UN World Food Programme

Development community must create bigger role for private sector, says USAID chief

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah addressing the WFP board on 7 June 2010.

(Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud)

The development industry must work in a way that allows it to be replaced by efficient local governments, by civil societies and by a vibrant private sector, said USAID Chief Rajiv Shah this week in a keynote speech at the Center for Global Development in Washington.

The development community faces a crossroads, said Shah, adding that the development industry was full of incentives designed to prolong its efforts rather than reduce them or enable transitions.

"As a result, handoffs rarely happen. Projects are extended in perpetuity while goals remain just out of reach. There’s always another high-priced consultant that must take another flight to another conference or lead another training," he said.
"I say today to all funders and practitioners of development, this practice simply must end. We need to understand that unlike other industries, unlike an enterprise, we have no interest in our own growth and our own perpetuity. We must seek to do our work in a way that allows us to be replaced over time by efficient local governments, by thriving civil societies and by a vibrant private sector."
Download the speech | View video | Go to CGD site