USAID Newsletter: Fall Semester Tour Starts in Arkansas, North Carolina

Thursday, September 19, 2013
Impact: A weekly look at USAID around the world

Volume Four, Issue Seventeen

Fall Semester Tour Starts in Arkansas, North Carolina

Administrator Shah speaks with Duke University students.
Administrator Shah speaks with Duke University students.
Duke University

To mark the 2013 fall semester, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is visiting universities across the country to discuss solutions to some of the world's biggest development challenges.

He kicked off the tour two weeks ago with visits to the University of Arkansas and Duke University. At the North Carolina powerhouse, Shah gave a speech on America's Innovation Development Economy where he talked about his vision for development partnerships as not only advancing human progress, but also laying the foundation for American economic success in the markets of the future.

Administrator Shah will visit more universities this fall and discuss how USAID can partner with various organizations in and outside of government to end extreme poverty worldwide. Follow hashtag #FallSemester to join the conversation on Twitter. Keep updated with our calendar on our Fall Semester webpage to see if Administrator Shah will be visiting a campus near you.

Walmart, USAID Team Up to Back Farmers in Developing World

(from L-TO-R) Mike Duke, President & CEO, Walmart; Dan Bartlett, Executive VP of Corporate Affairs, Walmart; Rajiv Shah, Adminis
(from L-TO-R) Mike Duke, President & CEO, Walmart; Dan Bartlett, Executive VP of Corporate Affairs, Walmart; Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID.

During his stop in Arkansas, Administrator Shah met with officials from Walmart and signed an agreement with the company and its foundation that will improve livelihoods around the world by promoting women's economic empowerment, sustainable agriculture, environmental sustainability and vocational and life skills training for youth.

The partnership between Walmart and USAID will marry the expertise of both organizations as well as allow for scaling up of existing programs. So, in Central America for example, USAID will train farmers to produce larger harvests that meet specific agricultural standards, while Walmart determines the correct assortment of produce for their stores and the right timing to bring it to market. Walmart and USAID believe this collaboration will be a win-win as farmers will gain a sustainable income. Moreover, Walmart gets access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, and consumers in the region get the products they want. Last year alone, Walmart purchased $75 million in produce from 3,400 small- and medium-sized farmers and their families, accounting for 35 percent of fruit, grain, and vegetables sold in its stores across Central America.

"Our global partnership is emblematic of USAID's new model of development and our commitment to work with private sector companies to end extreme poverty around the world," Administrator Shah said during his visit to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.   

Other opportunities through this agreement include leveraging the Feed the Future initiative to assist more African farmers. Read the Impact Blog to learn more about the partnership and what USAID and Walmart have in common.

MDG Countdown and Persons with Disabilities on U.N. General Assembly Agenda

Big-button keyboards, trackballs, touch screens, and joysticks are assistive devices that help students with disabilities partic
Big-button keyboards, trackballs, touch screens, and joysticks are assistive devices that help students with disabilities participate in integrated classrooms.

The 68th United Nations General Assembly begins next week in New York, and Agency leaders will participate in several events Sept. 23-27. This year's assembly will partly focus on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other agreed development goals for persons with disabilities.

Over 1 billion people, or approximately 15 percent of the world's population, live with some form of disability. Eighty percent of them live in developing countries. USAID is committed to disability-inclusive development by integrating disability into all Agency programs. Read about U.N. disability programs here. Read more about USAID activities during the assembly here.

Celebrating International Day of Democracy

A group of Kenyan youth marching for peace before the general elections in March 2013.
A group of Kenyan youth marching for peace before the general elections in March 2013.

Did you know that 22 years ago, less than half of the world's countries were democracies? Today, more than 60 percent are democracies.

This week, USAID celebrated International Day of Democracy and its theme "Strengthening Voices for Democracy," reminding us of the importance of citizens' voices in today's political, economic, social and technological debates. The ability of all citizens to decide how they are governed and participate meaningfully in political processes is at the core of democracy.

You can read our International Day of Democracy blog and our new Strategy on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, which refocuses USAID's work on the key principles of participation and accountability, and on empowering reformers and citizens. Watch Youtube videos featuring our missions and local partners to hear how they are integrating democracy and human rights into their work to achieve more inclusive development.

Working to End Preventable Child Deaths in Latin America

A Promise Renewed Poster

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have reduced maternal and child mortality significantly over the past two decades. But many mothers and children continue to die from preventable causes, particularly in low-income and marginalized populations.

To address this problem, USAID along with seven other international organizations met in Panama last week to launch

A Promise Renewed, a regional effort to rapidly reduce disparities that contribute to maternal and child mortality and to strengthen regional cooperation to improve maternal and child health. Read this Impact blog by USAID Global Health Administrator Ariel Pablos-Mendez on how we can work to address inequalities to save lives in Latin America. And read more about our work in Latin America with this story from FrontLines:

USAID Legacy in Latin America: Smaller Families, Better Health.

Innovation...We Got That

USAID picked September to celebrate our past and most recent successes in science, technology, innovation and partnerships -- STIP for short.

USAID is expanding partnerships with scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs, and advancing development innovation through programs and initiatives like Grand Challenges for Development, Development Innovation Ventures, the Higher Education Solutions Network, prizes, open data, mobile data, Better than Cash, the Alliance for Affordable Internet and Global Development Alliances. You can read all the details here. But to see how STIP plays out in the field, check out these three articles from our collection of Transforming Lives stories.

Hydropower Energizes Remote Village

Mobile Clinics Issue ID Cards to Sri Lankans

Kosovo Startup Branches into Online Sales

Career Openings at USAID

Want To Work for USAID? Check out our current vacancy announcements!

Contract Specialist

Bureau for Management


Closes Monday, September 30, 2013

Civil Service


IT Specialist (InfoSec) - DHA-13-0076-LW

Bureau for Management


Closes Saturday, February 15, 2014

Civil Service


US/TCNPSC Senior Community Services & Family Planning

Office of Human Resources

GS/13 (Re-advertisement)

Closes Friday, September 27, 2013

Foreign Service


Financial Management Specialist, FSN-10

Bureau for Africa


Closes Friday, September 20, 2013

Foreign Service


Deputy Assistant Administrator

Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs


Closes Thursday, September 19, 2013

Senior Executive Service


Supervisory Agricultural Research Specialist

Bureau for Food Security


Closes Monday, September 23, 2013

Civil Service

Have you Seen our Blog?

Check out the Impact Blog to stay updated on the latest information about USAID programs in Washington and around the world. Read stories from the field, hear from development experts, and view weekly photos and videos of development in action. You can also join the conversation on social media!