Anna-Maija Litvak
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.

  1. 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:
  2. When was the decision made to fund this media campaign?
  3. Was this funding considered part of USAID’s standard operations, or as exceptional program? If the latter, what special decision-making procedures were involved?
  4. What were the reasons for choosing the “Geneva Initiative” as the vehicle for this U.S.-government activity in Israel?
  5. Is there a parallel NGO coordinating the campaign in the Palestinian Authority?
  6. Are there any other examples of USAID political advertising campaigns conducted via political NGOs in democratic societies?
  7. 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.
  8. Can you provide any documentation related to the decision-making process for this funding?
  9. Were USAID officials involved in reviewing the content of the advertisements in advance?
  10. 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.


Naftali Balanson
Managing Editor
NGO Monitor