This week Foreign Policy featured an excerpt from Administrator Raj Shah’s annual letter, which details USAID’s goals on defeating extreme poverty. The letter was released in conjunction with USAID Forward Progress Report, an overview of progress on a three-year reform effort within the agency. In The Hill‘s “Congress Blog,” Bill Lane, the director of International Governmental Affairs for Caterpillar, and Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles point out that “in Washington, we talk a lot about what doesn’t work, but finally there is a good story about one government agency investing in reform and delivering results” – USAID. Lane and Miles, co-presidents of the US Global Leadership Coalition, “applaud the goals of USAID FORWARD to modernize and strengthen US development programs, and while every indicator in the report is not perfect, the reforms are moving in the right direction.”

Administrator Shah spoke at the American Enterprise Institute to discuss the recently released USAID Forward Progress Report highlighting the past year’s successes and challenges in reforming the Agency and delivering better, more sustainable results. March 20, 2013. Photo credit: Pat Adams, USAID

In its “Global Affairs” blog, The Hill reports that according to Shah, the agency “managed to cut out the middle man in $745 million of its projects last year – a 50 percent increase from 2012.” In other words, explained Dr. Shah, “if the old model was hiring a contractor to build a road, the new model is partnering with engines of American innovation – corporations, foundations, NGOs, and faith-based communities – to help nations build innovation economies and democratic societies connected to our own.”

Meanwhile the Washington Examiner  reports that USAID’s Nancy Lindborg “spoke to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs…about the growing humanitarian crisis facing war-torn Syria.” Lindborg stated, “World Food Program (WFP) activities supported by the United States currently provide monthly rations to nearly 1.5 million within Syria and approximately 300,000 refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.”