Foreign Assistance:

Progress in Implementing the Development Fund for Africa

NSIAD-91-127: Published: Apr 16, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Agency for International Development's (AID) administration of the Development Fund for Africa (DFA) to determine whether: (1) DFA provided a stable source of development assistance funding; (2) AID implemented DFA according to congressional policy guidance; (3) administrative changes improved the delivery of development assistance; and (4) evaluation planning would measure the fund's impact on African development.

GAO found that: (1) DFA provided a stable source of development assistance funding for sub-Saharan Africa; (2) total U.S. economic assistance in Africa was lower in fiscal year (FY) 1990 than in FY 1987 due to decreases in other types of economic assistance, such as economic support funds and food aid; (3) consistent with congressional guidance, AID concentrated DFA resources in African countries that demonstrated a willingness to undertake economic policy reforms; (4) an exemption from Buy-American procurement source rules did not lead to major improvements in project management, since AID did not permit missions to take full advantage of it; (5) the absence of functional accounts improved needs-based planning and encouraged AID deobligation of funds in marginal projects; and (6) AID did not adequately describe appropriate evaluation approaches and techniques for missions to use in analyzing relevant baseline and monitoring data, or methods for evaluating the sustainability of DFA programs and projects.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AID Africa Bureau has developed new guidance; publication is pending new legislation in Congress on Buy American options AID may be required to follow.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should direct the Africa Bureau to evaluate DFA procurements to date to determine whether AID Buy American guidance was too restrictive. If this evaluation shows that the timeliness or appropriateness of procurement actions has not improved, the Administrator should revise DFA procurement guidance to take greater advantage of the flexibility Congress provided.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: New guidance for impact evaluation has been developed.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, AID, should direct the Africa Bureau and the Program and Policy Coordination Bureau to develop and provide missions with additional guidance for measuring the impact of DFA. Specifically, the guidance should: (1) describe appropriate approaches or techniques for missions to use in analyzing relevant baseline and monitoring data; and (2) address issues that missions should consider in evaluating the sustainability of DFA programs and projects.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

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