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USAID

Ron Mader

USAID
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The U.S. international development agency, USAID has several projects in Mexico and in Latin America. Kudos - the 1998 budget is online ( http://www.info.usaid.gov/pubs/cp98/lac/lac.htm). This is an informative and lengthy document, but there is no contact information, and no links to more in-depth materials. Nor are there progress or status reports from previous years.

What do we make of the 1998 proposal? Will it be carried out? How will it be evaluated? In addition to the page for the entire region, there are specific documents for Latin American countries where USAID has projects, such as Mexico ( http://www.info.usaid.gov/pubs/cp98/lac/countries/mx.htm)

Again, no info on past programs and no contact information. For those of us interested in environmental issues, the LatAm country pages do not link to related pages on the USAID site. For example, you must return to the home page and select "environment" (http://www.info.usaid.gov/environment/) to access some interesting USAID programs, such as Environment & Natural Resources Information Center (ENRIC) and GreenCOM Environmental Education and Communication. What these programs actually do is unclear - the information on these pages is sparse or simply obsolete.

Some of the links on the USAID site simply do not work. Worse, there is no easy way to contact the webmaster to inform him or her. For example, a file on Mexico - ( http://www.info.usaid.gov/countries/regional_country/lac/mexico/mex.pvo) - brings up a "File not Found" message.

Since this and other international institutions prepare the majority of their reports with computers and word processors, it's not unreasonable to ask that these materials be put online. As a bonus, this allows the communities to know what is supposed to be happening in their name.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Ron Mader © 2008
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