Submit Your Questions for January 6 Discussion on the QDDR

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 4, 2011

On Thursday, January 6, 2011, Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State, and Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator at USAID, will hold a discussion "Leading Through Civilian Power: The First QDDR." The discussion will be moderated by Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs. The event will be streamed live on state.gov and DipNote, the Department of State's official blog, at 4:00 p.m. (EST). You will have the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. You can submit your questions now, here on DipNote, in the comments section to this blog post.

In the "Conversations with America" video series, the State Department's senior leadership hold discussions live, online, with government officials and leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. You can learn more about the QDDR, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, here.

Comments

Comments

Jerome B.
|
Michigan, USA
January 6, 2011

Jerome T.B. in Michigan writes:

I had to be so redundant, however I am calling it foul. All that help with the Beatles, writing movie scripts, calling the Chicago based FBI to report these guys who said they wanted to shoot JFK, just before the assassination, was a bit much! There should be some notes either at UCLA or UofM.

Cris R.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

Cris R. in Washington D.C. writes:

USAID is preparing to release a new education strategy that will focus on improved reading skills for children in primary grades, tertiary and workforce development programs, and access to education for children in conflict and crisis. While education unfortunately is not mentioned in the QDDR, USAID's proposed strategy links education to economic growth and democratic governance reforms, two key areas of focus for the QDDR. How can we ensure that the proposed linkages in USAID's strategy between quality basic education and these related QDDR priorities, as well the QDDR's strong focus on women and girls, are supported and realized?

Cris R., Basic Education Coalition

Michelle B.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

Michelle B. in Washington, DC writes:

How will the QDDR impact funding decisions for the Global Health Initiative in FY12? Will it encourage greater integration of PEPFAR programs with other disease specific initiatives?

Carlisle L.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

Carlisle L. in Washington, DC writes:

I appreciate the need to align diplomacy and development objectives in countries experiencing conflict and fragility. What safeguards will be established through the QDDR's implementation to ensure that long-term development goals are not undermined by short-term political objectives, recognizing that achieving long-term development goals is in the long-term political interest of the United States?

Hernan V.
|
Chile
January 6, 2011

Hernan L.V. in Chile writes:

To whom it may concern:

I wonder in which extent USAID is willing to expand the use of non US-Citizens highly qualified human resources in some of its activities under development abroad. One area of my own interest has to do with the recovery process of the educational infrastructure (university and research capabilities) in countries which have been under stabilization and reconstruction operations - e.g. Irak -. Besides that, what about energy, environmnetal and economic policy-making in those countries? Do you have room for people that is not yet US-Citizens?
I hope you find this question a pertinent one? If so, whom shoud I contact to?

Jean T.
|
Washington, USA
January 6, 2011

Jean T. in Washington writes:

The QDDR mentions USAID will increase the number of fixed obligation grants to reach out to a greater number of partners and local partners. In addition, USAID recently release in November new guidance related to ADS 303 for fixed obligation grants "FOGs".

Will the Department of State through its other grants also increase its use of fixed obligation grants? Will USAID and the Dept. of State increase approvals of FOGs for subawards? Are staff with the Dept of State up to speed regarding FOGs and will there be issues with the potential increase of FOGs for subawards?

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
January 6, 2011

Susan C. in Florida writes:

How much progress has the USAID's clean water initiative made? The lack of clean/useable water seems to me to be the single most pressing problem that nations around the world will be facing now, and in the future.

DT
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

DT in Washington D.C. writes:

The QDDR proposes a shift towards a unified national security budget process. Can you elaborate on what this integration will mean in regard to how such a budget request will be presented to Congress? Thank you.

Marc F.
|
Washington, USA
January 6, 2011

Marc F. in Washington writes:

I have two questions:
1.) How can Pilgrim; an NGO operating in Uganda, Southern Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa partner with Feed the Future in our agriculture development programs?
2.) As a member of Accord (previously AERDO) Pilgrim is engaged in a study about how for-profit business development groups can partner with Relief and Development NGO's before, during and after a major crisis such as Haiti to produce a better result for those effected by such a crisis. How can we partner with USAID in this question that integrates business development with aid & relief?

John
|
Virginia, USA
January 6, 2011

John in Virginia writes:

Beyond material subsistence, what role does or can USAID have in preventing ethnic or ideological violence in vulnerable areas such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Oren W.
|
California, USA
January 6, 2011

Oren W. in California writes:

Most "citizens" that have an opinion, are not in favor of using our government resources to promote the global expansion of GMO feedstocks, yet agencies continue to work in favor of corporate interests. As citizens, how can we sway the efforts of government considering we don't have direct access to policy makers?

Ed G.
|
New York, USA
January 6, 2011

Ed G. in New York writes:

The QDDR refers to the employment of new technologies to strengthen people-to-people relationships. How can organizations like ours -- iEARN -- in the non-profit, education sector, play a role in this employment? Would this be through our existing programs at ECA? Through new avenues and agencies at the Department?

Jane
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

Jane in Washington, DC writes:

The QDDR (p. 161) paints a dire picture of staffing and skills shortages, especially in the foreign service, and predicts a need for more hiring (above the 3,000 additional staff in the past two years). Given the current economic (and Congressional) climate, is the Administration's next budget request really going to ask for more money for personnel?

In a related question, if the State Department plans to deploy more civil service personnel overseas, how will it address concerns that the civil service (which often suffers a type of "second class" status at the State Department) lacks the training, etc., to do the type of work done by foreign service officers?

Thanks for the opportunity to ask!

LTC B.
|
Hawaii, USA
January 6, 2011

Benjamin B. in Hawaii writes:

How do I connect to this webcast? Where's the link?

DipNote Bloggers write:

You can watch the webcast in the video player above the text of this blog posting or on the homepage of www.state.gov.

Jon S.
|
Washington, USA
January 6, 2011

Jon S. in Washington writes:

Chapter 5 of the QDDR lays out a detailed strategic planning process at State and USAID. At the country level, the integrated country strategy will consist of a Country Diplomatic Strategy and a Country Foreign Assistance Strategy. Where will non-aid development policies fit between the two country strategies? Both the PSD and QDDR processes reflect the notion that development policy is more than aid alone. Where will country-level policies outside of aid such as trade, migration, finance, etc. fit in?

JK
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 6, 2011

J.K. in Washington, DC writes:

why hasn't this started yet? what's going on and why can't I view?

DipNote Bloggers write:

The webcast will begin at 4:00 p.m. EST. You can watch the webcast in the video player that appears above the text of this entry or on the homepage of www.state.gov.

LTC B.
|
Hawaii, USA
January 6, 2011

Benjamin B. in Hawaii writes:

I see the screen, click the arrow, it says live, but I only see the screen. I don't hear anything. Has it started?

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Benjamin B. -- We regret the delay. The broadcast will begin at 4:00 p.m. EST, not 3:30 p.m. as scheduled. Thank you for your understanding.

Scott Z.
|
Virginia, USA
January 6, 2011

Scott Z. in Virginia writes:

I find the concept of "Engaging Beyond the State" to be intriguing. Can you please explain how this works operationally? I can see many countries - even non-autocratic regimes - taking umrbrage if the USG were to engage directly with "civil society," opposition forces, and religious actors. I do not disagree with the concept, but I am curious to hear how our diplomats will actually walk that tightrope when foreign governments discourage engagement.

Thanks very much

Bernardo C.
|
Peru
January 6, 2011

Bernardo C. in Peru writes:

Has USAID ever evaluated their support to the "War on Drugs", when faced to growing corruption and violence in aid recipient countries such as Mexico, Colombia, or Peru?

Mora M.
|
New York, USA
January 6, 2011

Mora M. in New York writes:

With private support, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is facilitating the mobilization of networks in Africa--starting with Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa--of individuals who have in common the past experience of studying in the United States under U.S. government-sponsored higher ed scholarships. These multigenerational networks are working to launch home-grown education, philanthropic,business entrepreneurial, and other Africa-based initiatives that advance development objectives. But their efforts have largely gone untapped by U.S. agencies responsible for development policies and programs. Does the QDDR envision mechanisms for systematic outreach to this African constituency as part of the focus on high impact development through partnerships and innovation?

Deborah A.
|
Alabama, USA
January 6, 2011

Deborah A. in Alabama writes:

Can you please talk about the Development and the Military. Does development, say in Afghanistan have a US political agenda and if so how do we , as Humanitarian Aid workers resolve the conflict that we feel. And please know that we (I)realize the need for the military protection while working in areas such as Afghanistan.

Deborah A.
|
Alabama, USA
January 6, 2011

Deborah A. in Alabama writes:

How can we put forth the Afghan civilans that are being murdered by the Insugents, as patriots for their country ? Despite the threats, they show up to work as they try to bring their country into the global world.

Eileen
|
California, USA
January 6, 2011

Eileen in California writes:

QDDR seems like an initiative that needs a very manageable problem to solve, to start with. A small country with established, all be it, limited US foreign policy would benefit most from the QDDR concept. It is much easier to measure and demonstrate success if the population, geography and developmental issues are very well defined and limited in scope and size. It is the difference between trying to correct everything in Africa (with the millions of people living in potentially corrupt countries) vs the support and development that results in life improvements in a small country of 500,000 like Solomon Islands. Work out the problems of aid and civilian power in a small setting, demonstrate success and then move into a bigger more complex arena.

Deborah A.
|
Alabama, USA
January 6, 2011

Deborah A. in Alabama writes:

Thank you for this. It was very informative. I am just now getting ivolved with International Service Council here in Northern Alabama. Citizen Diplomacy is a term we need to see and hear more about.

Matthew A.
|
New York, USA
January 6, 2011

Matthew A. in New York writes:

Can you please address how longer-term strategic development and diplomacy strategies, such as those purported to be in the QDDR, will apply to traditional trouble spots like Cuba?

In light of recent developments in Cuba (political prisoner releases and limited market reforms), will USAID programs be shifting to reflect the changing realty in Cuba?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
January 8, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Call it what it is all the time, in that we are indeed involved in building a better world, nation by nation...and our's as well at the same time. On many levels."-EJ

"We want to see a world where people are well-housed, where people have good health systems, good education, and we believe that that is a common good. It’s in our Constitution about the pursuit of happiness and the pursuit of individual opportunity, and I don’t think we should be shy about that. Even as arguing that it’s in our national interest, it is also in our national values."-Don Steinberg

Thanks Don, that's a good start.

All points in-between handoff and delivery the "missing middle" in my mind is both a combination of the physical nation building efforts outlined and what I call "Regime Replacement Therapy" for it takes time for an oppressed people liberated by armed conflict to heal emotionally and find ownership in their future, to no longer think of themselves as victims of circumstance, but as masters of it.

We think of PTSD of individuals in conflict, this "therapy" is of a whole society suffering similarly, and that healing process.

"A lot of the policy wonks in Washington, D.C. have been poring over this document," -PJ Crowley

@ PJ

I'm so glad I don't live in DC because I might be tagged with a label like that (grin).

I think of policy as being a facet of the human condition, addressing itself in the needs of a society or government.

I'd like to offer a suggestion on the way forward to presenting all this to the public in the future.

Terminology can be confusing at times, which is why the term "nation building" became the single catch-all for everything done in a pre-post conflict environments (where bullets are flying along with kites in Afghanistan as one example).

So when the President talks about "core goals" and says "it's not nation building, because it is Afghans who must build their nation. Rather, we are focused on disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and preventing its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future."

It tends to throw the values Don spoke of out the window in favor of "Doing unto others, then splitting." in the interpretation one might take on the face of this statement.

If he had said, "because it is Afghans who will build their nation...with a little help from their friends."

He would have had everyone thinking in terms of that old Beatles tune, and everyone in the world would have instantly understood what nation building is all about.

Where it concerns "Regime Replacement Therapy" (as may soon come into being in Cote d' Ivoire thanks to ECOWAS and friends), I believe it to be as critical to present the philisophical underpinnings of policy to the public layed out in "Lay terms" to the average man or woman who are the vast majority non-"policy wonk" segment of populations around the world.

PJ, all I'm saying here is that folks have to have a way of visualizing policy in their mind's eye in the simplest terms possible and still being accurate in the understanding reached out with to them by State and USAID.

That way, even the illiterate can understand policy without any confusion.

"I get by with a little help from my friends." is a universal truth.

You don't need granularity to scratch the surface of that or to smooth out rough edges of understanding all this.

This isn't new, it's intuited in everything stated by policy in the QDDR.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to state the case in ways policy wonks would consider "simplistic".

You all addressed every facet of the "working framework" I posed in context to my question and I very much appreciate it.

Perhaps we cannot "be all things to all people", but I don't think anyone expects us to be. Only the good things, and certainly not "the great satan" (chuckle).

So we do what we do the best we can do it, and if that's not enough then others are free to pitch in from get-go and help in their national capacity, as that's a partnership.

If their capacity has been devastated and folks are on their knees in the face of adversity, then freinds like us will offer a hand up on their feet, not toss them a crutch and tell them to stand up on their own while looking down on them.

Take something very granular to the hides of those who speak in terms of crutches and handouts regarding that 1% of foreign aid. As in "60 grit raw" (chuckle) , and get Don some results in getting that 7% he wants.

It just depends on how granular he wants to get about it in Congress this next SOTU.

We have a lasting peace to create from scratch in a conflicted world, and that's a fact.

If this isn't nation building, what do you call it?

EJ

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