CAP Applauds White House Review of Global Development Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama issued an executive order yesterday to conduct a study of U.S. global development policy across the U.S. government—a move that the Center for American Progress has been calling for since 2008, and we welcome this decision wholeheartedly.

The Presidential Study Directive lays the foundation for the necessary reforms to elevate development alongside diplomacy and defense as a critical instrument of American foreign policy. It will generate better coordination and coherence across U.S. agencies in designing, promoting and implementing effective development programs around the world.

“This is a tremendous step in the right direction,” said Dr. Reuben Brigety, director of the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress. “It will fulfill a campaign promise of President Obama’s to change our approach to developing countries, and will help to reassert our moral leadership in the world.”

The executive order asks the National Security Council and the National Economic Council to conduct a joint interagency review of U.S. global development policies and to assess what would be required to implement these policies effectively. The results of the review are expected in January. The study comes on the heels of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review—announced in July by the State Department—which will examine all the coherence of all programs of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Center for American Progress has actively championed reforms to U.S. development policy. As a founding member of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, or MFAN, CAP has authored a variety of studies about the importance of development assistance in American foreign policy. Chief among these is “A National Strategy for Global Development,” which proposes a blueprint for supporting development around the world.

“The White House should be commended for this initiative,” said Sabina Dewan, Associate Director for International Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress. “It shows that the administration is committed to the efficient, and effective, promotion of sustainable security around the world.”

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