On June 15, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) gathered virtually on Capitol Hill to advocate for the United States to continue to play a global leadership role through development and diplomacy. Among the leaders represented was USGLC Indiana Advisory Committee member Michael Sweikar, Executive Director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development.
Sweikar and other USGLC members usually meet face-to-face with Indiana’s Senators and Representatives at the annual USGLC State Leaders Summits. Similar to last year, however, the 2021 Summit was conducted all online. “Despite the inability to meet in-person, it does have its benefits,” Sweikar noted. “We were able to meet with the Offices of both Indiana Senators and three Indiana Representatives within a three-hour window thanks to the coordination of USGLC.”
This year the Indiana delegation emphasized that U.S. global leadership and significant investment for the International Affairs Budget is critically important to the COVID-19 response and protecting the health, security, and economic interests of all Americans. The International Affairs Budget is only around one percent of the total federal budget of the U.S. government and is used to fund the work of government agencies, including: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). These agencies, in partnership with organizations like the University of Notre Dame, work to address the root causes of global poverty and inequality.
Sweikar also weighed-in on the importance of bipartisan support for promoting the evaluation of global development investments as part of a more strategic approach to best practice and long-term funding sources in the sector.
"We have found unique ways at the Pulte Institute for Global Development to measure long-term impact and sustainability of development efforts. Evidence-based development, coupled with more strategic, long-term approaches to funding sources, are needed to help us confront the global development challenges of our time and Covid recovery across the globe.”
The Keough School of Global Affairs and the Pulte Institute are currently assisting USAID with options for future effective monitoring and evaluation programming. The Pulte Institute currently leads the USAID Expanding the Reach of Impact Evaluation (ERIE) award to conduct retrospective long-term impact evaluations of development projects.
The USGLC works in our nation’s capital and across the country to strengthen America’s civilian-led tools — development and diplomacy — alongside defense. By advocating for a strong International Affairs Budget, the USGLC is working to make America’s international affairs programs a keystone of U.S. foreign policy. More information can be found at www.usglc.org/.