Workshop on Implementation of Paris Declaration by USG Foreign Assistance Organizations

U.S. Department of State Third Annual Conference on Program Evaluation - Evaluating Partnerships Track
Washington, DC
June 8, 2010

MR. SRIKANTIAH: Good morning, everyone. Thank you all for coming.

My name is Sanjay Srikantiah. I am with RMSBP, and I'm going to be assisted today by my colleague, Melinda Crowley, and I'd like to wish everyone a good morning and welcome you to the first workshop under our theme "Evaluating Partnerships."

The title of today's workshop, "Implementation of Paris Declaration by U.S. Government Foreign Assistance Organizations," will be presented by three distinguished panelists. You have their bios in the booklets that you received earlier this morning, but I'll say a few words about each of them.

Our first speaker today is Peter Davis. Mr. Davis is acting Coordinator of the Office of Planning and Performance Management in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance here at the Department of State.

Mr. Davis also serves as a member of the management group and U.S. representative to Phase II evaluation of the Paris Declaration. He has over 40 years of experience in performance management, including planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation.

Mr. Davis created USAID's first monitoring and evaluation system, and developed such systems for a variety of agencies in USAID missions, working in over 90 countries.

Our next speaker will be Dr. Krishna Kumar. He is a senior evaluation advisor, also at the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance. Dr. Kumar has directed a series of multi-country evaluations in his current and prior positions at the World Bank and the East-West Center. He also taught at Michigan State University, and in the course of his professional career has looked at development programs in 35 countries.

And our third speaker this morning will be Dr. Richard Blue. Dr. Blue is currently Vice President for Evaluation Services at Social Impact, where he also serves as Senior Technical Advisor on USAID Evaluation Service IQCs.

In the last four years, he has worked on numerous USAID monitoring and evaluation projects, and is currently Chief of Party to U.S. self-evaluation efforts under the Paris Declaration. Prior to working at Social Impact, Dr. Blue had a 15-year career with USAID, where he conducted complex mixed method evaluations in 23 countries covering nearly all regions of the world.

So we have a very accomplished panel this morning, and before I give the floor to them, I request that the audience hold their questions for a Q&A session to be held after the presentation, and I'd like to now introduce our first speaker, who will be Peter Davis.

Thank you.

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MR. DAVIS: Good morning. Thanks for coming.

We find that the Paris Declaration is becoming more popular. It's coming out in the Secretary's statements, Rajiv Shah's administrative aid statements, and various other forums in the new initiative, so �'�' and it is all over the new QDDR (phonetic) stuff, so it is here to stay.

The Paris Declaration is a treaty, effectively, that is now been signed by more than 130 countries. We will give you copies of these as you leave, so you know, that will save you from taking notes and stuff like that.

It says 100, but it's really more like 130 at this point. It represents a broad consensus among the international community about how to make aid more effective. That is the whole theme, how to make aid more effective.

It's a commitment to help developing country governments formulate and implement their own national development plans under their own priorities, which leads to the next slide, which is the agreed principles for the Paris Declaration.

Now, I'm not going to stand here and read all this to you, and you will have it in your book, but �'�' or in your take-away, but ownership is one �'�' is the first principle.

Programs �'�' if you don't own the program, you're not going to do it, whether that's in foreign assistance or anything else in life.

Alignment, which has to do with lining up our priorities with the developing countries' national priorities and helping them to do that, including the use of their systems, and harmonization, where we actually work with other donors, so we're not duplicating and fighting and whatever.

Managing for results speaks for itself, and mutual accountability, which is a big part of it, and which leads to things like serious monitoring and evaluation if you're going to �'�' to do it effectively.

So those are the key Paris Declaration principles. Those were supplemented in Akrah (phonetic), the next slide, where there was a third high-level forum on aid effectiveness in 2008, and there three collateral principles were articulated, which kind of were embedded in the other six, but nonetheless are worth mentioning: country ownership, building more effective and inclusive partnerships, and achieving development of results, and importantly, openly accounting for them, very important activities.

These are treaty obligations of the United States, and we are obligated to report back to the some 130 countries at the next high-level forum, which will be in Seoul, Korea, in 2011.

The evaluation of the Paris Declaration, which is what this presentation is largely about �'�' So first was the Paris Declaration, now the evaluation �'�' is �'�' it would be hypocritical if you didn't have evaluation as part of the Paris Declaration. In other words, accountability.

The Akrah agenda for action specifically called for or required such an evaluation, and it's an attempt to sort of �'�' to document what has and has not been achieved.

The problem with this is that it's like a run-away freight train. It's a little early to get real results, but nonetheless, the countries are committed to do that.

There are country-level evaluations being done by the countries using independent contractors to do them, so they're independent evaluations but under the sponsorship of the countries, and we are doing a donor self-evaluation, which is being done by a contractor, who is here today, who will speak to the details of that evaluation, but it basically has two �'�' two complementary foci.

One is on implementation. That is, how is the Paris Declaration put into practice by the United States Government. And two, results. What has changed?

The first part is easier to measure than the second part, as you might expect. It's just been too brief a time, and so there are a lot of methodological issues, but nonetheless, there was �'�' at the high-level forum in Akrah, there were evaluations at that point, not a U.S. evaluation, and they �'�' it had a very substantial impact on the proceedings.

We have developed this evaluation to try to have it as objective and methodologically as sound as possible, although no experimental designs or anything like that is possible.

It's under the rubric or under the auspices of a management group made up of the seven agencies of the U.S. Government who are the focus of the evaluation, those agencies which are all the major players and providers of foreign assistance in the United States Government except the Department of Defense �'�' I see a colleague here in uniform �'�' where we just didn't feel like we had the �'�' the ability to do that, but it does involve all the other agencies, USAID, the State Department, Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps. What have I missed?

Anyhow, there is seven of them, totally, and each one is being done on a case study basis, and then it will be synthesized into one overall report, bearing in mind that �'�' that the principles in the Paris Declaration are really more statements of belief than they are actual empirically proven paths to development success.

So one of the things we'll be doing in the evaluation is trying to assess the extent to which those principles, harmony and alignment and ownership, all those sort of things I mentioned earlier, do, in fact, promote effective development.

The U.S. has played a prominent role in the Paris Declaration evaluation. We are a member of the International Reference Group, which comprises some 50 countries. We were elected a member of the six-country core management group, which actually directs the evaluation. I'm the representative on that. And we have contracted with a very prominent and eminent U.S. consulting firm, Social Impact, who is actually in the process of carrying out the evaluation.

Some of you may have been visited by them as they've conducted well over 100 interviews at this point, and the study is managed by the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance in conjunction with the State Department and AID.

We have a reference group made up of all the agencies that I mentioned �'�' the one I overlooked was, forgive me, the Treasury Department �'�' all of whom are overseeing the evaluation.

So that, in a nutshell, is what we're about here, and my colleague and the primary author of the scope of work for this evaluation, Dr. Krishna Kumar, will speak next.

DR. KUMAR: Thank you very much, and I'm very grateful to Peter for making my task very easy. As Peter was saying, there are two aspects of this evaluation. One is the headquarters evaluation, what these countries who are committed to Paris Declaration and who are more donor agencies �'�' what are they doing? And the other is, what is happening in the countries where assistance of our development partners, and so one aspect of this evaluation is what donor agency as a U.S. �'�' like U.S. or the 24 donor agencies and the U.S. are doing, and I will focus on this evaluation, which is headed by Dr. Richard Blue, is to find focus on three issues.

Number one, whether there is awareness, commitment, and capacity building, what we have done after signing the declaration, and the purpose of this evaluation is to focus primarily on whether there is a general awareness of the Paris Declaration, whether there is a commitment at different levels of hierarchy to these five principles, and number three, whether different agencies have built or had capacity to implement these Paris Declaration principles, and so that was the purpose of our evaluation.

Now, when we were designing this evaluation, we had three major challenges. One is, unlike other donor agencies, our (inaudible) has been administered by more than 24 agencies, departments, and all, and each of them have their own organizational structure, their own policies, their own strategies, and their own programs.

So there is not a current approach as some other donor countries have.

Secondly, the PD evaluation �'�' that is, Paris Declaration evaluation �'�' primarily focuses on development assistance.

In U.S., we do not make a difference between foreign assistance and development assistance, because �'�' as I will explain to you later �'�' because it is very difficult in this interconnected development world to whether security assistance that we provide is not conducive to development, and third point, which Peter mentioned just now, these five principles are (inaudible), you know, they are belief systems, and so they can be operationalized by different agencies in different ways. So these were the three challenges which we faced when we were designing evaluation for Paris Declaration.

So what did we do?

First, we thought that we would develop a multi-agency evaluation, and so we invited the (inaudible) we selected four major U.S. departments or agencies which provide the largest bilateral �'�' it is not multilateral �'�' bilateral foreign assistance, and these were USAID, the State, Department of Health and Human Services, and Millennium Challenge Corporation, because these are the largest donor agencies within the U.S.

Then we thought that, if we focus only on large organizations or agencies, we may not get the full picture of the implementation of foreign assistance.

So we decided to add three other smaller agencies, which should fulfill these criteria.

First, they should have distributed at least 25 million of foreign assistance for 2008. That was the year for which we had the latest data.

Second, have designed and implemented long-term assistance program in a country, and third, and the most important, in a way, they were willing to participate in this evaluation and provide us access to documents, histories, and personnel. So the three departments which offered to participate were Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and Treasury.

So we have a sample of seven U.S. donor agencies, four of the largest and three which represent the smaller bilateral programs.

The second problem which we faced, as Peter mentioned earlier, that we wanted to make it a joint and collaborative enterprise, you know, because that reflects the nature of our foreign assistance program.

So we decided that we will form a �'�' establish a reference group in which each of the participating agencies will be represented. So we had a reference group of eight agencies, which is coordinating, which is involved in the planning and implementing this.

The second challenge which I mentioned earlier was how to deal with the question of what constitutes �'�' what is foreign assistance, you know, because this is a major contentious issue in the international community, what is foreign assistance and what is development assistance.

Since we do not make any distinction, we decided to follow a definition which �'�' what is called �'�' which was given by foreign assistance as of 1961, which basically defines, in a very comprehensive way, it involves tangible and intangible items provided by U.S. Government to a foreign country or information organization under this act.

So we decided to focus not so much on going to the problem of what is foreign assistance and what is development assistance, but decided to focus on all foreign assistance programs.

So though this definition is broader than earlier definition, however two major elements of earlier definition �'�' is primarily to promote economic development and welfare in the recipient country, and second, the assistance should be given on the concessionary terms.

Second, lastly, we decided to focus on how to deal with intricate methodological problems. As I said, this is a basic issue, is basically of normative principles, different agencies following their own priorities, own concerns, own methodologies, own organizational structures.

So we thought that the best way would be to focus on each �'�' we will have separate case studies for each of the seven agencies, focusing on the set of �'�' common set of issues, and then we will prepare (inaudible).

So it would be �'�' we would be able to capture the diversity, the different orientations, the different practices, the different levels of implementation by the seven agencies, and at the same time, we will be able to provide the current picture of our foreign assistance program.

The last part was, from this, we designed (inaudible) more anthropology kind of (inaudible) development data collection methods and (inaudible) and the director of evaluation (inaudible) Dr. Richard Blue will shed light on this.

DR. BLUE: Okay. Thank you. Everybody will get a chance to look at the logo, and then we'll go past that.

The scope of work which was given to us by our clients, our colleagues, Peter and Krishna, really was extracted and adapted for the United States context from a larger protocol that has preceded us, and we have to be very careful �'�' we have to be very careful to be sure that what we're preparing in the final reports fits into something that the European and the management committee at the international level will recognize, and so there's some constraints.

It's not just a free-wheeling kind of enterprise �'�' next slide, please �'�' but a commitment �'�' and I'll come back to these, because they're very interesting in terms of when you �'�' when you try to do an evaluation and you're interested in finding out what people know about a particular treaty or a particular concept or a particular set of principles, in this case, and you know, I'm doing the Department of State, and the farther up the line I get, the more briefing papers the guy has on his desk which were done the night before and you're trying to figure out, well, how do you know, and if he did his homework, then he can tell you. But you kind of have to get below that and say, well, how long have you known that? Well, I was given this briefing paper last night, and now I know it.

So it has kind of come to this, but it's very interesting to hear that commitment capacity. These are really forcing us to move beyond just what do you know and when did you know it, but going to the question of what have you done about it, what has anybody done about it, and that �'�' that was a challenge, and then incentives and disincentives, which I think is kind of a neat one, is, in other words, does anybody get a gold star for doing good PD work.

And people look at you rather blankly on that, or are there disincentives and there's another kind of dimension to that if you want to (inaudible) would be that constraints and �'�' and operational changes that are occurring that actually foster commitment to or action with regard to the Paris Declaration, and then, of course, underlying causal factors, and I'll come back to that in a minute, too.

So the evaluation design is a mixed method approach, and those of you who don't know, probably one of the best texts �'�' recent texts on mixed method approaches by Michael Bamberger, et. al, and published by Sage, I think. A new edition will be coming out.

Sometimes mixed method is a word that you apply when you don't know what else you're doing, and you throw everything into it, because there's no way of knowing what's going to work and what isn't going to work, but on the other hand, it does have some principles, and for those of you interested in methodology and evaluation design, I recommend that book.

So what did we do? One of the things that we didn't anticipate doing, but I think Peter mentioned it, is �'�' I think we will do �'�' and that is look at the logic model and the theory of change, because like Krishna said, these are normative principles, but they're normative principles based on a kind of consensus that may or may not be valid with respect to the empirical evidence that says the principles of the Paris Declaration are, in fact, the best way to get aid effectiveness.

Now, that's a huge task, and in some ways, I'm not sure that we have the resources to come to a set of conclusions whether the Paris Declaration makes any sense from an empirical perspective, but I can tell you that we will be reporting on what other people think about the Paris Declaration and whether it makes sense or not, and I'll come back to that.

Document review. Basically all of the background documents, the reports that were done by other countries in the first round, this is the second round of these reports. We have a �'�' we have a �'�' there is an international website that the Paris Declaration committee has up that we interact with, and then we have our own. So everything that we get goes onto that.

Time series analysis of budget. For example, one of the Paris Declaration principles and one of the principle ones is government ownership. So what does that mean, in fact, and when you start to dig into it, well, one of the kind of things you look for is to what extent is any program, Department of Labor, USAID, State, providing budget to the government to use its own procurement systems, to use its own planning and implementation processes to do host country contracting, which those of you who may have familiar with aid in the past will remember was a fad before.

And so looking at the budget, we worked with the people who put together all the budget numbers for the OECD, and very, very helpful. It turns out there's only five countries that we actually provide budget support out of the well over a hundred and some that we provide some form of foreign assistance to. So that's important kind of data to look at.

Analysis of program design and implementation procedures is really important, because if you're saying, okay, what's the capacity, what kind of actions have been taken to implement, then you have to look at the rules. We're all bureaucrats, or have been, and we follow, you know, the standard operating procedures to a greater or lesser extent, and those are very important to understand. So that was another source of information.

Structured key informant interviews. I'll just spend a second on that. A key informant interview could be as sloppy as me sitting down and having a cup of coffee with you, but it could also be fairly disciplined, and in this case, it had to be disciplined because of what Krishna and Peter said.

We're doing seven case studies, and we have to bring all of that information together into a synthesis report, and if �'�' you know how hard it is to bring case studies together when they're not done around some set of structure principles agreed to in advance.

So a structured key informant interview has a set of questions which we are all asking, whether we're at HHS or DOL or at State, and then it also asks either the interviewers or the respondent to rate, okay, on the idea of how knowledgeable is your organization about the Paris Declaration, what would you say, on a scale of one to five, five being the highest, and they say, well, two.

And so we will be doing, at USAID, well over a hundred interviews, and when you start adding these up, then you begin to get some patterns that emerge as to the level. And so you can both get the qualitative information as well as quickly aggregate some of these rating scales that we build into the structure. So that's what a structured key informant interview does.

U.S. mission survey research. We're about �'�' hopefully, if we get approval, we're about to send out a survey using Survey Monkey, or similar, to a stratified random sample of missions, and this will be completed by, hopefully, someone in the USAID mission, probably either the program officer or perhaps the mission director, and somebody in the embassy, either the DCM �'�' because the DCMs, I find, are usually responsible for putting together the strategic plan under the guidance of the ambassador.

So we will have that data back, and that will be a fairly large data set of data from the field, and then site visits.

Because we're an evaluation firm, we have people constantly going out into the field, and one of my colleagues is going to Armenia on Friday, and so he will set aside a day to interview people in the U.S. mission, including the State said or the AID side, if there's a Treasury person there, interview him, and so on, or her.

So that's basically the methodology that we're using, and it's organized around these cases, as Peter and Krishna have said, and then we will bring all of this together into a synthesis report, which will move up the ladder a bit, and compile the information from the U.S. Government.

It's going to be a mind blower to a lot of people from the European side, because they don't realize how complex and how diverse and, some would say, in a negative way, fragmented the U.S. foreign assistance program really is.

These are the seven case studies that were already mentioned, and the people who are doing them.

George Grove �'�' I'll just single him out, because George was the deputy inspector general for HHS and is also very active in the American Evaluation Association, and in HHS, the inspector general and the evaluation function are in the same office. So he is an evaluator, not just an IG person, and so that's very helpful.

Cindy Winsek (phonetic), who is doing USDA, used to work here in State, as well as in USAID. Some of you may know her. And Jerry Hyman (phonetic) was, for a long time, head of the democracy office in AID and is now over at, I think, CSIS, and so forth.

Okay. The synthesis report, I mentioned. Go to the challenges. Yes, challenges. Great. Okay.

What are some of the challenges? For one thing, it's a moving train or it's an airplane, the better metaphor is it's an airplane taking off, and when we started this evaluation, it was still on the ground, but because there had been more and more buzz and more and more talk, as we do more and more of these interviews, you find that the level of knowledge -- quote/unquote -- awareness has gone up, and I can't tell whether that's because of good briefing papers or just because it's in the air and a lot of people are talking about it. The QDDR process has focused on aid effectiveness, and that's gotten some noise. Rajiv Shah over at AID has made speeches, and so on.

So, you know, it's not a snapshot. It is, in effect, representing an increasing level of awareness among all of the players, and there's nothing we can do about that, and in some ways, this evaluation report will be, in part, a kind of advocacy document, or at least an information document that we hope will capture the attention of higher-level people in the U.S. Government.

People in Washington are busy. When I do an evaluation in the field, somebody from the USAID mission or the U.S. embassy calls up, and I immediately have four appointments the next day, and I have four appointments after that, and I can do �'�' in three weeks, I can do well over a hundred appointments.

Here it is like pulling teeth. It's difficult, because people are very busy, and so on average, it has taken us well over six weeks to get as many as 14 to 16 interviews.

My strategy in State, since I'm responsible for the State part, has been to try to identify the bureaus and offices that actually spend money. In other words, either directly or through a partner in the U.N. or wherever, and talk to people first who are responsible for implementing foreign assistance programs of one form or another.

The next level, then, we will go up to more of a senior level and try to get at the policy people, and that kind of creates another problem, is that, at least in AID, especially, there really aren't that many policy people in place, and so that's been a problem, because there's really only two or three people to talk to.

And �'�' and my last important point, I think, is when we wrote the proposal �'�' and I think it's turned out to be very important �'�' we made a distinction between those actions that you guys are doing that are branded with PD, we're doing them because we understand the Paris Declaration, we're committed to it, and here's the changes we've made to implement that. Very little evidence of that.

But there's a lot of things that you're doing that are consistent with the Paris Declaration, and there are some things that it's unlikely we will ever do that are consistent with the Paris Declaration, and that was a real opener, because it allowed us to move from saying these people aren't doing anything that's PD, but they're doing a lot of stuff over here that is really consistent with some of those good principles and some of the better principles, like harmonization and so forth.

Okay. On that, I'll stop, and thank you for your attention, and I look forward to any questions you may have.

MR. SRIKANTIAH: If you have a question or a comment, please press the button on the microphone in front of you. We are recording these sessions. Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you for the presentation. I have a number of comments. First, why did you deviate from the OECD or DAC (phonetic) definition for development assistance, especially that the Paris Declaration is all about measuring the effectiveness of development cooperation, and secondly, I assume that the purpose of the evaluation is to find out to what extent these principles are effectively implemented by the different U.S. agencies responsible for managing development cooperation.

So did you, for example, check issues like implementing assistance through the traditional government bureaucracies and their commitment to decreasing the number of project implementation units that are �'�' this is usually a declared commitment by �'�' by many foreign assistance agencies, but when they come to implementation on the ground, they forget about it, and they resort to creating more PIUs, project implementation units, once again.

Thank you.

MR. DAVIS: I'm going to start, and then we'll have Richard pick up.

What maybe I didn't make sufficiently clear is that this is a two-part or a two-pronged effort. There's the effort that we've all described here this morning, which is designed to be an advocacy effort, in a sense, as well as an assessment of what the United States Government is doing relative to the principles, as you just said.

It's also contributing to the larger evaluation of the Paris Declaration for which 50 countries are doing similar kinds of evaluations with similar if not identical scopes of work, and they will all pour into the core group, who will then do a synthesis which will then be presented at Seoul in 2011, the end of 2011.

So ours is part of the larger whole. We also designed the evaluation such that it would inform the United States Government, all of us doing it, so that we could do a better job and we'd also learn whether or not �'�' the extent to which those principles actually work.

Richard, you may want to pick up.

DR. KUMAR: Let me answer your question. There were two activities.

The first thing is, practically, it was impossible for us to separate what constitutes development assistance and what does not constitute development assistance, because you see, if you look at it, the development is a much more complex process, you know, simply rather than focusing on economic development, and through the last 15 or 20 years, we have also realized that it is very much connected with the issues of governance.

It is also connected with the question of security. It is �'�' so to make an artificial difference between development assistance and foreign assistance is also conceptually a question.

But practically, also it was impossible, as it is, to separate operationally what constitutes development assistance, and these were the two reasons why we had no choice, you know.

DR. BLUE: That's the capacity side of our scope of work, and the question that we're investigating is to what extent have there been changes made consistent with �'�' either in reflection of the Paris Declaration or there are practices that are being pursued that are consistent with the Paris Declaration, and for example, harmonization is one of the major principles, and that breaks down into a variety of sub-categories.

In the United States case, it's very interesting, because when you have 24 different agencies, the big problem to start with is not harmonizing with the European Union but is harmonizing with each other and �'�' and getting coordination among all of the different players here.

USAID now represents less than 50 percent, I think, of �'�' of the 150 count, and you know, it's 24 or 27, by different counts, but then when you go below something like Homeland Security, you will see the Customs people will be involved and there will be other people involved.

So as you get down below the even big bureau level, you get even more.

So it's a very complicated system, and it's a system that is evolving because of the nature of the changes and the international environment that we operate in, and it's not just terrorism but also other global issues that cannot be dealt with just by a development assistance approach and the narrow focus on poverty sense of the word.

Going to Krishna's point, also I did an evaluation a year-and-a-half ago on border security in a country, two countries, actually, and I was struck by the fact that so many of the issues that I uncovered in that program of the United States, in which USAID was not involved at all, really were so similar to the kinds of issues that I cover when I deal with USAID projects: institutional capacity building, the effectiveness of training, well thought out and well conceived program designs, existence or non-existence of well executed monitoring systems.

So in many ways, all of the processes that would go �'�' or ought to go into a development assistance program also apply to any other foreign assistance program, because we're still dealing with change. We're still dealing with promoting some kind of more effective government or more effective approach to policy or whatever it may be.

So on the ground, the differences are fairly minimal, although the objectives may be somewhat different in that regard, but if you look at the U.S. Government program, even under USAID, we're dealing with anti-corruption and democracy and governance issues, many of which don't have a direct relationship to increasing farmer income in western India.

So even the USAID program, which we think more of as a development assistance program, is dealing with a wider array of issues than that. So that's, I think, the reason why we've �'�' Krishna has rightly chosen to put it all together.

Other questions?

MR. SRIKANTIAH: We have time for one more brief question or comment.

QUESTION: Yes. I have a brief question in follow-up to the speaker this morning who was discussing the loss of funding or lack of accountability for some funding, and you know, I'm wondering whether this Paris Declaration evaluation addresses fiscal effectiveness, fiscal accountability, issues of graft and corruption in the evaluation and if that's something that we can look forward to, especially as it ties into security issues. Thank you.

MR. DAVIS: Yes, most assuredly, and mutual accountability is a big part of the whole Paris Declaration.

Now, it will vary country by country, the topical areas that they will get into, such as fiscal responsibility and so forth, but in general, that's the case.

One of the things that's happening now as part of the whole mutual accountability effort is that the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance is about to launch, as part of the overall U.S. Government effort on �'�' on transparency, a dashboard on foreign assistance, going across all of those agencies.

You can imagine the challenges involved, but it really is going to have, probably by the end of this month, or the budget and some results information, so there really will be a much higher degree of transparency within the Federal Government but also between us and our partners overseas, whether they're donor partners or whether they're host country partners.

So there's a new day dawning, as it were, on all that.


DR. BLUE: It's been interesting. There's two principles that apply. One is managing for results, and the other is accountability, mutual accountability.

On the managing for results one, we get very �'�' people are really tuned into the problem of managing for results, but when I point out that, in the Paris Declaration, managing for results means managing for results with the host country, and then you get kind of a --

Clearly, we haven't done very much in terms of building the capacity of the host country to work with us in managing for results because if you think about that, that also means that they take some ownership and that they �'�' their systems then have to be up to par to meet some of the accountability issues.

Because when I talk to people in the field and I say, well, have you thought about running some money through the ministry of health or the ministry of justice, and they say I am accountable for these funds and I am not going to �'�' I'm not going to be accountable unless I have complete control over the expenditure and I get the right kind of data and this sort of thing.

That is going to be one of the biggest problems with the Paris Declaration, is moving from a kind of accountability system, which in many ways is �'�' stresses risk averse �'�' and I know USAID is beginning to say how can we move from risk averse to risk management, which would then allow us a little room �'�' we can do all these things legally.

We have done host country contract. We can do budget support legally. But the accountability rules are so strict that people have been reluctant to do them, and frankly, I don't know whether there's been good studies on it, but at least when you talk to people who have been around long enough, they are very reluctant to move in that direction because of corruption, because of weak financial management systems or weak IG systems and so forth and so on.

MR. SRIKANTIAH: I'd like to thank our panelists today and thank you all for attending.

Our next presentation is at 11:00 o'clock, and before you leave, please don't forget to �'�' we'll be passing out folders with the presentations. Thank you.