InterAgency Essay 12-01W, January 2012
by David A. Anderson
This essay investigates collaboration among the U.S. interagency and multilateral development-promoting organizations, financial institutions, and initiatives. U.S. interagency collaboration and information sharing must take place among all U.S. agencies that assist in economic development, conflict prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction or risk undermining each other’s efforts in achieving National Security Strategy objectives. Primarily, extensive collaboration will be required between State and USAID in order to produce desired diplomatic and development results.
However, in order for this to work, the U.S. will need a comprehensive global development strategy in which governing entities (State and USAID) are adequately staffed, funded, and empowered to succeed. As the lead development agency, USAID will need to play a significant role in coordinating U.S. development efforts with like-minded, multilateral, development-focused institutions and countries. This will require the U.S. to create a transparent development agenda, with an eye toward economizing endeavors and funding resources.
The U.S. must do a better job considering partner perspectives, as well as leveraging the value-added provided by the myriad of PDAs, PVOs, and NGOs without entangling them in the current inefficient and ineffective government bureaucratic web that could undermine their development-promoting activities. Without U.S. effort to establish a coordinating body to best prioritize, synergize, and economize development assistance effort, nations will increasingly choose to provide bilateral assistance making any coordination and economizing effort more problematic and ineffective.
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