180514 comments usaid globalwaterstrategy green


May 14, 2018


Mark Green
U.S. Agency for International Development
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, DC 20523-1000

Dear Administrator Green:

The Chamber believes the reorganization underway at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an important opportunity to ensure that water and water infrastructure are appropriately prioritized in projects going forward.

First, we applaud the Administration for preparing and issuing the Global Water Strategy (GWS). USAID has been a leader in the development and implementation of the Strategy and has contributed significantly to the proposed "whole of U.S." and "whole of government” approach to water.

The optimal placement of water is a challenge in any reorganization, and is essential for health, agriculture, education, economic growth, and security. Nonetheless, we were concerned that water does not appear in the high-level organization chart for USAID. We recognize the boxes on an organization chart do not tell the whole story, but they can be interpreted to reflect agency priorities, and as programs are implemented and budgets are set, the organizational structure and the priority of those entities are highly influential.

We encourage you to include the importance of water as a crosscutting issue. One suggestion could be the way in which you engage institutions that already exist: the Water Leadership Council and the Center of Excellence on water. The Water Leadership Council, led by the Global Water Coordinator (GWC) with representatives across the agency, could be charged with developing strategic program and budget priorities for water across all agency programs. The GWC could also serve as a focal point for coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of State, and businesses, NGOs, and other partners willing to collaborate and invest in ways that can enhance your objectives.

Other possible actions could be simply including "water" in the name of the new RFS Bureau -- Bureau for Resilience and Food and Water Security, and creating a Center of Excellence for Water.

Water and water infrastructure are essential to achieving healthy economies that can transition away from development assistance. We hope you can create an organizational focal point, which will enable water-related initiatives to contribute most effectively to USAID objectives.

We are happy to discuss any of this with you and your team. Thank you for your leadership and consideration.

Chuck Chaitovitz

180514 comments usaid globalwaterstrategy green