Policy: Needs and Priorities in Afghanistan

-A Panel Discussion by Amb. Lange Schermerhorn and Ms. Fara Abbas-

Amb. Schermerhorn will discuss the policy-making process from the perspective of a practitioner in the bureaucracy: what is “policy,” why do we need it; who are the actors in policy formulation; how do they coordinate with other actors; how do they communicate with the decision-makers and the stakeholders; what is the relation of policy to program management; what are the professional and ethical responsibilities of actors in the policy process. Ms. Abbas will describe mechanisms for policy formulation and methodologies for supporting policy offices that are connected to the Afghanistan National Development Policy (ANDS).

Ms. Schermerhorn’s 35-year career in the Foreign Service of the United States included staff, policy, and economic function positions in the Department of State in Washington and diplomatic assignments in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Iran, the United Kingdom, Belgium (twice-latterly as Deputy Chief of Mission), and lastly as Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti.

Since retiring in 2001, she has continued her interest in foreign policy and international development, with consulting assignments in Egypt, Somaliland, and Djibouti. She participated in election observation missions for Nigeria’s April 2003 and April 2007 Presidential elections, Somaliland’s September 2005 parliamentary election, and Kenya’s December 2007 Presidential election. She has had extensive experience speaking on foreign policy-related issues.

Ms. Fara Abbas is a Strategy and Policy Advisor for the Afghanistan Capacity Development Project (CDP), funded by USAID. In this role, Ms. Abbas is the project’s lead information support officer, providing policy analysis, policy briefs, and program evaluation to senior project management as well as officials at counterpart institutions.

Before joining CPD implementation team, she worked primarily in business and financial management positions, including managing support activities for the Academy of Educational Development’s Center for Gender Equity, as well as participating in several of its field implementation initiatives sub-Saharan Africa.

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