SHAHEEN: FOREIGN ASSISTANCE REFORMS WILL MAKE AID MORE EFFECTIVE

Shaheen cosponsored bill passes Foreign Relations Committee

November 17, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524), which will reform how foreign aid is tracked and implemented so that development programs are more effective and efficient. The bill, which she cosponsored, includes a Shaheen amendment that encourages USAID and other development organizations to utilize new and innovative technologies in the evaluation and analysis of development programs. 

"Helping other nations confront the challenges of poverty, globalization, disease and disaster is in our national interest, and making sure the aid we give is effective will help us better and more quickly achieve our goals around the world," said Shaheen. "This bill would help us reduce inefficiencies and better monitor and evaluate the aid we offer other nations so that we know that our investment works, and it gives USAID the resources it needs to effectively work around the globe."

The Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 would make U.S. foreign assistance more transparent, accountable and effective in an effort to get the most out of taxpayer dollars.  The bill strengthens USAID and attempts to better coordinate U.S. development assistance, resources and personnel. The bill also establishes important transparency standards so that taxpayers have a clearer understanding of where their money is going, what projects are being funded, and what outcomes are resulting.

The Shaheen amendment included in the bill encourages USAID and other development organizations to utilize new and innovative technologies to streamline the evaluation and analysis of our development programs.  In order to best track the progress of our international development programs, the systems used to evaluate our efforts must be efficient and up-to-date.  American companies, such Portsmouth's Global Relief Technologies, can provide technological solutions for more effective monitoring and evaluation of disaster relief, development and global health related programs.

"Using innovative technology will help USAID monitor the effectiveness of their programs and track how they are using taxpayer money," said Shaheen. "Bringing greater transparency to foreign aid will boost effectiveness, and these technologies can help track funding, evaluate programs, and cut costs."

"We are grateful for Senator Shaheen's support for these critical efforts to modernize U.S. development aid and pleased that she has encouraged using innovative technology to increase the transparency and effectiveness of these programs," said Michael Gray, founder and CEO of Portsmouth-based Global Relief Technologies, an industry leader in the field of data collection and analysis. "The technology we have developed will help the development community more effectively and efficiently track the progress of their programs and report their results.  We look forward to continue to work with Senator Shaheen as this bill becomes law."

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