< Back to H.R. 2139 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009

This bill was introduced on April 28, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 2009 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2139

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 28, 2009

(for himself and Mr. Kirk) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To direct the President to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting global development, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009.

2.

National Strategy for Global Development

(a)

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Poverty, lack of opportunity, gender inequality and other violations of human rights, and environmental degradation are recognized as significant contributors to socioeconomic and political instability, as well as to the exacerbation of disease pandemics and other global health threats.

(2)

The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: “[A] world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 per day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development and opportunity is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of United States international policy.”.

(3)

The 2006 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: “America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy.”.

(4)

Poverty reduction is in the United States national security interest, in that it improves United States security by mitigating the underlying causes of violence and extremism, addresses threats like climate change and disease that know no borders, expands economic opportunities for United States producers and consumers, shows the best face of the United States to the world, and represents the values, kindness, and generosity of the American people.

(5)

Elevating the United States’ standing in the world represents a critical and essential element of any strategy to improve national and global security by mitigating the root causes of conflict and multinational terrorism, strengthening diplomatic and economic relationships, preventing global climate change, curbing weapons proliferation, and fostering peace and cooperation among all nations.

(6)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future.

(7)

A National Strategy for Global Development, as required under subsection (b), would bring such departments, agencies, and offices together to develop a comprehensive strategy laying out the principal objectives, approaches, and basic framework for global development policies and programs—bilateral and multilateral—as part of broader policies of the United States for engaging in the world.

(b)

Strategy required

The President shall develop and implement, on an interagency basis, a comprehensive national strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of reducing poverty and contributing to broad-based economic growth in developing countries, including responding to humanitarian crises. The strategy required under this subsection shall be known as the National Strategy for Global Development.

(c)

Elements of strategy

The strategy required under subsection (b) shall support United States engagement with developing countries in order to reduce poverty and contribute to broad-based economic growth in developing countries and therefore further the achievement of United States long-term foreign policy and national security interests. The strategy shall further—

(1)

define the role of United States Government departments and agencies in carrying out global development policies and programs, such as trade policies, debt relief, climate change, and other polices and programs to reduce poverty and contribute to broad-based economic growth in developing countries, and create a process to enhance the interagency coordination among such departments and agencies to ensure policy and program coherence and avoid duplication and counterproductive outcomes among such policies and programs;

(2)

establish development objectives for global development policies and programs described in paragraph (1) to reduce poverty and contribute to broad-based economic growth in developing countries consistent with internationally recognized development goals and host country priorities, including cross-cutting principles and best practices to ensure that efforts are as effective as possible;

(3)

review and improve coordination among United States Government departments and agencies carrying out global development policies and programs described in paragraph (1) and other countries and organizations, including multilateral, bilateral, and international organizations, host country governments, and civil society organizations, carrying out similar policies and programs to reduce poverty and contribute to broad-based economic growth;

(4)

address the continuum of activities relating to poverty reduction in developing countries, including activities to address humanitarian needs through urgent humanitarian assistance and rehabilitation, reconstruction, and long-term development;

(5)

establish development goals for each geographic region of the world based on the specific needs of each such region; and

(6)

include budget requirements to carry out the strategy.

(d)

Character of strategy

In developing the strategy required under subsection (b), the President should, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that the strategy is flexible so as to respond to changing objectives, approaches, and needs of developing countries and changing United States foreign policy and national security interests.

(e)

Consultation

In developing and implementing the strategy required under subsection (b), the President should consult with the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, nongovernmental stakeholders, international financial institutions, other international organizations involved in humanitarian assistance and development efforts, and developing countries.

(f)

Transmission to congress

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a copy of the strategy required under subsection (b). The strategy shall be transmitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.

(2)

Availability to public

Upon transmission of the strategy to Congress under paragraph (1), the President shall publish the strategy (other than the classified annex, if any) on the White House website.

3.

Monitoring and evaluation of United States foreign assistance

Chapter 1 of part III of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2351 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 608 the following new section:

609.

Monitoring and evaluation of United States foreign assistance

(a)

In general

The President shall develop and implement a rigorous system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of United States foreign assistance. The system shall include a method of coordinating the evaluation activities of each Federal department or agency primarily responsible for carrying out United States foreign assistance programs with evaluation activities carried out by other such Federal departments and agencies, and when possible with other international bilateral and multilateral agencies and entities.

(b)

Requirements

In carrying out subsection (a), the President shall ensure that the head of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a)—

(1)

establishes measurable performance goals, including gender-sensitive goals, for United States foreign assistance programs carried out by the Federal department or agency;

(2)

establishes criteria for selection of such United States foreign assistance programs to be subject to various evaluation methodologies, with particular emphasis on criteria for selection of programs and projects to be subject to impact evaluation;

(3)

establishes an organization unit with adequate staff and funding to budget, plan, and conduct appropriate performance monitoring and improvement and evaluation activities with respect to such United States foreign assistance programs;

(4)

establishes a process for applying the lessons learned and results from evaluation activities, including the use and results of impact evaluation research, into future budgeting, planning, programming, design and implementation of such United States foreign assistance programs; and

(5)

establishes a policy to publish all evaluation plans and reports relating to such United States foreign assistance programs.

(c)

Annual evaluation plan

(1)

In general

In carrying out subsection (a), the President shall ensure that the head of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a) develops an annual evaluation plan of United States foreign assistance programs carried out by the department or agency stating how the department or agency will meet the requirements of this section.

(2)

Consultation

In preparing the evaluation plan, the head of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a) shall consult with the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, governments of host countries, international and indigenous nongovernmental organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.

(3)

Submission to congress

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, the head of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a) shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and the United States foreign assistance evaluation advisory council established under subsection (h) a copy of the evaluation plan.

(d)

Capacity building

(1)

For federal departments and agencies

The President shall enhance the performance monitoring and improvement and evaluation capacity of each Federal department and agency described in subsection (a) by increasing and improving training and education opportunities, including adopting best practices and up-to-date evaluation methodologies to provide the best evidence available for assessing the results of United States foreign assistance programs.

(2)

For recipient countries

The President is authorized to provide assistance to increase the capacity of the governments of countries receiving United States foreign assistance to design and conduct performance monitoring and improvement and evaluation activities.

(e)

Budgetary planning

The head of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a) shall include in the annual budget of the department or agency a funding amount to conduct performance monitoring and improvement and evaluations of United States foreign assistance programs, projects, or activities.

(f)

United States foreign assistance evaluation advisory council

(1)

In general

The President shall establish a United States foreign assistance evaluation advisory council to—

(A)

provide guidance on the conduct of evaluations for United States foreign assistance programs, projects, and activities;

(B)

facilitate publication of common indicators to be used for measuring the outcomes and impacts of United States foreign assistance;

(C)

facilitate publication of best practices reports for different types of United States foreign assistance; and

(D)

provide advice in the planning and coordination of United States foreign assistance evaluation to avoid duplication of efforts.

(2)

Membership

The advisory council shall be composed of not less than 7 members appointed by the President from among private individuals who are familiar and experienced in monitoring and evaluating foreign assistance programs, with at least 2 members having specialized expertise in outcome and impact evaluation methodologies.

(3)

Chairperson

The chairperson of the advisory council shall be designated by the President at the time of appointment.

(4)

Term

(A)

In general

Each member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years, except as provided in subparagraph (B).

(B)

Vacancies

Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of that term and may be appointed for an additional term of 4 years.

(5)

Meetings

The advisory council shall meet not less than four times each year. The chairperson of the advisory council shall call a meeting of the advisory council upon request by four or more members of the advisory council. The meetings of the advisory council shall be made open to the public and minutes, comments, reports and other related documents shall be published in the Federal Register in a timely fashion.

(6)

Termination

Section 14(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.; relating to the termination of advisory committees) shall not apply to the advisory council.

(7)

Report

Not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this section, and every two years thereafter, the advisory council shall prepare and submit to the President and the appropriate congressional committees a report that summarizes the activities of the advisory council, including the advisory council’s assessment of the performance monitoring and improvement and evaluation programs of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a).

(g)

Report

(1)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, and annually thereafter, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on—

(A)

the use of funds to carry out evaluations under this section;

(B)

the status and results of evaluations under this section; and

(C)

the use of results and lessons learned from evaluations under this section, including actions taken in response to recommendations included in current and previous evaluations, such as the improvement or continuation of a program, project, or activity.

(2)

Publication

The report shall also be published in the Federal Register and made available on the public website of each Federal department or agency described in subsection (a).

(h)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.

(2)

Evaluation; outcome and impact evaluation

(A)

Evaluation

The term evaluation means the systematic and objective determination and assessment of the design, implementation, and results of an on-going or completed program, project, or activity.

(B)

Outcome and impact evaluation

The term outcome and impact evaluation means an assessment of the impact and outcome of the outputs of a program, project, or activity.

(3)

Impact evaluation research

The term impact evaluation research means the application of research methods and statistical analysis to measure the extent to which change in a population-based outcome or impact can be attributed to United States program, project, or activity intervention instead of other environmental factors, including change in political climate and other donor assistance.

(4)

Impacts

The term impacts means the positive and negative, direct and indirect, intended and unintended long-term effects produced by a program, project, or activity.

(5)

Outcomes

The term outcomes means the likely or achieved immediate and intermediate effects of the outputs of a program, project, or activity.

(6)

Outputs

The term outputs means—

(A)

the products, capital, goods, and services that result from a program, project, or activity; or

(B)

the changes resulting from the program, project, or activity that are relevant to the achievement of outcomes.

(7)

Results

The term results means the positive or negative, direct or indirect, intended or unintended outputs, outcomes, and impacts of a program, project, or activity.

(8)

Performance monitoring and improvement

The term performance monitoring and improvement means a continuous process of collecting, analyzing, and using data to compare how well a program, project, or activity is being implemented against expected results and program costs and to make appropriate improvements accordingly.

(9)

United States foreign assistance

The term United States foreign assistance means—

(A)

assistance authorized under this Act; and

(B)

assistance authorized under any other provision of law that is classified under budget function 150 (International Affairs).

(i)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated for each United States foreign assistance program for each of the fiscal years 2010 and 2011, not less than 5 percent of such amounts are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section for such fiscal year.

(2)

Availability

Amounts authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section for a fiscal year are in addition to amounts otherwise available for such purposes.

.

4.

Transparency of United States foreign assistance

(a)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that the American taxpayers and recipients of United States foreign assistance should, to the maximum extent practicable, have full access to information on United States foreign assistance.

(b)

Information available to public

(1)

In general

The President shall publish in the Federal Register and make publicly available on the websites of appropriate Federal departments and agencies comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible information on United States foreign assistance a detailed program-by-program basis and country-by-country basis.

(2)

Scope

To ensure transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of United States foreign assistance, the information on United States foreign assistance published and made available under paragraph (1) shall include planning, allocations and disbursement, terms, contracting, monitoring, and evaluation elements with respect to activities carried out under such United States foreign assistance.

(3)

Availability to be in timely manner

The President shall direct the head of each Federal department and agency providing United States foreign assistance to ensure that the information required under this subsection shall be made available in a timely manner.

(c)

Multilateral Efforts

In order to best assess the use and impact of United States foreign assistance in relation to funding provided by other donor nations and recipient countries, the President should fully engage with and participate in the International Aid Transparency Initiative, established on September 4, 2008, at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.

(d)

Definition

In this section, the term United States foreign assistance has the meaning given the term in section 609(h) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3 of this Act).

5.

Repeals of obsolete authorizations of assistance; conforming amendments

(a)

Repeals

The following provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 are hereby repealed:

(1)

Section 125 (22 U.S.C. 2151w; relating to general development assistance).

(2)

Section 219 (22 U.S.C. 2179; relating to prototype desalting plant).

(3)

Title V of chapter 2 of part I (22 U.S.C. 2201; relating to disadvantaged children in Asia).

(4)

Section 466 (22 U.S.C. 2286; relating to debt-for-nature exchanges pilot program for sub-Saharan Africa).

(5)

Sections 494, 495, and 495B through 495K (22 U.S.C. 2292c, 2292f, and 2292h through 2292q; relating to certain international disaster assistance authorities).

(6)

Section 546 (22 U.S.C. 2347c; relating to certain international military education and training authorities).

(7)

Section 638(b) (22 U.S.C. 2398(b); relating to exclusions).

(8)

Section 648 (22 U.S.C. 2407; relating to certain miscellaneous provisions).

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Section 135 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2152h) is amended by striking “section 135” and inserting “section 136.”

(2)

Section 638 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2398) is amended by striking (a) No provision and inserting No provision.