Planning for “strategic transitions” in foreign lands


The U.S. Agency for International Development has created roadmaps to signal when it may be time for a “strategic transition” in certain countries of interest.
USAID’s 2019 “journey to self-reliance” roadmap for Cuba gives the nation high marks for health and education, but criticizes the socialist government’s commitment to open and accountable governance.
The agency says it developed these roadmaps:

  • To plot the overall journey. By plotting where countries fall along the self-reliance spectrum, USAID is able to put a first stake in the ground of understanding what it means to reorient around the concept of self-reliance.
  • To inform strategic decisions. While they will not be the only tool, the metrics will be an important anchor for USAID’s country strategies going forward.
  • For use in development dialogue. The metrics allow USAID to see not only where a country is in its overall journey to self-reliance, but also its relative strengths and challenges along the 17 indicators. This allows the Agency to have an objective touchstone upon which to dialogue with its stakeholders — governments, implementing partners, civil society, and beyond — on the nature of the partnership and approach.
  • To signal when USAID might consider a strategic transition. When the metrics indicate that a country has achieved an advanced level of self-reliance, this – together with supplemental information – may signal that it is time to explore a conversation about strategic transition, which the Agency views as a new form of a partnership that moves beyond more traditional models.

Download PDFs of Cuba’s roadmap and how to read it.

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