American development policy

In: Uncategorized

9 Jan 2010

Those interested in American development policy should read the recent speech (PDF) by Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, on the subject. Although the significance of various concepts has to be decoded she made six main points:

* Development should be based on partnership not patronage. This seems to mean that poorer countries should strive for good governance and root out corruption. Although she did not say this it seems to suggest more western interference in the running of poorer countries.

* Development should be integrated more closely with defence and diplomacy. This suggests America is more concerned with threats to its own social cohesion than development as a good in itself.

* Improving coordination of America’s development efforts across different agencies.

* Focusing on key areas such as agriculture, education, energy, health and local governance.

* Investing in innovation. In addition to technology this apparently includes microfinance.

* Focusing more on women and girls.

She also pointed out the Obama administration is in the middle of two reviews of its development policy.