USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives After 15 Years: Issues for Congress [May 27, 2009] [open pdf - 580KB]
"The Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was created in 1994 to bridge the gap between emergency disaster relief programs and long-term development assistance. The program is relatively small, with regular appropriations averaging $40-$60 million annually and a full-time staff of about 50. Supplemental funding and transfers from other foreign assistance accounts, particularly through the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, have at times substantially increased the program's funding levels. Congress may take particular interest in OTI this year, as the Administration's FY2010 budget proposal requests $126 million for the Transition Initiatives account, a 150% increase over the 2009 estimate. […] There is considerable congressional interest in and support for strengthening capacities at USAID and other civilian agencies involved in foreign affairs. In its 15 years in operation, OTI has served in part as a laboratory within USAID to try innovative approaches to development, and there may be a range of lessons to be learned from the program that are applicable to this broader debate. The 111th Congress may wish to consider several aspects of the OTI program, from personnel structure and contracting mechanisms to coordination with other U.S. assistance programs, as part of oversight or legislated reform activities concerning OTI, USAID, or foreign assistance in general."
CRS Report for Congress, R40600
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/