USAID Updates Its Policy on Economic Growth

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 14, 2021
Office of Press Relations

Today, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Deputy Administrator Barsa announced the launch of USAID’s updated Policy on Economic Growth at an event organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The Policy ensures the future of USAID’s development work will continue to be enterprise-driven. In line with the U.S. National Security Strategy, USAID plays a catalytic role in promoting economic growth led by the private sector and helps developing countries become stronger trading and security partners. The Policy draws on the latest thinking and evidence in the field of economic development, including that investments in sustained economic growth programming are mutually beneficial for partner countries and U.S. economic and national security.

The Policy establishes that USAID’s economic-growth programs should:

  • Benefit the U.S. economy and the American people;
  • Prioritize women’s economic empowerment, including by supporting the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the first-ever whole-of-Government effort to advance the economic status of women around the world;
  • Build resilience to help communities in our partner countries prepare better to overcome global disruptions such as the pandemic of COVID-19;
  • Result in systemic impact so USAID programs reach more people and are more cost-effective; and
  • Enable USAID partners to become self-financing and achieve self-reliance.

The Policy builds on USAID’s Private-Sector Engagement Policy, Digital Strategy, and Policy Framework to support the development of markets that are commercially viable and competitive, so private-sector partners no longer require subsidies.

Following Acting Deputy Administrator Barsa’s remarks at CSIS, the event continued with a panel discussion that highlighted key elements of USAID’s Policy on Economic Growth and its intended impacts, which included:

  • The Honorable Michelle Bekkering, USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI);
  • William Butterfield, Lead of the Entrepreneurial Environment Team in the Center for Economics and Market Development within USAID/DDI;
  • Tessie San Martin, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Plan International and Co-Chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network; and
  • Amy Coughenour Betancourt, President and CEO of Cadasta.

Please see additional information about the event and panel discussion here.