Episode 6: Grant Park

What will the US elections means for US foreign assistance? Guests Ruth Levine (Center for Global Development), Paul O’Brien (Oxfam America) discuss the implications for US foreign assistance of the US elections.  Dana Hovig (Marie Stopes International) explains the US global gag rule.

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Running time: 51 minutes. File size: 24 Mb

In this episode of Development Drums, we look at what President-Elect Obama and an increased Democrat majority in Congress might mean for US foreign assistance to developing countries.  Will the new administration implement administrative and legal reforms that enables US aid to be more effective?  Will the administration be able to double foreign assistance as they pledged during the campaign?  Who might be put in charge of an “elevated” agency to oversee aid? The panel is cautiously optimistic that change will come, but it will be incremental.

Dana Hovig explains the Mexico City Policy, known as the Global Gag Rule.  Fist implemented by Ronald Reagan, it was overturned by Bill Clinton on his first day in office, and reinstated by George W. Bush on his first day.  But the panel does not expect President Obama to tackle this on his first day.


Declaration of interest: my partner works for Marie Stopes International.