The U.S. government is in the midst of a serious review of how to engage more effectively in developing countries. From destabilizing conflicts to climate change, pandemics, and food insecurity, daunting transnational challenges are having particularly large impacts on poorer countries. National security leaders, including the President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, and the newly confirmed head of USAID, have emphasized the need for strengthened civilian capacity to address the challenges of poor and fragile countries. Yet no broad strategy has been developed for providing assistance to developing nations to enable the United States, together with its allies, to address these interwoven foreign policy challenges.
Capacity for Change: Reforming U.S. Assistance Efforts in Poor and Fragile Countries describes the context for reform and examines the key issues for decision by policymakers in an effort to inform a coherent and effective national approach to both stabilization and broader development. It concludes with a set of recommendations and practical next steps, recognizing that improved capacity to effectively assist poor and fragile countries will come not from a single “silver bullet” idea but, rather, a package of strategic, organizational, and operational reforms that work together in concert.
"I think it is absolutely the right thing to do to consult with Aung San Suu Kyi and make sure that we don't get out of ahead of her and don't get too far behind her. This is a country that has so many problems. It is hard for Americans, I believe, to even imagine the number of problems, the difficulty, the complexity of the problems she faces as the leader of this country."