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AIDDATA: Into the Breach: European Foreign Aid in the Face of U.S. Retrenchment

April 27, 2017 @ 9:00 AM11:00 AM PDT

Foreign aid is under fire in the United States. The Trump administration has proposed a major rollback of funding for the State Department and USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). Historically the largest bilateral provider of official development assistance, how might a reduced U.S. foreign aid budget impact global efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and liberal democracy? Moreover, if aid is an indispensable tool to project soft power, the U.S. risks diluting its influence on the world stage. Who will step in to take its place?

Governments and international organizations use both money (such as aid) and ideas to shape reform efforts in low- and middle-income countries. In the scramble for influence, they jockey for position to capture the attention of busy policymakers and incentivize behavior changes. Understanding who is influencing whom and why is particularly critical in the face of a possible U.S. retrenchment in the scope and ambition of its foreign aid activities.

Join us April 27th for an engaging roundtable discussion of how the development cooperation efforts of the U.S., Europe, and other actors are perceived by those they seek to influence. We’ll showcase findings from an AidData survey of over 55,000 public, private, and civil society leaders from 126 countries and two reports on perceptions of Germany and Denmark’s foreign aid, with a particular focus on the role of the U.S. vis-a-vis Europe. Together, we’ll discuss how perceptions of past performance might interplay with the current political climate to shape the future of foreign aid and its use as a tool of soft power.


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Building
1779 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC, DC 20036 United States
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