The Cable

The draft QDDR revealed

The State Department on Wednesday sent lawmakers a draft version of the long-awaited Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the document that is meant to chart the long-term strategy for both State and USAID. You can take a look at the document here (PDF). "To advance American interests and values and to lead other nations in ...

The State Department on Wednesday sent lawmakers a draft version of the long-awaited Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the document that is meant to chart the long-term strategy for both State and USAID.

You can take a look at the document here (PDF).

"To advance American interests and values and to lead other nations in solving shared problems in the 21st century, we must rely on our diplomats and development experts as the first face of American power. We must lead through civilian power," states the draft, which is marked NODIS (meaning no distribution) but was obtained by the Washington Post.

The document also proposes a host of new organizations to be established within the State Department: These include an Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environmental Affairs, which will include a new Bureau of International Energy Affairs; a Special Coordinator for Sanctions and Illicit Finance; and an Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, which would include a new Bureau for Crisis and Conflict Operations. The current Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) would be incorporated into this bureau.

The document also proposes to "Empower and hold accountable Chiefs of Mission as CEOs of multi-agency missions and engage them in high-level interagency decision-making in Washington."

Interestingly, the document proposes to establish a joint planning and budgeting process between the State Department and the Defense Department in areas where the two institutions work together, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The document notes that the government is also "examin[ing] the creation of a unified National Security Budget." The idea of combining Defense and State Department funding into one pool has been proposed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before, but could face resistance on Capitol Hill.

As for USAID, in addition to increased control over its own budgeting and policy planning, the development agency will see its mid-level hires triple and would assume leadership and accountability for the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative right away, as well as eventually assuming control of the Global Health Initiative, according to the draft document.

The proposal would also expand the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), which places experts in crisis countries such as Afghanistan to help local institutions.

Todd Shelton, senior director of policy at InterAction, a coalition of humanitarian organizations, told the Washington Post that "[t]he tension inherent in the draft is the same one that has been playing out over the past 14 months of the QDDR process — namely how to ‘Build USAID as the World’s Premier Development Agency’ on the one hand, and integrate both the diplomatic and development components into what is being called ‘civilian power’ on the other."

"From a development expert perspective, the QDDR PowerPoint appears to give with one hand but take away with the other," Shelton said. "It talks about building USAID’s capacity in a variety of ways. For example, it formally recognizes the new budget office at USAID, but then makes clear its recommendations will be subject to review and final approval by the Deputy Secretary of State. USAID also will have the lead in formulating the development component of ‘integrated strategies’ referred to in the draft but the chief of mission at an embassy will have the final say on the strategy, which forms the basis for budget requests."

 Twitter: @joshrogin
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