USAID Impact Photo Credit: USAID and Partners

Archives for USAID

Exclusive Insights from Leaders in Health, National Security

What do President Obama’s pick to become the next NATO commander in Afghanistan and the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) have in common? Besides boasting rather impressive resumes, they were both interviewed in the most recent issue of USAID FrontLines.

Lt. Gen. John Allen

Lt. Gen. John Allen

In the April-May edition, U.S. Lt. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, and Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, answer questions about some of the most pressing topics in international development.

Allen, who served in Iraq during the period known as “the surge”, talks about how military and civilian forces can work together to multiply the success of a mission, and why development  is an extraordinarily effective tool in preventing conflict and fostering good will in the world.

He argues:

Those of us who’ve been honored to serve alongside development professionals understand that USAID delivers strategic effects which can strengthen U.S. relationships around the world and improve the qualities of governance, economic opportunity, and life for millions of our friends overseas. Interestingly, I would venture to guess that if you were to interview families from across the CENTCOM region, far more children have personally seen the USAID logo than have ever personally seen an American soldier. USAID has a significant impact and reach across our AOR [area of responsibility] and few understand that as well as the military.

In many respects, USAID’s efforts can do as much—over the long term—to prevent conflict as the deterrent effect of a carrier strike group or a marine expeditionary force.

In the Q&A with Chan, the doctor covers many health topics, including the need for primary care in developing nations – and the challenges organizations like USAID and the World Health Organization face in helping countries stand up their programs.

In my view, the best way [to improve global health] is to go back to the basics: the values, principles, and approaches of primary health care. Abundant evidence, over decades of experience, supports this view. Countries at similar levels of socioeconomic development achieve better health outcomes for the money when services are organized according to the principles of primary health care. A revitalization of primary health care is the smart move to make.

Dr. Margaret Chan Photo credit: WHO

Dr. Margaret Chan, Photo credit: WHO

To be frank, a smart move, in this case, is not an easy move. We are almost starting over from scratch. Over the past three decades, health systems in large parts of the developing world have crumbled from neglect. Countries and their development partners have failed to invest adequately in basic health infrastructures, capacities, and services, including staff education and training, regulatory capacity, procurement systems, and statistical services.

Read the complete interviews with Allen and Chan, as well as more stories about USAID’s work in Iraq and in global health in the April/May issue of FrontLines. If you would like to receive a reminder about the latest FrontLines, subscribe here.

Women and War Symposium

Last Friday, Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg joined Dr. Katherine Hicks, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Forces at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) for its “Women and War” symposium on peace and security in the second decade of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.  Jointly hosted by USIP and the Peace Research Institute-Oslo (PRIO), the event also marked the release of the book Women & War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century.

The edited volume is a trans-Atlantic collaborative effort to highlight innovative approaches toward ensuring greater participation of women at the negotiating table, and the ways in which women will make a difference in the security arena over the next decade.  In 2000, the United States supported the adoption of UNSCR 1325 as a call to action for governments around the world to increase women’s participation in matters of international security and strengthen their protection in times of conflict.  As part of President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s commitment to develop a National Action Plan that outlines U.S. support for women as key enablers of peace and stability in countries affected by conflict, Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg  talked about his contribution to the book and highlighted a few aspects of the progress USAID is making in developing that plan.

As an Agency, USAID is combining initiatives and programs with actions that institutionalize a gender perspective into the way we do business.  We’re incorporating programmatic as well as administrative goals that are Specific, Measurable, Additive, fully Resourced, Time-bound, Evidence-Based and Responsive (SMARTER).  In addition to comprehensively addressing the key objective areas outlined by UNSCR 1325– including participation, prevention, protection, and relief and recovery,  we’re implementing Agency policies, training, and personnel policies that allow us to respond more effectively to the needs of women and girls in conflict-affected countries. “It’s about monitoring and evaluation, accountability and measurement.  It’s not just measuring the inputs and outputs, but the outcomes” stated Steinberg.

DA Steinberg further discussed how gender equality and women’s empowerment is critical to achieve our development and humanitarian assistance objectives.  In conflict and crisis situations, it is a challenging but vital imperative to work toward protection and power for women and girls—protection from sexual violence and gender-based violence, that harms individuals, families, and entire communities, and empowerment, that promotes women’s participation at the negotiating table and in rebuilding conflict-affected communities.  “It’s not just a question about bringing more women to the table, but how we make that process work more effectively.”  He stressed a critical shift in how we evaluate our own staff to value inclusive leadership – “drawing in others agencies and government but also reaching out to all the communities out there – most prominently the 50% of the population who is normally excluded from the development dialogue.”

Read an excerpt of Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg’s chapter of Women & War: Power and Protection in the 21st Century.

USAID in the News

Weekly Briefing (5/8/2011–5/13/2011)

May 8 The Huffington Post’s “Huffpost Impact” Blog published a column celebrating the new global health initiative USAID and Johnson & Johnson are partnering on to address maternal and child health. The partnership, called Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), will harness the power of mobile technology to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers.

May 8 The Sudan Tribune reported that during Administrator Shah’s recent trip to the region, he cited that President Obama and USAID are set to invest in South Sudan’s agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the region’s economy. Administrator Shah’s remarks were given during the signing ceremony of a communiqué declaring “to support the Government of Southern Sudan in its efforts to transform farms into businesses.”

May 9 The Guardian’s global health blog featured an interview USAID’s Frontlines magazine had with World Health Organization’s Director General Margaret Chan. In the interview, Chan talked about the need to have both disease-fighting strategies and health system strengthening.

May 9 Foreign Policy’s The Cable blog highlighted an interview Lt. Gen. John Allen had with USAID’s Frontlines magazine on U.S. aid to Afghanistan. In the interview, Allen promised to push for increased cooperation between soldiers and aid workers and fight for USAID’s continued support from the military and Congress.

Learn about the Upcoming Global Diaspora Forum

Kris M. Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the Global Partnership Initiative within the Office of the Secretary of State, discusses the upcoming Global Diaspora Forum, whose goal is to recognize and celebrate the contribution of Diaspora communities to America’s relationship with their countries of origin or ancestry; foster Diaspora-centric partnership models; and encourage intra-Diaspora collaboration and learning. The event will occur in Washington, D.C., May 17-19, 2011. [Go to http://www.state.gov/video for more video and text transcript.]

USAID in the News: 5/2/2011–5/6/2011

May 2- FutureGov reported that USAID is teaming up with NASA to expand international development efforts by applying geospatial technologies to overcome challenges in food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management in many developing countries. The technology will involve satellite data and mapping tools.

May 4-The Hill, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Federal Computer Week announced Secretary Clinton’s unveiling of a new public-private partnership called the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), which aims to provide women with health information using mobile phone technology. The National Journal quotes Administrator Shah as saying that, “This partnership will harness the power of mobile technology to provide mothers with information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of life.”

May 4- FederalNewsRadio reported that USAID is boosting its partnership with NASA by signing a new memo of understanding to share technologies in addressing international development problems.

May 5- The New York Times “Green” blog reported on an interview with Administrator Shah concerning family planning. The Agency is collaborating with several U.S. and international partners to prevent millions of unwanted pregnancies and to help children to survive into adulthood so that parents do not feel pressured to have more children.

USAID in the News

Weekly Briefing (4/25/2011–4/29/2011)

April 25 NextGov reported that NASA and USAID have signed a pact to share more satellite data and mapping tools with international partners for disaster response. The five-year memorandum of understanding covers several initiatives funded through both agencies that focus on global health, hunger, disaster relief and environmental dangers.

April 27 AFP, CNN, and Voice of America reported that a major food aid report released by USAID aims to improve the quality of food it distributes abroad. The report Delivering Improved Nutrition calls for revisions in dietary elements to fight hunger and to focus on providing proper nutrition to children under two and pregnant women.

In The News: 4/11/2011–4/15/2011

April 12: An article in the Washington Business Journal wrote that USAID will increasingly give contracts to companies in the countries where the projects are performed. Administrator Shah said that, “Instead of continuing to sign large contracts with large contractors, we are accelerating our funding to local partners who have the cultural knowledge and in-country expertise to deliver lasting, durable growth.”

April 13: Voice of America reports that USAID has launched “Saving Lives At Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development” in partnership between the Agency, the Norwegian government, the Gates Foundation, Global Challenges Canada, and the World Bank. The Grand Challenge focuses on reducing the number of deaths among mothers and infants in developing countries as part of the drive to improve global health.

USAID in the News: 4/4/2011–4/8/2011

April 4: Bloomberg News reported that USAID will send a team into Libya to provide humanitarian relief in the face of the current conflict. Mark Ward, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, said that one of the team’s first tasks will be to “contact those opposed to Qaddafi, including the National Transitional Council, to coordinate the delivery of relief.”

April 7: Voice of America reported that USAID is taking the lead on American humanitarian efforts in Libya. The pledged $47 million dollars are being used to “first, [deliver] desperately needed humanitarian aid; second, [pressure] and [isolate] the Muammar Gadhafi regime through sanctions and other measures; and third [support] efforts by Libyans to achieve their aspirations through political changes.”

April 8: MIT News reported that at a speech delivered on campus by USAID Administrator Shah, the future of development will be shaped by new ideas and innovation. And that programs developed through MIT’s D-Lab are helping to “transform the world of development.”

2011 Annual Letter

Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to congress that called for the creation of the agency I am now privileged to lead – USAID, the United States Agency for International Development.

Having witnessed the devastation the Second World War caused in Europe – and the success the Marshall Plan had in rebuilding it – President Kennedy argued that advancing opportunity and freedom to all people was central to America’s domestic security, comparative prosperity and national conscience.

I wanted to commemorate President Kennedy’s letter by writing one of my own, describing our agency’s work to the millions of Americans who care deeply about overcoming global poverty, hunger, illness and injustice.

I also wanted Americans to know that by doing good, we do well. Our assistance depends on generosity from the American people. But it also derives benefits for the American people: it keeps our country safe and strengthens our economy. As Secretary Clinton has said, development is “as central to advancing American interests and solving global problems as diplomacy and defense.”

And because development assistance is so crucial, I wanted to stress our need to deliver it more effectively than ever before, getting results faster, more sustainably, and at a lower cost so more people can benefit. I hope this letter makes those points clear, sheds light on our agency’s future trajectory and establishes a lasting tradition that builds on President Obama’s strong commitment to transparency.

NOAA-USAID Join Forces for Global Development

As featured in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy Blog by Hillary Chen

Hillary Chen is a Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of joining with scientists and development experts at a workshop jointly sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The workshop focused on ways to re-energize scientific collaboration between the two agencies and help developing countries deal with challenges in climate change, biodiversity and human health, and geospatial analysis capacity.  It brought together NOAA’s and USAID’s scientific and technical experts in a range of fields including science-based ecosystem management, weather monitoring and forecasting, climate services and analysis, satellite-based and information services, and spatial analysis and geospatial technologies.

The workshop fits within the Administration’s larger efforts to make better use of science, technology, and innovation for global development under President Obama’s Policy Directive on Global Development.  OSTP Director John Holdren and USAID Administrator Raj Shah have noted that as a global leader in science, technology, and innovation with $148 billion invested in domestic research and development (R&D), the United States can have a significant impact in developing countries by applying its technical expertise to global challenges.

Past successful collaborations between NOAA and USAID include the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System that was established after the devastating tsunami of 2004.  Current joint efforts between the two agencies include the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), which uses satellite and ground-based data to provide timely food security information for 25 countries in Africa and other parts of the developing world and the U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative Support Program, which aims to improve the management of millions of hectares of coastal and marine ecosystems to protect food security and strengthen resilience to climate change for the 363 million people who live in this area.  At a time when we are all reminded that natural disasters anywhere in the world can have widespread and even global implications, it was inspiring to see NOAA and USAID building their shared capacity to understand and respond to challenges beyond our borders.

This latest collaboration between USAID and NOAA is a great example of how U.S. R&D can be leveraged efficiently to accelerate growth and make societies around the world—including our own—more resilient to environmental changes around the globe.

Page 77 of 97:« First« 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 »Last »