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U.S. Global Development Policy

Published February 8, 2012

On September 22, 2010, President Barack signed a Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, or the U.S. Global Development Policy, which calls for "the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power and charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to mutually reinforce and complement one another in an integrated comprehensive approach to national security." The fact sheet included how the development policy is releated to the Global Climate Change Initiative, Feed the Future, and the Global Health Initiative. In 2012, the Global Development Council was established and began producing reports in 2014.

Excerpt from U.S. Global Development Policy:

A New Operational Model

The effectiveness of our development policy will derive in large measure from how we engage, from our ability to take into account the complexity of development challenges and the changing development landscape, and from our commitment to incorporate development expertise and an orientation toward results.  Moving forward, the United States will:

Be more selective about where and in which sectors it works.  The United States cannot do all things, do them well, and do them everywhere.  Instead, the U.S. must focus its efforts in order to maximize long-term impact.  The United States will:

  • Make hard choices about how to allocate attention and resources across countries, regions, and sectors.
  • Demand greater focus from assistance programs within countries, especially those with small programs.
  • Reallocate resources in support of those efforts that yield the greatest impact.

Underscore the importance of country ownership and responsibility.  Where our partners set in place systems that reflect high standards of transparency, good governance, and accountability, the United States will:

  • Respond directly to country priorities, making new investments in line with established national strategies and country development plans based on broad consultation. 
  • Empower responsible governments to drive development and sustain outcomes by working through national institutions rather than around them.

Forge a deliberate division of labor among key donors. The United States will:

• Seek an explicit division of labor by focusing our efforts on select countries and regions.

• Focus our expertise in a smaller number of sectors, with an emphasis on selectivity and an orientation toward results.
• Work with bilateral donors, the multilateral development banks and other international organizations to ensure complementarity and coordination of efforts.

Leverage the private sector, philanthropic and nongovernmental organizations, and diaspora communities.  The United States will:

• Reorient our approach to prioritize partnership from policy conception through to implementation, finding new ways to leverage our investments and to spur action by others both in Washington and the field.
Strengthen key multilateral capabilities. The United States will:

• Redouble our efforts to support, reform, and modernize multilateral development organizations most critical to our interests.

• Renew our leadership in the multilateral development banks, ensuring that we take advantage of their expertise and coordinate our respective efforts.

• Create new multilateral capabilities as and where needed, as we have done by making the G20 the premier forum for our international economic cooperation.

Drive our policy and practice with the disciplined application of analysis of impact.  The United States will:

• Set in place rigorous procedures to evaluate the impact of policies and programs, report on results and reallocate resources accordingly, incorporate relevant evidence and analysis from other institutions, and inform the policy and budget process. 

• Undertake a more substantial investment of resources in monitoring and evaluation, including with a focus on rigorous and high-quality impact evaluations.

A Modern Architecture 

To ensure the effective implementation of our new policy, the United States will raise the importance of development in our national security policy decision-making and generate greater coherence across the U.S. Government.  The United States will:

Elevate development as a central pillar of our national security policy, equal to diplomacy and defense, and build and integrate the capabilities that can advance our interests.  To ensure that development expertise is brought to bear in decision making, the Administrator of USAID will be included in meetings of the National Security Council, as appropriate.  The Administrator will report to the Secretary of State, who will ensure that development and diplomacy are effectively coordinated and mutually reinforcing in the operation of foreign policy.  Through existing policy mechanisms (e.g., trade policy through the United States Trade Representative’s Trade Policy Review Group, etc.), an assessment of the “development impact” of policy changes affecting developing countries will be considered.

Reestablish the United States as the global leader on international development.  This entails a long-term commitment to rebuilding USAID as the U.S. Government’s lead development agency – and as the world’s premier development agency – by focusing on the following areas:  
• The development of robust policy, budget, planning, and evaluation capabilities. 
• Leadership in the formulation of country and sector development strategies, as appropriate.
• Streamlined operating methods and greater transparency.
• Learning, research and best practices that produce breakthrough results and embrace game-changing innovation.
• Investments that benefit women and girls.
• New partnerships globally that leverage the expertise and resources of others. 
The Presidential Policy Directive also commits the U.S. government to building the capabilities of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and better coordinating its efforts with those of USAID and U.S. development policy more generally.  The United States will more effectively draw on the contributions of agencies across the United States Government, including the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Commerce, and Treasury, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, United States Export-Import Bank, and the United States Trade and Development Agency.

Establish mechanisms for ensuring coherence in U.S. development policy across the United States Government.  The United States will:

  • Formulate a U.S. Global Development Strategy for approval by the President  every four years;
  • Conduct a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review by the Department of State and USAID, and
  • Establish an Interagency Policy Committee on Global Development, led by the National Security Staff and reporting to the NSC Deputies and Principals, to set priorities, facilitate decision-making where agency positions diverge, and coordinate development policy across the executive branch,  including the implementation of this PPD.
  • Beyond the issues coordinated by the White House, the Secretary of State will coordinate foreign assistance and the Secretary of the Treasury will coordinate multilateral development bank policy, consistent with existing law.  In the field, the Chief of Mission will ensure the coherence and coordination of development cooperation across U.S. agencies.
  • Create a U.S. Global Development Council, comprised of leading members of the philanthropic sector, private sector, academia, and civil society, to provide high-level input relevant to the work of United States Government agencies. 

Foster the integration of capabilities needed to address complex security environments.  The United States will seek an enhanced level of interagency cooperation in complex security environments by providing strong incentives for the design of common analysis, planning, and programs that draw upon the distinct perspectives and expertise of different U.S. agencies.

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