Message From the USAID Administrator

Bureau of Resource Management
April 21, 2011

Photo of Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator. USAID image.

USAID’s motto captures the spirit of our country’s generosity: “From the American People.” Over the past 50 years, USAID has transformed that generosity into lasting progress for millions in the developing world. Last year, we continued that tradition, working with partner countries and the development community to deliver meaningful results.

In Haiti, USAID contributed over half of the $1.14 billion provided by the U.S. Government to help the country recover from one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. We moved more than 900,000 cubic meters of rubble, vaccinated over one million Haitians, and laid the foundations for long-term economic growth through agricultural and infrastructure project designs.

And in South Africa, USAID funded a clinical trial provided the first evidence that use of a microbicide gel can prevent HIV infection in women. This new discovery puts the power of protection against HIV transmission in the hands of women and can fundamentally revolutionize how we prevent the disease.

Our motto captures the spirit of our country’s generosity: “From the American People.” But our assistance also delivers real benefits for the American people: it expresses our collective values, strengthens our economic future and keeps our country safe.

In Afghanistan, USAID’s alternative development programs helped improve stability by training 555,000 farmers and providing 40,000 metric tons of fertilizer and vegetable seeds to more than 375,000 farmers. Thanks to our efforts, a plane left Kandahar Airport with agricultural exports for the first time in 40 years.

And in Southern Sudan, we helped prevent conflict by preparing for their historic referendum five months before it began—when many doubted it would happen at all. USAID trained Southern Sudanese poll workers, provided them with registration cards and ballots, and built the data center in Juba that would eventually count the votes. That foresight allowed voter registration to proceed smoothly, and the referendum to occur peacefully and on-schedule.

Because development is critical to our national security and future prosperity, we have instituted a series of reforms we call USAID Forward to make the Agency more efficient, more effective and more business-like, freeing our talented staff to deliver real results.

By focusing on procurement reform, talent management, policy strengthening, program monitoring and evaluation, budget management, and by embracing science, technology and innovation, we are fundamentally changing USAID, transforming it from a traditional aid agency into a modern development enterprise.

We established a budget office giving us the flexibility and control to be selective and targeted in our work, identifying hundreds of millions of potential savings. This office has allowed us to shift resources to critical priorities and regions and reduce our presence elsewhere; by 2015, we believe USAID can graduate away from assistance at least seven countries.

We also established a bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning Policy which is now implementing an evaluation policy that will set a new standard in our field, using performance evaluations and project designs to ensure our work delivers value.

But ultimately, the best way we can serve the developing world is to create the conditions where our assistance is no longer necessary, replaced over time by efficient local governments, thriving civil societies and vibrant private sectors.

As part of our effort to create these conditions, we are implementing aggressive reforms to its contracting and procurement, accelerating our funding to local NGOs and local entrepreneurs—change agents who have the cultural knowledge and in-country expertise to ensure assistance leads to sustainable growth.

I’m proud of the enormous progress USAID made in the last year for both for the developing world and the American people. And I also look forward to the expanded impact we can deliver this year thanks to the reforms we’ve already made.

I am pleased to certify that the performance and financial data in this report are complete and reliable. USAID maintains a rigorous policy on data quality to guard against inaccurate reporting. As part of this policy all performance data reported to the American public are assessed against standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness to identify strengths and weaknesses of the data and the extent to which they can be trusted for programmatic decisions.

A more expansive discussion of FY 2010 performance and data sources is available in the FY 2010 Foreign Assistance Performance Report published in the FY 2012 Foreign Operations Congressional Budget Justification.

USAID seal. Signature of Rajiv Shah.
Rajiv Shah
USAID Administrator
April 18, 2011