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Law of International Development Initiative

The Law of International Development Initiative (LIDI) serves as an intellectual and practical hub for innovative solutions to development challenges and works to mentor and train the next generation of international development law leaders. Photo: Erica Frendach for USAID

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About the Initiative

Launched in Fall 2019 through a unique public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, LIDI responds to the need to address legal challenges arising from development and humanitarian assistance to the world’s most vulnerable. These challenges range from navigating terrorist sanction regimes to structuring complex financial transactions, and involve a host of actors including governments, multilateral organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities.

LIDI 2020 Highlights

  • Developed partnerships with AmLaw 50 law firms to connect law students with practitioners in the field of international development and provide opportunities for legal support to enterprises in the developing world.
  • Developed the course International Development, Humanitarian Assistance and Global Health (LAW 3132) to be launched in Spring 2021. The course provides an overview of the international and domestic legal and policy framework applicable to the delivery of foreign assistance and global health for the following: bilateral development partners, international/multilateral institutions, and recipient countries; non-governmental and civil society organizations; and private sector actors.
  • Cultivated future leaders in international development by offering career and professional development advice to nearly two dozen law students and alumni, and increased opportunities for meaningful engagement among students and practitioners.

Featured Work

Upcoming Brigham Young University (BYU) Law Review Article: Preventing Perpetrator Circulation

  • Presented at the 2020 BYU Symposium: Human Dignity and the Law 
  • Following news of sexual misconduct in the international development and humanitarian sector, aid agencies, multilaterals, and the private sector began reshaping their efforts to prevent sexual misconduct. One major challenge is perpetrator circulation, which arises when various aid organizations (many times unknowingly) employ serial perpetrators of sexual misconduct who continue to commit abuse. This article outlines key steps and considerations for employers in the development and humanitarian sector for combatting perpetrator circulation.

Active Projects and Partnerships

Community of Practice to Address Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH)

  • The O’Neill Institute has joined a community of practice, launched by USAID and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs on employment accountability, referencing, and screening related to sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment in the international development and humanitarian aid sector. The community brings together groups from across multiple sectors to identify and share proven models, best practices, and practical solutions for preventing the circulation of perpetrators of sexual misconduct between organizations.
  • For additional information on this work, see USAID’s Action Alliance for Preventing Sexual Misconduct and press release.

Director

Susan Keller Pascocello, Distinguished Development Diplomat in Residence, Visiting Professor

Susan Keller Pascocello, a career member of the Senior Executive Service at USAID and an alumnus of Georgetown Law School, leads LIDI and its work. As a recognized leader at USAID, within the US government, international organizations and among non- and for-profit partners, Ms. Pascocello is a strategic and results-driven international development executive and lawyer. She has proven abilities and broad experience leading teams advancing international development and economic growth in the public and private sectors. Since 2018, she has been a leader of USAID’s focused efforts to prevent and address sexual misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse in the development sector. Ms. Pascocello is committed to developing a diverse group of international development law leaders of the future and has a track record of identifying opportunities for law students and lawyers in the international development community.

Active Projects

Active Personnel

Susan Keller Pascocello

Hamsa Fayed

Sarah Hart

Saisha Nanduri


Completed Projects