Sunday, March 05, 2006

Natsios on International Development

The very well read AC sends in a link to an article by Andrew Natsios, former head of USAID, appearing in the latest issue of Development Policy Review. Important reading in understanding the perspective of the US government as it changes its development policies.

Many senior managers of humanitarian NGOs in the US are concerned with the current administration's move toward politicizing aid. And if you're a security officer or advisor for a US NGO, you really need to start thinking about how the policy changes are going to impact field safety and security. (For example, some of the new USAID branding requirements could raise the level of risk in certain places, since they have the potential of creating a perception that a USAID funded NGO is an arm of the US government.)

The political and military actions of the United States will continue to have a large impact on humanitarian work in the coming years; whether you work for a US NGO or not. A good security officer understands this and will make informed suggestions and decisions to mitigate risk that may be brought on by this reality.


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