Keith Jones sent me this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111017483.html (you have to sign up to access the archives, but it is free and quick). Rajiv Shah, who worked for the Gates Foundation and then served as under-secretary for agriculture, has been nominated to head USAID. This article observes that:
“Shah’s nomination, which must be approved by the Senate, comes as the White House and the State Department are studying how to redesign a U.S. aid system widely viewed as uncoordinated and wasteful. In addition, Congress is considering overhauling the 1960s-era legislation governing assistance.”
…and provides a link to a speech that Secretary of State Clinton delivered at the Clinton Global Initiative.
Shah helped to write this speech and you can read it by visiting this link:
Here is an excerpt from Clinton’s speech that may provide some insight into the future evolution of USAID:
“After years of effort and billions of dollars, we have not achieved the lasting results we desire. But we have learned some very valuable lessons. We know that the most effective strategies emanate from those closest to the problems, not governments or institutions hundreds or thousands of miles away….And we know that development works best when it is based not in aid, but in investment.”
The White House press release announcing the nomination is at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-usaid-administrator And politico covered the story. In this excerpt from the politico blog story, reference is made to greater collaboration:
“Shah seemed to anticipate working closely with Clinton and USAID when he gave an interview to his hometown Seattle paper in May upon taking the USDA job. “There are times in history when presidents have succeeded in bringing together very powerful people,” Shah told the Seattle Post Intelligencer, noting that he was reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals. “He anticipates the Ag Department, the State Department, and Agency for International Development ‘will work together as a team’ on food issues inside and outside America’s borders,” the paper added.”
The nomination of a scientist who is also an agriculture expert and an innovator is good news for the CGIAR. And the Change Management process has underscored the need for the “new” CG to leverage Center resources by forming partnerships to pursue shared goals.
A new focus by USAID on investment and by the CG on partnerships suggests that if CG centers can be creative, there will be plentiful opportunities to build PPPs with USAID support and funding as Global Development Alliances.
Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP