Articles

Below are 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.

  • New! Six federal employees to be honored with the ‘Oscars of Government Service’ (Washington Post) – A sampling of America’s best civil servants were honored recently during the 18th annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals gala, presented by the Partnership for Public Service. Also called the “Sammies” and the “Oscars of Government Service,” the awards will go to six federal employees who have demonstrated outstanding achievements – including USAID/Haiti’s Ryan Shelby.
  • New! How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups (ProPublica) – Officials at USAID warned that favoring Christian groups in Iraq could be unconstitutional and inflame religious tensions.
  • New! The Migrant Debt Cycle (Washington Post) – U.S. officials have long touted the power of finance to lift people out of poverty – and backed loans to farmers and small-business owners across the developing world.  But here in the Guatemala Highlands, the epicenter of the country’s migrant exodus, those loans often fund a different activity, the region’s most profitable:  smuggling migrants north to the United States.
  • New! Fighting Corruption in Ukraine: USAID’s Strategy(Brookings – George Ingram) – With recent media and political attention on corruption in Ukraine, it is useful to bring some light to how the U.S. is helping Ukrainians deal with corruption in their country.
  • New! State Department’s First-Ever Employee Christian Faith Group Underscores Pompeo’s Influence (Washington Post) – All year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made news for efforts that critics worry are crossing church-state separation lines.
  • New!Haiti President Requests US Humanitarian Aid Amid Protests(The Star)Haiti’s president said Monday that he has asked the U.S. government for humanitarian assistance as protesters demanding his resignation took to the streets in the seventh week of demonstrations that have shuttered many schools and businesses across the country.
  • New! F Bureau Leader Calls for Smarter ‘Strategic Prevention’ in Fragile States (Devex) – U.S. humanitarian assistance needs an overhaul so it can more effectively respond to complex crises in fragile states, according to Jim Richardson, head of the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assistance Resources, or F Bureau.
  • New! Announcing the Public Release of the Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (USAID) – On October 1, 2019, USAID released the second iteration of the Journey to Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps on its public portal. The Country Roadmaps serve as USAID’s visualization tool for assessing self-reliance in a given country, based on 17 third-party, publicly available metrics that capture the concepts of Commitment and Capacity.
  • New! Opinion: How US Foreign Aid Boosts the Economy Back Home (AgriPulse) – Peter McPherson writes an opinion piece on “how the impact of foreign aid reverberates far beyond the developing world.”
  • New! State Department Restarts Some Central America Assistance (Politico) – The State Department will resume “targeted” foreign assistance for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, according to an announcement Wednesday. The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that the administration would resume approximately $150 million in funding, a figure confirmed by a congressional aide.
  • New! As the U.S. Looks Elsewhere, Russia Seeks a Closer Relationship with Africa (Washington Post) – Leaders from more than 40 African nations descended on the southern Russian city of Sochi last week, shaking hands, snapping photos and inking billions of dollars in business deals. President Vladimir Putin met with six African presidents on Thursday alone.
  • New! Why you should worry when U.S. diplomats are denounced as ‘deep state’ operatives (The Atlanta Journal – Constitution) – If you poke through the October edition of the Foreign Service Journal, you will find 33 references to President Donald Trump.  Not all are kind, and some are filled with warning, but none are disrespectful.
  • New! USAID Honduras has no details on resumption of US funds, country director says (Devex) -USAID Honduras Country Director Fernando Cossich said Wednesday that he has no information about when foreign assistance will again begin flowing to the Northern Triangle. “The way we are going to invest is going to change,” Cossich said at the Central America Donors Forum. “It has not been defined how that is going to happen, when the funds are going to come. So that’s as far as I can go on that. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
  • New! USAID Retirees Sign Letter of Support for State Department Officials Testifying in Trump Impeachment Inquiry (Washington Post) – More than 200 former development officials with the U.S. Agency for International Development signed a letter released Tuesday in support of their State Department colleagues who have been called to testify before House investigators handling the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
  • New! How the new Development Finance Corporation can get off to a solid start (Brookings)- Scheduled to open its doors this fall, the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has some ambitious—and welcomed—goals. The transition team for this new institution, the core of which combines the functions of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Development Credit Authority (DCA) (now part of the U.S. Agency for International Development), has been hard at work since the passage of the legislation.
  • New! Tens of Millions of US Foreign Aid Quietly Cut (Foreign Policy) – Tens of millions of dollars for human rights programs run by State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor are now in jeopardy after bureaucratic maneuvers by the Trump administration to pare down US funding for foreign aid.
  • New! USAID reprograms Central America funds for use inside Venezuela (Devex) – USAID Administrator Mark Green this week signed a $98 million agreement with the interim Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido that reprograms aid originally intended for Central America to Venezuela.  This is the first such bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Venezuela in over 65 years.
  • New! MFAN Co-Chairs Announce New Co-Chair and Two New ExecCommittee embers (MFAN) — The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network co-chairs Lester Munson and Tessie San Martin have announced that Larry Nowels will serve as Co-Chair of the Executive Committee. Mr. Nowels recently served as the network’s interim Executive Director and was a founding member of MFAN. MFAN has also announced the addition of two new Executive Committee members:  Lori Groves Rowley, Director of Global Food Security and Aid Effectiveness at the Lugar Center and nearly 20 years of senior leadership and committee experience on Capitol Hill; and Susan Reichle, Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation, who draws on 25 years of experience leading USAID policy development and programs overseas and in Washington, D.C.
  • New! The Trump Administration Prepares a New Assault on U.S. Soft Power (Wash Post)– At last year’s UN General Assembly, President Trump announced the United States would redirect aid money to countries that agree with his administration’s policies. This could “gut U.S. soft power, fuel extremism and cede large parts of the world to influence from US adversaries, especially China.”
  • New! US Aid Experts Ask – How Much Will Trump’s Development Review Matter? (Devex)– The fate of the Trump administration’s foreign assistance review has been a lingering question for the US aid community for months.
  • New! Federal Employees Have More Withdrawal Choices for Retirement Savings (Wash Post)— Current and former federal employees and military personnel will have more options starting Sunday when withdrawing money from their retirement accounts.
  • New! Experts Question DFID’s Promised Spending Boost (Devex) – A number of British aid experts questioned the details of the proposed 1.5% (real terms) increase to DFID’s budget for the year 2020-21 fearing it will be transferred to other departments.

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