Trump signed the bipartisan Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018, in 2019. In order to put the family signature on it, the big initiative from Ivanka and family to roll out the $265 million a year to be spent on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise assistance, was called the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).
The claim from Ivanka was that with the W-GDP, using the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as nine other U.S. agencies to “codify gender analysis and deliver targeted finance across the women’s programs,” in those agencies. Importantly, conservatively, Republican-y, Ivanka told the world that this program would enable “us to rigorously track the execution and the efficacy of the money that we are spending,”and most importantly, like a superficial infomercial, Ivanka explained that this big-brained idea would be “The first ever all-of-government approach to unleashing what is inarguably the most underutilized resource in the developing world: the power, the potential, the grit, and the genius of the world’s women.”
Here she is saying that.
Sounds great. Weird that your father has slashed some of the programs that were working to do exactly that, but I’m sure that since we will be delivering “targeted finance,” and “rigorously” tracking the “execution and the efficacy of the money that we are spending,” it will be easy to see how the Trump administration was able to unleash things.
Here’s some of the GAO’s findings:
USAID has not developed a process to support compliance with statutory requirements to target MSME resources to activities that reach the very poor and to small and medium-sized enterprise resources to activities that reach enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women. We identified three key gaps that impair USAID’s ability to develop such a process. First, USAID has not identified the total funding subject to the targeting requirements. Second, although USAID has programs designed to help the very poor, it is unable to determine the amount of funding that reaches this group. Third, although USAID has MSME activities that benefit women, it has not defined enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women and does not collect data by enterprise size. These gaps leave USAID unable to determine what percentage of its MSME resources is going to the very poor and enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women.
“A senior Trump administration official who worked on W-GDP” told Politico that before the Trump administration, everything was a mess, and no one knew where the money spent on programs was going. Once again, the GAO:
USAID collected and reported incomplete and inconsistent data in its process for monitoring MSME assistance. USAID surveys its missions and bureaus annually to collect data on the amounts and results of MSME assistance. However, USAID collected and reported incomplete data on its MSME assistance in fiscal year 2019, the year of the most recent report. It did not send the survey to all relevant missions and bureaus, and fewer than half of those that received the survey responded. Moreover, USAID’s fiscal year 2019 reporting on assistance that reached the very poor included activities from only three of 21 missions that responded to its survey. USAID guidance states that its data should clearly and adequately represent the intended result. Without complete and consistent data, USAID cannot ensure that it is reporting accurate information to Congress on its MSME assistance.
Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida—who co-authored the WEEE Act—told Politico that the good news is that this reporting by the GAO was a requirement of the bill and hopefully Congress can act on this information going forward and provide more meaningful oversight than what was clearly offered up over the last couple of years.
In the end, Ivanka’s job, like everyone else in the Trump administration, was to tell Americans and the world that her father wasn’t a terrible person. Ivanka’s special area of this propaganda was to say the Donald was not a terrible person to women, even though all evidence pointed to him as being a misogynistic dirtbag. Ivanka proclaimed her father’s championing of women’s issues far and wide, but was only successful as long as there were no other people in the room to ask her unscripted questions about it. Just like the ill-conceived family leave plan Ivanka worked on with Florida carrion Marco Rubio, it was a shiny object filled with the endemic problems that plague the corrupt and shortsighted among us.