A joint project linking the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for Global Development presented recommendations for transforming U.S. foreign assistance this morning. The recommendation is for a new government department for global development, based on the British model for development policy.
(Full disclosure: I am the author of the chapter of the report which describes the British model which the group recommends.)
In a world transformed by globalization and challenged by terrorism, foreign aid has assumed renewed importance as a foreign policy tool. While the results of more than forty years of development assistance show some successes, foreign aid is currently dispersed between many agencies and branches of government in a manner that inhibits formulation and implementation of a coherent, effective strategy.
The current political climate is receptive to a transition toward greater accountability and effectiveness in development aid. Because this transition is clearly an imperative but has not yet been comprehensively addressed, the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic and International Studies have conducted a joint study that both assesses the current structures of foreign assistance and makes recommendations for efficient coordination.
Drawing on expertise from the full range of agencies whose policies affect foreign aid, Security by Other Means examines foreign assistance across four categories reflecting the interests that aid furthers: security, economic, humanitarian, and political.