During the question and answer session, Shah had opportunities to discuss the three priority areas for USAID in FY11: securing frontline states, meeting urgent global challenges, and enhancing aid effectiveness and sustainability. USAID will focus on major initiatives, like global health, food security, and climate change, and draw on new technologies, public-private partnerships, principles of country ownership, and other approaches to achieve lasting progress. Rebuilding the capacity of USAID to carry out these initiatives is also a priority for Shah and USAID, including spurring increases in the number of personnel in the agency, new approaches to policy planning and budgeting, and strengthened monitoring, evaluation, and accountability of programs. After Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) emphasized that the “lead development agency has to be USAID, not the State Department,” Shah assured him that now is a “unique time to rebuild USAID” and ensure that the discipline of development is present in assistance programs across the government.
Read Rep. Berman’s Press Statement on the Hearing here.