Number 4, July 2008
Reforming Foreign Aid
by Charles Uphaus
The Changing Management
of U.S. Official Development Assistance
Source: OECD (2006), DAC Peer Review of the United States. Reprinted from InterAction,
The United States and the MDGs. 2007.
• Responding to the global hunger crisis, and preventing it from happening
again, requires establishing long-term development goals, especially increasing
agricultural productivity in poor countries.
• The capacity of the United States to plan and deliver effective foreign aid has
diminished as U.S. security concerns around the world have overshadowed
• The United States needs to elevate development as one of our national priorities
and give it resources equal to the task.
• Effective U.S. development assistance would target resources toward enabling
poor people around the world to provide for themselves and live free of debilitating malnutrition, illiteracy, and epidemic diseases.
• A cabinet-level department for global development should be part of a reauthorized foreign aid program, ensuring a development voice is heard at the highest
level of foreign policy considerations.
Charles Uphaus is a policy analyst for Bread for the World Institute.
Bread for the World Institute provides
policy analysis on hunger and strategies
to end it. The Institute educates its advocacy network, opinion leaders, policy
makers and the public about hunger in
the United States and abroad.
Sustainable progress against
hunger and poverty should be a
top priority of U.S. foreign assistance. Elevating development and
fixing foreign aid are the most important things the United States
can do to respond to the global
Effective aid includes clear objectives, host-country “ownership,”
accountability and flexibility, longterm commitments, integrated approaches, and adequate and reliable resources. In working toward
a more effective development assistance program, nothing less than a
comprehensive reauthorization of
the Foreign Assistance Act is required, and this should include a
cabinet-level department for global
The United States must provide
leadership commensurate with its
resources and values. Reforming
foreign assistance would strengthen the U.S. reputation around the
world, and beyond that, it would
be part of a more sophisticated
and realistic approach to national