by LPA, the Agency’s public affairs office.
- Foreign Service Oral Histories (Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) – Included are more than 1900 searchable oral histories completed over the past thirty years by individuals from USAID, State, USDA and Labor.
- Development Talk – A World Bank Blog – Interesting reading hosted by the Bank’s Chief Economist.
- The Foreign Assistance Dashboard – The goal of the Dashboard is to enable a wide variety of stakeholders to examine, research, and track U.S. Government foreign assistance investments in an accessible and easy-to-understand format. As it evolves, the Dashboard will incorporate budget, financial, program, and performance data from all U.S. Government agencies implementing foreign assistance, humanitarian, and development funds.
If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to: email@example.com, Attn: Development Issues.
Suggestion Box – Your Ideas for UAA
Some of you may have noticed the many changes that have been made to this, the UAA website. The objective is to provide a site that members will find useful and interesting – a place you will want to return to on a regular basis.
We would greatly appreciate your feedback and ideas about usaidalumni.org. We also would like to have any news, articles or anything else you would like to share with your fellow alumni. Please send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Website.