How USTDA holds firms accountable for development impact

Lee Zak, director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency strives to leverage U.S. private investment for global development outcomes — but how does the agency work to ensure those investments actually have an impact?

Devex spoke with Director Lee Zak to find out what kind of mechanisms USTDA has in place to hold U.S. businesses accountable for delivering the development impacts their projects are designed to achieve.

As policymakers and politicians from both sides of the aisle have thrown their weight behind a "new model of development" that seeks to use limited public assistance funds to leverage more private capital, the agency has emerged as a bigger player in the U.S. aid ecosystem.

Still, some question whether measuring the impact of public-private partnerships has kept pace with the enthusiasm surrounding them.

Devex reporter Michael Igoe interviews USTDA Director Leocadia Zak.

This is the second of two excerpts from our conversation with Lee Zak. The full interview will be published on Monday in the Development Insider.

Read more on U.S. aid reform online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

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Lee Zak on Power Africa: 'The phone is ringing off the hook'

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About the author

  • Igoe michael 1

    Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.