27 February 2012

Africa: USAID Launches New Center of Excellence On Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

press release

Washington, D.c. — The U.S. Agency for International Development unveiled its Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance today.

Administrator Rajiv Shah, Deputy Assistant Administrator Don Steinberg and Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) Nancy Lindborg provided remarks.

The Center will serve as a model for the entire Agency, focused on advancing best practices in the democracy, rights and governance field. It will be housed in DCHA, replacing the Office of Democracy and Governance.

With the momentous events in the Arab world and beyond, the Center will focus on lessons learned - working closely with the Agency's Missions around the world to systematically generate and compile knowledge of what does and does not work in supporting democracy, rights and governance. It will serve as a hub, disseminating information to the wider U.S. Government and the international development community.

The launch occurs just over a year after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah released the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which tasked USAID to elevate its work in democracy, rights and governance.

In cooperation with the Agency's Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau, the Center will represent democracy, rights and governance issues in interagency arenas, ensuring that USAID's investments are coordinated with U.S. diplomatic and defense efforts.

The Center will also manage a focused portfolio of grants, contracts and funds.

The Center will propel the core agenda of USAID Forward, the Agency's ambitious reform effort, by creating and applying an evidence-based approach carried out through its global partnerships, cutting-edge innovation, and relentless focus on what drives results.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: usaid.gov. To read our blog, see blog.usaid.gov.

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