Public Affairs Officer
USAID West Bank/Gaza
Re: Questions about USAID funding for ad campaign
Dear Ms. Litvak,
The Geneva Initiative, an Israeli NGO involved in partisan advocacy, has initiated a mass-media campaign aimed at convincing the Israeli public that the Palestinians are viable peace partners. According to a Geneva Initiative press release, “The campaign is supported with the generous support of the American people through USAID.”
A Jerusalem Post article also indicated that USAID is sponsoring a parallel campaign in the Palestinian Authority.
- NGO Monitor plans to publish a report on this issue on September 7, 2010, and we would appreciate your response to the following questions before that date:
- When was the decision made to fund this media campaign?
- Was this funding considered part of USAID’s standard operations, or as exceptional program? If the latter, what special decision-making procedures were involved?
- What were the reasons for choosing the “Geneva Initiative” as the vehicle for this U.S.-government activity in Israel?
- Is there a parallel NGO coordinating the campaign in the Palestinian Authority?
- Are there any other examples of USAID political advertising campaigns conducted via political NGOs in democratic societies?
- Can you tell us who was involved in the decision-making process? In particular, we are interested in whether this decision was taken by officials in the region, or whether USAID officials in Washington were also involved.
- Can you provide any documentation related to the decision-making process for this funding?
- Were USAID officials involved in reviewing the content of the advertisements in advance?
- What mechanisms are being used to evaluate the impact of this funding?
Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to continued dialogue with USAID on these important issues.