Development Co-operation Reviews

2074-3688 (online)
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This series of country reviews examines the foreign aid policies and programs of donor countries and makes recommendations for improvements. 
Also available in French
Development Co-operation Reviews: United States 1998

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09 Oct 1998
9789264163461 (PDF) ;9789264161252(print)

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The OECD Development Assistance Committee's 1998 review of the US development aid policies and programmes. It finds that after a period of declining support, the United States has in recent years worked to strengthen both political and public confidence in its foreign assistance programmes. USAID's new Strategic Plan, issued in September 1997, aims at clear results through its support of developing and transitional countries' efforts to achieve sustained economic and social progress and to share more fully in resolving global problems. An ambitious effort has been made to link the reform of aid management to clearer goals and stronger partnerships. Nevertheless, the volume of resources devoted by the United States to official development assistance has continued its downward trend. Measured as a percentage of GNP, the United States now provides the lowest amount, by far, of any Member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

At its triennial review of the United States' aid policies and programmes on 6 April 1998, the DAC welcomed the measures that have been taken and looked forward to the full impact of the reforms and initiatives that have been launched. After serious international concern over recent years about diminishing funding and staffing in the United States programme, there are welcome first indications of strengthening budgets for aid to developing countries, confirmed by President Clinton's recent commitment to seek to increase the budget for African aid to its historically high levels.

It is important that the United States pursue pro-development policies on a broad range of issues. Thus, the review gives special attention to the work of USAID in the areas of democracy, participation, governance, dealing with conflict and disasters, as well as the Transition Initiative, set up to help the United States respond to the needs falling between relief and development. Trade policy is also highlighted, as are the United States' multilateral contributions, and its role in promoting gender equality.

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Table of Contents

Summary and conclusions
Chapter 1. Basic policy framework, new policy orientations, and partnership
National consensus on development co-operation
-Main organisational framework
-Poverty orientation in the Strategic Plan and policies
-The New Partnerships Initiative
-New Initiatives and Special Programmes
Chapter 2. Development co-operation instruments of the United States: bilateral and multilateral
-Reforms in USAID
-Strategic planning and country strategies
-International co-ordination
-Staffing and field presence
-Other bilateral instruments of the United States
-Multilateral programme
-Private voluntary organisations (PVOs)
Chapter 3. Capacity development efforts
Overall directions
-Broad-based economic growth
-Expanding access and opportunity for the poor
-Expanded and improved basic education
-Democracy and governance
-Capacity building in environmental management
-Humanitarian responses and capacity building
Chapter 4. Gender issues
Chapter 5. Selected priority concerns
Humanitarian and emergency aid
-Transition Initiatives and conflict, peace, and development co-operation
-Humanitarian demining
-Food for Peace
-Health and population
Chapter 6. Aid effectiveness, results-oriented aid and evaluation
Aid effectiveness
-Results-oriented aid (Managing for Results)
Chapter 7. United States government co-ordination and policy coherence
Co-ordination and policy coherence in the field and in headquarters
-Policy coherence and co-ordination mechanisms
-Policy coherence objectives
-US trade with developing countries
-Trade in textile and clothingin agriculture
-Relevant trade regimes
-General System of Preferences
-US trade preferences by agreement
-Trade remedy provisions
-Authority for trade policy
-Foreign direct investment
-Multilateral Agreement on Investment
-Officially-supported export credits
-Trade capacity building
Chapter 8. Official development assistance and other financial aspects
-1. Official development assistance
--A. ODA volume
--B. Composition and sectoral distribution of ODA
--C. Financial terms
--D. Geographical distribution of ODA
-2. Total financial flows
-3. Official aid
-4. Statistical reporting
-5. Aid Procurement and Untying
-6. Debt Reorganisation and Cancellation
Tables, graph
Annex 1. Environmental considerations in development co-operation: case study – United States (OECD/DAC/September 1996)
Annex 2. USAID presence in the field .
Annex 3. USAID missions closed between FY 94 and FY 97
Press release of DAC peer review of the United States
6 Description of key terms

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