As the 2016 presidential debates approach, foreign policy is already playing a central role. Too often U.S. foreign assistance has been targeted because many people believe that we spend more on foreign assistance than we actually do and that it lacks transparency and accountability. An improved online “dashboard” that provides data on foreign assistance programs will help counter those arguments.
The updated foreignassistance.gov site provides data on where and how the U.S. is engaged overseas. The website allows the public to see which countries receive aid, for what purpose, how much they are receiving, and which organizations the U.S. government is working with to administer this assistance.
The site includes data from 10 agencies representing nearly 100% of the U.S. government’s foreign assistance portfolio, including accounts at the Departments of State, Defense, and Agriculture along with USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps. Currently, the data goes back to 2006, and the website is being updated regularly.
Diplomacy and development are often overlooked in calls for greater global leadership. Yet they can have a significant impact on improving governance, rule of law, helping fighting disease, and creating an enabling environment for increased U.S. private investment.
As the 2016 candidates debate America’s role in the world, the impact of development and diplomacy on making the world, and America, stronger, safer, and more prosperous should be part of the conversation.