The Cable

Development community gears up for State Department review

Development-community leaders are gearing up for the release of the first peek at the State Department’s overall policy review, amassing their forces in case the news is not of their liking. The interim report for State’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review has been delayed a few times, but now outside observers are being told ...

Development-community leaders are gearing up for the release of the first peek at the State Department’s overall policy review, amassing their forces in case the news is not of their liking.

The interim report for State’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review has been delayed a few times, but now outside observers are being told the release is imminent. They are also being told to brace for some bad news (or at leas what they would consider bad news) about the direction the review is headed in terms of development organization and policy.

"We should prepare for the fact that we won’t like some aspects of the report," read an email sent out by an umbrella group that is helping to coordinate the community in its dealings with State. "I don’t know what those parts will be, but this underscores the need for us to organize our response in a timely manner."

The development community’s main concerns include whether or not the U.S. Agency for International Development will have its policy planning staff and budget control restored, what the review will say about the future of USAID contracting, and what the announced "integration" of the diplomacy and development missions will mean in practice.

It’s not clear that the interim report will tackle all of these issues, but the policy-planning staff is already being reconstructed and our sources say that control of the budget will probably stay with Deputy Secretary Jack Lew.

What we are hearing about the interim report is that is that it will explain the broader issues in question without getting into actual recommendations. It will also explain the narrower focus of the second phase, after which "actionable" recommendations will be announced.

The schedule is to release the full draft report in late summer and the final report in September, according to the email.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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