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Thinking and Working Politically on the Road to Self-Reliance: Does USAID have a New Map?


Monday, February 25, 2019

Birdsall House Conference Center
2055 L Street NW, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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“Commitment and Capacity” - these are the two legs of USAID’s new framework for partner countries’ Journeys to Self-Reliance.  Is this old wine in a new bottle, or might this new approach focus attention on the capacity of systems of governance, and on the capacity of people in government?

This next event in the Innovations in Governance series explores the components of self-reliance and the connections to underlying theories of accountable governance. Drawing on case studies from South Sudan, Tanzania and Nigeria, speakers will analyze the tension inherent in promoting self-reliance in societies characterized by rampant corruption, broken social contracts, elite capture and various forms of inequality. Together, we’ll seek to answer the following questions:

  • How central to self-reliance are USAID’s existing approaches to accountable governance?
  • Does the self-reliance framework prompt innovation in how outsiders, such as USAID, interact with local groups and individuals?
  • What does the framework suggest that USAID and others stop doing?
  • How can a ‘thinking and working politically’ lens inform the implementation of the framework?

The hour-long event is the third in a series called Innovations in Governance: from Integration to Politics. This practitioner seminar series will explore how new technology, approaches and global initiatives shape the landscape of good governance, with significant implications for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Conference Panelists:

  • Evan Smith, Vice President, Democracy International
  • Chas Cadwell, Vice President, International Development and Governance, Urban Institute
  • Jennifer Lewis, Senior Governance and Rule of Law Advisor, USAID
  • Nathaniel Heller, Executive Vice President, Integrated Strategies, Results for Development
  • Morgan Simpson, Deputy Director, Program Management, Democracy International
  • Elaine Baruwa, Principal Associate, Abt Associates
  • Tiernan Mennen, Vice President, International Development, Abt Associates

View the event presentation by clicking on the image below:


Learn more about our work on Governance & Justice:
Strengthening Governance & Justice
Strengthening Government Capacity in Tanzania
Thinking and Working Politically

Learn more about our Innovations in Governance Series
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