Foreign Policy and Development
September 27, 2010
Most bilateral government donors, including the United States, are rethinking the relation between their foreign policy and their development policy. Implicit in that rethinking are the organizational forms they take and the relations between them. How independent should development be from foreign policy? Should they have separate organizations? If so, what should the relations be between the foreign ministry and the development ministry or agency?
A majority of government development programs are part of or connected to their respective foreign ministries. The United States is in the minority. Though the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is not yet fully integrated into, or part of, the Department of State, the Obama administration has augmented a trajectory, well developed over preceding administrations, by which USAID has gone from an independent development agency to ever greater policy and organizational integration with the Department of State. With that integration, the distinction between development policy and foreign policy is harder and harder to discern.