Friday, August 23, 2013

New details on USAID's Cuba programs

USAID chief Rajiv Shah. Credit: London Evening Post
The U.S. Agency for International Development released new financial data earlier this summer as part of a campaign to increase transparency.

Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, wrote:
I am proud to announce a significant step forward in our efforts to deliver development results more transparently and effectively than ever before. For the first time ever, you can visit the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and check out how our partners have spent our dollars.*
Today’s unprecedented release of new financial data includes over 30 database fields and nearly 53,000 records—all from the first three quarters of fiscal year 2013. Never before has our Agency published spending data so comprehensively and so soon after the close of the quarter.
This release is just the latest in a series of important changes we have made to advance President Obama’s unparalleled commitment to transparency and our own USAID Forward reform agenda.
Below is 2013 spending data related to USAID's programs in Cuba. See the Foreign Assistance Dashboard for more information.

* Shah made the announcement on July 30, so this is old news, but I think it's worth sharing.
There's more to write about all this, but I haven't had time to dig into it.
I haven't been updating Along the Malecón or the Cuba Money Project much at all this summer. I was traveling in Cuba in June and have been editing videos since then. I'll return to blogging as I have time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Early morning in Old Havana

Havana street scene

Havana, from the air

 Here are a few photos taken from the plane as I left Havana earlier this summer. It's tough to get sharp pictures through several layers of grimy plane window.  A little Windex would have been nice.

Tarará, the beach town where I lived from 2000 to early 2005 while working for the Dallas Morning News.

P.S. Emilio Ichikawa asked what camera I was using... It is a Canon 60D, shown below with a 70-200mm lens.