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Old 02-10-2009   #1
Beelzebubalicious
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Default A New Model for Foreign Aid?

As may or may not know, George Rupp, President of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was rumored to be a candidate for AID administrator. With the appointment of acting administrator Fulgham, there's speculation that larger change is in the air. I wonder if Rupp's research trip to the UK to review DFID is an indicator of these changes and his candidacy....

See A New Model for Foreign Aid By Anne C. Richard;

"The "DFID Model": Lessons for the U.S.;

A Reliance on Smart Power: Reforming the Foreign Assistance Bureaucracy; and

Defining the Military’s Role towards Foreign Policy
Testimony of George Rupp
President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
Before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Thursday, July 31, 2008

The opening paragraph of the conclusion of this last piece is worth quoting, I think:

Quote:
As Secretary of Defense Gates stated earlier this month, “We cannot kill or capture our way to victory.” We are learning that the fight against extremism will not be won in the battlefield. The enemy is not terrorism; the enemy is ignorance and poverty. The remedy is health, education, and economic development, carried out in a cost effective way by experts.

Last edited by Beelzebubalicious; 02-10-2009 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 02-11-2009   #2
Ken White
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Default Mildly off thread question

First, on thread: I agree that USAID needs major revitalization and effort. I agree that our foreign affairs effort and our foreign aid efforts need a great deal of work. I'm neutral at this time on Rupp and the proposal linked.

However, I have a question of the resident Academics:

I note the linked "The 'DFID Model': Lessons for the U.S." was published by John Hopkins. So was the precursor to the infamous and terribly flawed "Lancet" study on Iraqi deaths. Are both those not issue efforts and thus my question; is Johns Hopkins supporting issue efforts or academic inquiry?
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Old 02-11-2009   #3
John T. Fishel
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Default If I understand

"issue effort" it is polemical. I don't see the DFID stuff in that way but rather as a comparative inquiry with policy implications for US practitioners. Of course, the authors advocate a point of view, but so does most policy oriented research. I also don't see this as terribly sophisticated analysis but still well within the legitimate rubric for an academic institution with policy pretensions - in the most positive sense, of course.

Cheers

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Old 02-11-2009   #4
Rex Brynen
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Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
"issue effort" it is polemical. I don't see the DFID stuff in that way but rather as a comparative inquiry with policy implications for US practitioners. Of course, the authors advocate a point of view, but so does most policy oriented research. I also don't see this as terribly sophisticated analysis but still well within the legitimate rubric for an academic institution with policy pretensions - in the most positive sense, of course.
Agreed.

Ken—also, various university subunits and research groups are relatively free to publish what they want, provided that it meets some standard of quality. It is not unusual to find entirely different analyses being put forward, or policies recommended, by different folks in different places at the same institution.

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Old 02-11-2009   #5
Ken White
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Default Obviously, I've led a sheltered life...

I guess on one level, I knew all that but on another it hit the 'Reject button.'
Perhaps I had an unconscious delusion that Johns Hopkins was above the fray, so to speak.

Thank you both.

To return to the thread; having read all the links it does seem the British approach has much to recommend it but I'm unsure that congress will cede that much authority -- or money -- to anyone without micromanaging.
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Old 02-11-2009   #6
Beelzebubalicious
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It is interesting that Anne Richards, a VP at IRC and George Rupp, the President of IRC, published this in SAIS' journal. I guess they were just looking for a place to publish.... I didn't see any requirements for publication, though. It's an occasional paper, so perhaps there aren't any.
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Old 02-11-2009   #7
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I guess on one level, I knew all that but on another it hit the 'Reject button.'
Perhaps I had an unconscious delusion that Johns Hopkins was above the fray, so to speak.
Ken,

This publication came through the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), which is the graduate school for international relations based out of DC. Maybe the Roberts et al study was announced through SAIS, but I suspect that it came through Johns Hopkins proper since he was an epidemiologist working for the school of public health out of Baltimore. I was doing my MA at SAIS at the time both studies came out and don't remember them being publicized at SAIS (we did discuss the methodology in my applied econometrics class, but that was the only time that it really got air time in my classes). I don't know how independent the various schools under the Johns Hopkins brand name are, but SAIS is away from the flagpole, so to speak.

Last edited by Shek; 02-11-2009 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009   #8
Ross Wherry
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Although warned, Ken, I plunge in anyway.

USAID isn't the agency it was some time ago when it was just AID. Contracts officers run the place now, auditors have stifled innovation with fear, and too many capable technical officers -- the folks on the front line -- retired in disgust.

George Rupp's point of view is apt if the armed conflict hasn't started yet. But the same attitude, when tossed into Phase IV operations, stands stammering and helpless. Humanitarian aid is not the answer to every situation, just as bullets aren't.
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Old 12-13-2009   #9
Steve the Planner
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Here, we run the risk of mixing inappropriate metaphors.

Poverty reduction. Look at a map of US military interests, and national and sub-national poverty and humanitarian concerns are a direct mirror. Severe distress lays the context for current instability and future conflict.

Against that map of human misery, it is without possibility that US AID Missions and International Relief Agencies are making contributions.

Unfortunately, conflict & post conflict environments are materially different, as is the appropriateness and effectiveness of delivering aid under those other poverty-relief models in the areas of US military conflict engagement, including COIN.

At essence in COIN is the existence of open conflict, and the need to stabilize conflict (clear), secure post-conflict environments (hold)---then move development forward (build).

While build is a phase akin to current poverty allevaition systems, we are, too often, trying to do something entirely different in these military engagements. Clear so that some actors will pick up a tea cup, often while others want to shoot that tea cup. Hold against the tea cup snipers, and build to directly conflict the tea cup snipers.

As much as some may wish to say "we do poverty reduction and foreign aid," my question is specific to the military conflict zones: What does what they do have to do with how and what must be done in a conflict/post-conflict environment?

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