Administration’s New Approach to Development

June 29, 2010 By Hannah Kaye

Last Friday at the G8 summit, President Obama outlined a new approach to development and announced that he will issue a new policy directive on global development “in the near future.”  The policy directive will follow the completion of the Presidential Study Directive on Global Development (PSD-7), a comprehensive review of U.S. development policy begun in September 2009.

The Administration’s new development policy builds on two initiatives, Feed the Future (on food security) and the Global Health Initiative, already launched in 2009. The White House statement announced that the new policy will:

  • Promote the sustainable growth of economic markets
  • Invest in research and development
  • Build the public sector capacity of recipient countries to provide services
  • Emphasize tailored strategies for countries in or recovering from conflict
  • Hold recipients accountable for making policy reforms

The statement also announced that the development approach will:

  • Take a more selective approach to assistance, working with other donors to focus efforts on select countries, regions, and sectors
  • Leverage U.S. assistance with other donors, the private sector, and other actors
  • Encourage U.S. partnerships with countries that are well-governed
  • Strengthen multilateral capabilities
  • Drive policy with metrics and data, and set high standards for monitoring and evaluation

This approach reflects the Administration’s view (in its National Security Strategy) that development is critical for national security, economic prosperity, and global leadership.  The objectives and principles outlined in the White House statement are encouraging, as is the first public commitment by the President to issue a new policy directive on global development.  We hope the upcoming policy directive will also include critical issues that appeared in an earlier leaked draft of the PSD , such as the call for a national global development strategy that can guide policy across the Administration.