RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS: Advance and protect human and individual rights, and promote societies where the state and its citizens are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, consistent with international norms and standards.
Analysis: Improved court case management is one of the key activities pursued by U.S. Government programs within the area of rule of law and human rights. This representative indicator tracks improved court case management as reported by 27 countries receiving U.S. assistance. The FY 2009 target for the number of USG-assisted courts with improved case management was not met, due mainly to delays in some countries in establishing a case management process and in others in expanding the number of courts using a piloted process. In Guatemala, for example, the Supreme Court delayed the USAID-supported Trial Court Model, leaving little time to expand implementation of the model outside of Guatemala City as originally planned.
Analysis: In addition to monitoring shorter-term activities for more immediate impact, the United States also tracks longer term trends, such as the percent of countries with improved civil liberties ratings as reported by Freedom House, to assist in planning and designing future efforts, as well as to adjust ongoing programs. Combating corruption, strengthening democracy through civil society organizations, and encouraging nations to be democratic and responsible members of the world community are key long-term priorities for the Department and USAID. FY 2009 results for this indicator will be available in mid- to late 2010, but FY 2007 and 2008 results show positive trends in civil liberties in non-democratic countries and countries in transition to a full democracy. The percentage of countries showing improved civil liberties ratings increased to 12% in FY 2008, from 4% in FY 2007.
GOOD GOVERNANCE: Promote democratic institutions that are effective, responsible, sustainable, accountable to the people, and include checks and balances.
Analysis: Constitutional order, legal frameworks, and judicial independence constitute the foundation for a well-functioning society, but they remain hollow unless the government has the capacity to apply these tools appropriately. Activities include support avenues for public participation and oversight and for substantive separation of powers through institutional checks and balances. Transparency and integrity are also vital to government effectiveness and political stability. One of the long-term measures used by the United States to track the effectiveness of its efforts to improve good governance is the percentage of countries with improved governance ratings. According to the World Bank the percentage of countries with improved governance ratings jumped to 10% in FY 2008 from 7% in FY 2007. FY 2009 results for this indicator are expected in mid-2010.
POLITICAL COMPETITION AND CONSENSUS-BUILDING: Encourage the development of transparent and inclusive electoral and democratic, responsive and effective political parties.
Analysis: The number of domestic election observers trained with U.S. Government assistance is tracked as one component of promoting free and fair elections. The target and results for persons trained for deployment as observers before or during national elections are dependent on the number of elections scheduled in a given year. In FY 2009, U.S. assistance programs exceeded the target despite the postponement or cancellation of several elections. In those countries where elections were held, the actual numbers of people trained were frequently double the anticipated target. For example, in Ecuador, the complexity of the election process necessitated a large increase in the number of domestic observers trained, and the Mission obtained supplemental funding for the program.
CIVIL SOCIETY: Strengthen democratic political culture and citizen engagement by supporting the means through which citizens can freely organize, advocate, and communicate with members of their own and other governments, international bodies, and other elements of civil society.
Analysis: In FY 2009, U.S. assistance programs improved their performance over FY 2008, but did not meet the target for the number of U.S. Government-assisted civil society organizations (CSOs) that engaged in advocacy and watchdog functions. Some country-level targets were not met due to delays in program start-up and shifts by CSOs from advocacy to humanitarian assistance. In countries where the targets were exceeded, it was often due to increased advocacy at the local level or on a particular issue. For example, results exceeded the target due to forest land advocacy efforts in Cambodia, and due to an expanded constituency for a Freedom of Information Bill in Nigeria.
The United States has made a long-term commitment to help Afghanistan rebuild itself after years of war. The insurgency in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan poses a fundamental threat to U.S. strategic interests. Disrupting, dismantling, and eliminating al-Qaeda safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan are a top foreign policy priority. The Administration’s strategy to achieve this goal in Afghanistan is to promote a more capable, accountable, and effective Afghan Government that serves its people by generating economic opportunities, and can function with limited international support. Through diplomatic and development efforts, the United States supports the Afghan Government in its efforts to establish a framework for a vibrant civil society, one that emphasizes democratic principles through the rule of law and creates accountable and transparent forms of government. In Pakistan, the strategy is to stabilize the government through macroeconomic reforms and private sector growth to lay the foundations for long-term economic stability and sustainable growth. Pakistan must also be convinced to systematically confront extremist threats by further developing its security capabilities. Both State and USAID are working together to strengthen each host country capacity to provide services to its citizens effectively and enhance the long-term sustainability of development efforts.