Obama Council issues first report

2014-04 GDC EstherApril 14, 2014 – Washington DC – President Obama’s Global Development Council issued its first report today entitled Beyond Business as Usual at a public meeting in Washington attended by THP. The Council made recommendations in four major areas:

  1. Harnessing the Private Sector by creating a Development Finance Bank, strengthening OPIC and taking better advantage of emerging finance tools such as social impact funds and blended capital models.
  2. Innovation, Transparency and Evidence-Based Policy by focusing on impact, such as with “cash-on-delivery” of outcomes, and by making the new Global Development Laboratory bolder.
  3. Climate-Smart Food Security, by integrating sustainability and growth, and reclaiming degraded lands. They call for programs that reduce post harvest waste, increase agricultural productivity, strengthen land tenure and stewardship rights of women, significantly increase the efficiency of agricultural water use and promote access to clean water and sanitation.
  4. Global Leadership, including hosting a Global Development Conference.

While THP and other groups, such as the Modernize Foreign Assistance Network, welcome bringing the issue of global development to the presidential level, the Council had not addressed key areas such as country ownership. THP has expressed concern that the makeup of the council is strong on business and academics, with insufficient representation of those with poverty-focused development experience. We were pleased, however, by the strong leadership on gender issues represented by Sarah Degnan Kambou, Esther Duflo and Smita Singh. (Click here for the full list of members and more information on the Council.)