May 05, 2010

Kerry, Lugar Applaud New Policy Bureau At U.S. Agency For International Development

Washington, D.C.-- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-IN) today issued statements applauding Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), for reestablishing the bureau for policy, planning, and learning within USAID. This bureau will restore strategic thinking and policy expertise to the agency. The new policy bureau closely mirrors legislation in the Kerry-Lugar Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act (S.1524), which was voted out of the Committee last year.

“I am pleased to see Administrator Shah begin to take necessary steps to revitalize and embolden the United States’ development efforts. We have been strong champions of the need to restore policy expertise and strategic thinking to the agency – in fact, this was one of the first provisions included in the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act,” said Chairman Kerry. “While establishing the policy bureau is an important first step, further reforms are necessary to ensure we build a premier development agency that can meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

“If the Administration pursues its goal of doubling foreign assistance, it is crucial that Congress has confidence that these funds will be used efficiently and effectively. USAID -- the agency housing most of our government’s development experience -- must have a central role in development policy and budget decisions. I am also pleased that the new bureau includes plans for a robust analytical function. The agency must have the capacity to evaluate programs and disseminate information about best practices and methods,” said Ranking Member Dick Lugar.


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