USAID head makes major push for new approach to democracy

In a major policy speech, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samatha Power, called for a more nimble and assertive approach to supporting democracy around the globe.  She outlined three priorities for USAID but also spoke to the need to support reformers' efforts through more effective delivery of government services.

Noting that the world was seeing rising authoritarianism, Power said that the US needed a new playbook to support those seeking democratic reforms. She announced three priorities, including highlighting democratic bright spots and supporting those efforts, pushing back against "digital authoritarianism", and actively targeting kleptocrats. She also noted that traditionally USAID had provided democracy assistance when there was a democratic bright spot but noted that, for hard-won reforms, access to basic services may be more effective. Tools to address her points might include provisions of debt relief, food and vaccine shipments, and governmental expertise - all focused on delivering basic needs to people in-country. Democracy advocates voiced their approval of this new approach.

News report - Devex

Transcript - USAID