Agriculture expert picked to lead USAID

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.”
 Aid as investment is a pathway that USAID has in fact been pursuing through its Global Development Alliance (GDA) initiative.  GDAs take a market-based approach to partnerships between the public and private sectors to address jointly defined objectives. The ICRISAT led West Africa Seed Alliance is receiving funding from USAID through a GDA.  In 2001-2009 USAID launched 900 alliances with 1,700+ partners, and reports that they have leveraged their overall investments by 2.7:1 as a result of Alliance member contributions. 

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                

 

Advertisements

One response to “Agriculture expert picked to lead USAID

  1. Leonard Mutebi

    Hello out there i am leonard a funder member of Cadondy agriculture and modan farming.we help the poor in rulal areas and we teach them to grow food in a modan way we are asmoll group in best in Mukono Uganda we ask those consen to in and help us to carry on the work because we very smoll we can not rich out to very one in there.Thats why we cry for you to come in with at list some help. Like some times we always want to go far villeges but we can not deu to transport. So now we say if you can asist us with motor cycles or money and we buy them from here. Also we have people who help but at list they need some thing in order go on with life. So please we want you to come in with help.Sir or modom if you hapen to come in Uganda you can see youself people are dieing from hung.The problem is they do not how to plan or modan farming agricuture, yet the land very fatiral

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s