USAID/Egypt: $181 Million Later, Impact Unnoticeable

…in indexes describing Egypt’s democratic environment

I did not know this – but apparently since FY 2004, USAID/Egypt has designed democracy and governance programs valued at $181 million to be conducted until the end of FY 2012. USAID’s OIG just released its audit report on its democracy and governance activities in Egypt.

Excerpt below from the report:

Despite USAID/Egypt awarding more than $181 million for program activities since 2004 and the mission’s acknowledgment of the restrictive political environment in which it conducts programs, the Office of Democracy and Governance has achieved limited results for 13 judgmentally selected awards. Valued at $62.3 million, the programs support rule of law and human rights, good governance, and civil society. Based on the audit results, USAID/Egypt’s Office of Democracy and Governance achieved only 52 percent of its planned results for the 13 awards and successfully completed only 65 percent of its activities during fiscal year (FY) 2008.

Based on the programs reviewed, the impact of USAID/Egypt’s democracy and governance activities was limited in strengthening democracy and governance in Egypt. Furthermore, in separate recently published reports, independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ranked Egypt unfavorably in indexes of media freedom, corruption, civil liberties, political rights, and democracy. Egypt’s ranking in these indexes remained unchanged or declined for the past 2 years. The overall impact of USAID/Egypt’s programs in democracy and governance was unnoticeable in indexes describing the country’s democratic environment.

USAID/Egypt had the authority to take corrective action when an implementer was not achieving its results. But in some instances the mission did not take appropriate action, because the staff was unaware of problems due to weak management controls.

USAID mandatory standard provisions and an acquisition and assistance policy directive establish the legal responsibility for USAID recipients to include antiterrorism clauses in all subawards and comply with a certification regarding terrorist financing. Despite the requirements, four USAID/Egypt implementers did not include mandatory clauses in agreements with subrecipients, and one implementer did not sign the antiterrorism certification. This occurred because technical representatives did not periodically verify the implementers’ antiterrorism measures to ensure that required actions had been taken. As a result, USAID/Egypt has little assurance that its programs do not inadvertently provide material support to entities or individuals associated with terrorism.

Read the whole thing here.

Related Item:
Audit of USAID/Egypt’s Democracy and Governance Activities
OIG/USAID Audit Report No. 6-263-10-001-P | October 27, 2009 | PDF