Press Statement

United States Government Statement on Results, 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

For Immediate Release

November 30, 2011

Busan, South Korea

We share a responsibility—both as donors and partner countries—to improve the human condition. We have the power to create a life of greater opportunity for the poor, marginalized and most vulnerable among us. The United States Government is committed to seeing results in practice, not just in principle.

Busan creates an important forum for us to challenge our thinking, drive our collective actions in new directions and create new partnerships for progress that deliver tangible, measurable and sustainable development results. By listening and learning from each other, we can sharpen our collective focus on inclusive, country-led, results-centered development.

The international development community is adopting new thinking on results.The entire community is focusing on development outcomes and results, the ultimate measure of success and a return on investment.

We are promoting lasting impact through tailored, homegrown policies, priorities and programs outlined by partner countries themselves as the managers of their sustainable development, which also include citizens’ voices, including the voices of women because we know gender equality is key to development effectiveness.

We are placing a premium on mutual accountability from both donors and partner countries.

We are adopting transparent results frameworks, platforms and tools to assess performance. We agree that these frameworks should not impose undue burdens on poor countries. Rather, we should adopt common frameworks where common makes sense, but allow for distinct approaches to capture unique program elements and to promote innovation.

We are forging partnerships that are constructive, transparent and a dynamic framework for learning—and applying lessons learned—to achieve greater development effectiveness.

This new thinking on results has its roots in Paris and Accra. It also permeates the entire U.S. Government development assistance portfolio.

The focus on outcomes is a key element of the Obama Administration’s first ever U.S. Global Development Policy and the U.S. State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review or QDDR. The U.S. Government has made it very clear that it values a transparent and rigorous policy-based and results-focused approach to development. We seek a more efficient, whole-of-government approach that ensures that we deliver the greatest impact from each dollar we invest in global development.

On programmatic levels, the U.S. Agency for International Development has launched USAID FORWARD, an ambitious effort that emphasizes new partnerships, innovation and a relentless focus on results.

The Partnership for Growth applies a results framework to broaden impact in select partner countries. We are very pleased to be partnering in this initiative with El Salvador, Ghana, Philippines, and Tanzania. 

The Millennium Challenge Corporation, too, practices a deep focus on results in three distinct ways. First, MCC tracks and measures a continuum of results throughout the lifecycle of its programs, from policy and institutional reforms, to outputs and outcomes and finally to post-program increases in incomes.

Second, MCC values transparency and publicly projects, monitors and evaluates the impacts of its programs along this results continuum to ensure that investments are as cost-effective as possible. This involves making MCC’s data available on the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, to empowering citizens in partner countries with the information they need to hold their governments and donors accountable for how development resources are used and what results they achieve.

Third, MCC incorporates and shares lessons learned. Showcasing all results—even mixed or negative ones—is the key to innovation. MCC’s results-to-impact framework helps it identify what is going well and where it falls short, and evaluation helps it quickly learn and improve from failures.

The world’s poor are working toward a life of greater opportunity for themselves and their children. Through the U.S. Government’s commitment to development effectiveness—grounded in new thinking and bold action on results—we can be effective partners on this journey to prosperity.

This is our time to re-align our development agenda toward results. We must embrace this challenge. All those participating throughout this forum offer both principles and proven practices that we can learn from to broaden our thinking, strengthen our partnerships and innovate how we do business.

Let us act together—and learn alongside each other—to scale up and sustain country-led, results-centered development. This is the surest way to maximize effectiveness and impact the lives of the world’s poor.