Green: Conservatives Should Care About Aid Reform

The U.S. foreign aid program needs a clear chain of command, according to Mark Green, managing director of the Malaria Policy Center. Photo by: Candice Villarreal / U.S. Navy

Why should conservatives in the U.S. care about foreign aid reform? Mark Green, managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Malaria Policy Center, can think of two reasons.

First, reforming the U.S. foreign aid program will need a clear chain of command, according to Green. The current U.S. aid program is spread across more than 20 different agencies and more than 50 separate offices, resulting in an administrative maze “with overlapping jurisdictions, conflicting rules, and differing cultures,” Green writes in a blog published by the reform coalition, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.

Green goes on to argue that such incoherent organization structure has led to “little comprehensive strategic planning.”

Green says: “We should create a clear national strategy on global development (which the recently leaked Presidential Study Directive calls for) that firmly and clearly lays out foreign assistance objectives, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of various offices. Sounds like a good job for Conservatives — taking sound principles of business administration and applying them to bureaucracy in need of reform.”

Second, the increasing budget deficit should all the more push the U.S. government to review its foreign aid program to ensure that taxpayers’ money are spent efficiently, Green notes. Conservatives may take the lead in reforming foreign aid by pushing for new and better monitoring and evaluation tools, he adds.

“One of the reasons that there are more Conservatives running for office – from Reagan Republicans to Blue Dog Democrats – is that our citizens are angry over government waste. Foreign aid reform gives us a chance to put that sentiment to work,” Green says.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.