Amujae Leader Yawa Hansen-Quao urges USAID to consider governments’ key role in shaping local capacity development

Strong state structures are key to building capacity at the local level. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) must take this into account as it moves forward with its new local capacity development policy, wrote Amujae Leader Yawa Hansen-Quao in an op-ed in the Washington Diplomat.

Ms. Hansen-Quao laid out the reasons why USAID needs to give careful thought to the role that governments play in supporting individuals and organizations to address local challenges. Governments, she wrote, shape the education system, legislation, and policies, and therefore have a direct influence on access to employment, socio-economic mobility, and the integration of marginalized groups into their local environment. 

According to Ms. Hansen-Quao, governments can also lead by example in setting the standard for attracting, developing, and retaining high-performing public servants. Drawing on her work as the executive director of Emerging Public Leaders—an organization that strives to create better governance in African nations—she wrote:

My organization… has worked with the governments of Liberia, Ghana, and Kenya to bolster the capacity of young public servants through bespoke training designed to be responsive to the needs of the government agency they serve.”

Concluding her op-ed, Ms. Hansen-Quao commended USAID for its “robust and praiseworthy” policy. However, she urged the US agency to “intentionally” recognize the role that governments, through their civil servants and institutions, play in driving local capacity development and making it “sustainable over the long term.” 

Read the full op-ed here: https://bit.ly/3wkFFwk

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