The goal of title XII, the Famine Prevention and Freedom from Hunger amendment of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 is to improve and strengthen the involvement of U.S. land-grant and other eligible universities in solving developing countries' food problems. To assist and advise the Agency for International Development (AID) in achieving this goal, a presidentially appointed board, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), was established. GAO conducted a review to evaluate AID efforts to implement the provisions of title XII and to identify ways to improve AID/university ability to provide agricultural assistance to developing countries.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|United States Agency for International Development||1. The Administrator, AID, in consultation with the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, should improve AID/university implementation of title XII objectives by issuing a policy directive clarifying the AID position on, and commitment to, implementing the title XII concept to combat world food problems. The policy directive should: (1) communicate the importance of, and establish the priority of, title XII in relation to the overall AID agricultural development strategy; (2) specify the extent to which title XII mechanisms are to be emphasized in AID research and technical assistance; (3) delineate the Board role to assist AID operating units in carrying out these activities; and (4) be widely disseminated within the title VII community.|
|United States Agency for International Development||2. The Administrator, AID, in consultation with the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development, should improve AID/university implementation of title XII objectives by reviewing all current AID guidelines and instructions pertaining to U.S. universities and other title XII institutions, and developing consolidated guidelines in the AID operational and procedural handbooks and instructions which: (1) define title XII activities; (2) establish university procurement and contracting procedures; (3) lay out the operational roles and responsibilities of university contractors and missions on overseas projects; and (4) provide other necessary guidance to facilitate an AID/university working relationship.|
|United States Agency for International Development||3. The Administrator, AID, in consultation with the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development, should improve AID/university implementation of title XII objectives by developing better means of preparing, orienting, and assisting university contract staff for overseas assignments. University contractors should: (1) receive a complete orientation on the unique, cultural, social, political, and economic characteristics of each foreign location; (2) be able to anticipate the expected or potential problems in working with foreign-country counterparts; (3) be aware of the AID method of operation in each location; and (4) be given adequate assistance to overcome administrative and logistical problems, such as clearing customs and obtaining adequate housing.|
|United States Agency for International Development||4. To ensure that the AID sizable investment in strengthening grants meets a clear need and will be fully used, the Administrator, AID, should include, as part of the planned 1982 evaluation of the grant program, a provision to assess the likely and appropriate level of AID utilization of universities in its program activities. The Administrator should consider incorporating the strengthening grant program as part of the proposed individual AID/university memorandum of agreements.|