Staying Power: Considering the U.S. Government’s Global Nutrition Coordination Plan

Staying Power: Considering the U.S. Government’s Global Nutrition Coordination Plan. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Kimberly Flowers, Carol Conragan. May 17, 2017

This report explores the implications of the U.S. Global Nutrition Coordination Plan (GNCP) for the technical leadership, focus, resource stewardship, partnership strategy, and data/funding transparency of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). How can USAID contribute to the stated goal of developing “a process to gather and report interagency information on annual U.S. government nutrition resource expenditures”? And who is ultimately accountable for the actions dictated by the GNCP?

The GNCP is an impressive volunteer effort, but it is too soon to tell whether it will become a worthwhile, whole-of-government practice. Positive aspects of the plan include good timing with growing U.S. government backing for global nutrition programs and bipartisan support on Capitol Hill; a lauded, whole-of-government approach; a seat at the nutrition table for smaller agencies; a strong community of practice through complementarity of expertise and jointly shared administrative actions; increased global nutrition program support through designated points of contact at U.S. posts abroad; and built-in flexibility to expand (or contract) the plan’s mandate as global priorities evolve. This report makes recommendations in both technical and management domains to buttress GNCP’s ultimate success, which has become increasingly critical in the context of dwindling resources for development assistance. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 44 pages, 1.86 MB].

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

“Hell on Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya. Refugees International. May 31, 2017.

As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy. Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 7.47 MB].

Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement

Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement. Center for Global Development . April 18, 2017.

Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Still, as this report points out, the challenge is manageable—if the international community is able to get its response right. This report offers key principles for closing the humanitarian-development divide and practical guidance for designing effective compacts. The authors encourage policymakers and implementers alike to carefully consider these recommendations to ensure that humanitarian and development dollars have a real impact on the lives of refugees and host communities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages, 1.64 MB].

Aid inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way

Aid inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way. Refugees International. Daryl Grisgraber. March 15, 2017

Many of the Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Turkey and providing humanitarian aid inside Syria have reached a high level of organizational and operational capacity that was previously absent. The capacity-building initiatives of multiple donors, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organization (INGO) partners have helped a number of these groups develop their ability to provide humanitarian responses in accordance with international standards and to be effectively involved in the international coordination structure that was previously out of reach to them. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 233.42 KB].

Vulnerable Communities Are Using Innovative Financing to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Vulnerable Communities Are Using Innovative Financing to Prepare for Natural Disasters. Pew Charitable Trusts. Laura Lightbody . November 30, 2016.

Billion-dollar natural disasters used to strike the United States once or twice a year. But since 1980, such events have occurred five to 10 times annually. These catastrophes threaten public safety, disrupt daily activities, and lead to economic losses. In October, Hurricane Matthew left at least 24 dead and caused $6 billion in insured property loss when it hit the southeastern United States. As the numbers and costs continue to climb, homeowners, communities, and the federal government will be challenged to make wise financial investments that will help save lives and lower the costs of future storms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Unwanted Migration: How Governments Cope?

Unwanted Migration: How Governments Cope? YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie and Barry Mirkin. August 4, 2016.

Uncontrolled migration, spurred by a growing populations, fewer resources like water or arable land as well as increasing conflict, has become a contentious political issue, particularly in advanced economies like Europe and the United States, argue Chamie and Mirkin. Passions run high as liberals support assistance and an emphasis on human rights of displaced people while conservatives advocate limits and enforcement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance

Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Marian Leonardo Lawson. June 23, 2016.

In most cases, the success or failure of U.S. foreign aid programs is not entirely clear, in part because historically, most aid programs have not been evaluated for the purpose of determining their actual impact. Many programs are not even evaluated on basic performance. The purpose and methodologies of foreign aid evaluation have varied over the decades, responding to political and fiscal circumstances. Aid evaluation practices and policies have variously focused on meeting program management needs, building institutional learning, accounting for resources, informing policymakers, and building local oversight and project design capacity. Challenges to meaningful aid evaluation have varied as well, but several are recurring. Persistent challenges to effective evaluation include unclear aid objectives, funding and personnel constraints, emphasis on accountability for funds, methodological challenges, compressed timelines, country ownership and donor coordination commitments, security, and agency and personnel incentives.

[PDF format, 29 pages, 787.61 KB].