What makes the new Policy, Planning and Learning Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development different from the old Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination?
Larry Garber explained that the PPL will “actively interact with and serve other parts” of the aid agency and deal with issues on policy, planning, learning and evaluation, science and technology, and donor engagement.
“PPL’s goal is to facilitate the best work of the Agency in support of the Administrator’s priorities, not to supplant the role of experts in their respective bureaus,” the assistant to the USAID administrator of the newly-created bureau said. “PPL emphasizes ‘open architecture,’ meaning its offices will not be silos, and it will create time-limited, goal-oriented teams that cut across offices to tackle cross-cutting issues.
The bureau’s Science and Technology Office is also a “unique element,” Garber said, emphasizing that the office aims to elevate the role of science and technology in creating development strategies.
The new USAID bureau will have five offices on policy, strategic and program planning, donor engagement, science and technology, and learning, evaluation and research.
PPL staff will support USAID chief Rajiv Shah’s priority goals on the Millennium Development Goals, country-led growth, science, technology and innovation, and development in crisis situations, as well as help the aid agency develop into a “learning organization,” Garber noted.
By and large, PPL will take on a leadership and coordination role on policy and strategic planning for USAID by providing guidance and content for policy- and strategy-related dialogues within the agency and other external fora.