The U.S. Agency for International Development has outlined recommendations to adapt its programs to a world changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of a strategic exercise called “Over the Horizon,” the agency has sought to analyze the current and projected impacts of the pandemic and translate these findings into an operational response.
The recommendations include determining a set of focus countries, where needs due to the pandemic are high and the U.S. has a national security interest.
Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday, acting USAID Administrator John Barsa did not reveal which countries would be on the list but alluded to Central America’s Northern Triangle region and to East Africa.
The recommendations also include elevating the role of local staff members, called foreign service nationals, within the agency — a step that has already been taken as many international staffers have left their posts.
The agency also plans to create a “strategic foresight unit,” which will aim to anticipate future impacts of COVID-19, as well as other crises and shocks that could disrupt USAID’s programs.