At a virtual event on January 14th, 2021 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new Economic Growth Policy. This policy demonstrates both a belief in and commitment to supporting developing countries in gaining sustainable economic growth that is both inclusive and resilient. With an aim of increasing impact, the new policy opens the door of opportunity for developing countries to make progress on the path to becoming self-reliant, while providing USAID staff and their partners a unifying economic development framework—based on the most recent thinking and best practices.
According to USAID Acting Deputy Administrator John Barsa, “We stand ready to work with committed partners to seek market-based solutions that promote enterprise-driven development. Success depends not just on economic capacity, but on the commitment of governments, civil society, and the private sector in our partner countries to create an enabling environment that unlocks private enterprise as the force that drives self-reliance. While the journey will look different in the countries in which we work, a common thread is the spirit of people everywhere to be self-reliant. We invite our partners and other donors to join us in promoting economic growth as an indispensable step along the way.”
Through this new policy, USAID is clearly signaling that the path to self-reliance for developing countries is paved with economic growth. USAID’s new policy closely ties economic growth to reducing poverty and therefore the dependency on foreign aid and encourages more transparent and accountable governance. It outlines how economic growth that is inclusive and resilient, and that includes the private sector, will aid in increasing incomes and domestic resources.
USAID’s policy also outlines a plan to increase the impact of economic growth through addressing both how activities are approached, and how decisions are made by (1) investing in enterprise-driven development, (2) employing economic analysis, (3) measuring impact with an exit strategy, and (4) producing shared benefits for the economies of both developing countries and the United States.
To be both efficient and effective in their efforts, the inspiring USAID policy outlines key principles deemed as “central” to programs aimed at enhancing economic growth in partner countries. These principles include aiming for partners becoming self-financing, prioritizing benefits for the marginalized, striving for systemic impact, showing evidence of cost effectiveness, and shifting and adapting based on lessons learned.
Through investing in existing partnerships, while forging new affiliations, USAID will help propel developing countries towards lasting economic growth. This effort will require inclusive strategies that reach beyond current models of enterprise-driven initiatives, collaborating with and leveraging the private sector.
The team at Integra proudly provided copy-editing and design support for the delivery of this new policy, and is both excited and inspired by the development leadership and direction from USAID. Visit www.USAID.gov for more information about the Economic Growth Policy.