A critical (and perhaps overarching) element of USAID's Journey to Self-Reliance will be sustainable and long term economic advancement. Across the hundreds of countries where USAID supports humanitarian response, conflict resolution, poverty alleviation, global health provision, climate change and gender equity, the agency will be laser focused on how its efforts are transforming markets, local and regional economies, job creation and economic access for vulnerable populations.
Below we break down the new Economic Growth Policy and share some highlights relevant for those working in international development.
For decades it was understood what economic growth meant for development; it was about growing GDP, advancing incomes and creating an equal playing field among workers across the world. The complexity of an interconnected global marketplace, fast adoption of technology, reliance on mobile communication, and an ever-expanding gap among "rich" and "poor" has created a different scope to consider for USAID and its network of partners. Economic advancement is no longer measured in simple terms. There's a complexity to the market-based development focus for the agency that is now being clarified and shared in their new Economic Growth Policy.
To stipulate how the agency will support, measure and expand economic growth worldwide, USAID's Economic Growth Policy combines its heavy focus on Private Sector Engagement, lead role in the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) and New Partnership Initiative (NPI), to describe the underlying mechanisms of growth necessary for countries to achieve self reliance.
This journey, as USAID refers to repeatedly, will be different in each region where USAID has a presence, but the mechanisms USAID will depend upon remain the same.
In summary USAID will promote:
USAID has indicated that the core policy tenets are:
Additionally, USAID has laid out "Six Central Principles to Guide USAID’s Economic-Growth Programs." which include:
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