17 August 2011

OECD to US: Buy Local

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released the 2011 peer review of the United States development programs and implementation. The full report (PDF) offers a complete review with recommendations for making improvements. A summary of these findings can be found here.

The findings and recommendations are worth skimming, but these two are what I believe to be among the most important:
To provide better value-for-money and comply with the OECD recommendation on untying aid, the US should:
- Fully untie its aid to least developed countries (LDCs) and to heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), consistent with the 2001 DAC recommendation on untying aid as amended on 25 July 2008.
- Continue to carry the message to Congress that US co-operation would yield better value for money for partners if it were not tied to the provision of US goods and services.
Buying local will inject money directly into local economies and is a more effective use of funds since it will rely on much cheaper shipping costs, import tariffs and logistical challenges.

As a bonus, the OECD provides this nice little graphic to help visualize where US ODA is going: