organizations praised the State Department's first- ever Quadrennial Diplomacy
and Development Review (QDDR), which was released on Wednesday, while others pointed out what
they see as the shortcomings of the document and worried about whether it could
ever be implemented.
issue is whether Congress, where power in the House is about to shift from
Democratic to Republican hands, will properly fund the initiatives in the QDDR.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke extensively on Wednesday about how she sees
the QDDR as a document that can justify funding for diplomacy and development
next year, while also rebuilding the capacity of USAID and reforming the way
the State Department does business both at home and abroad.
the QDDR, Secretary Clinton and [USAID] Administrator [Rajiv] Shah have demonstrated their commitment to changing the way
we do business and increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability
of our foreign affairs agencies," said outgoing House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA). "I look forward
to working with them, along with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to
institutionalize durable reforms that protect national security, advance global
prosperity and promote shared values."
incoming chairwoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
(R-FL), didn't have an immediate reaction to the report, but pledged earlier this month to use her perch to reduce funding
for both the State Department and foreign operations.
"It's all about implementation," said Gordon
Adams, former head of national security budgeting for the Clinton White
House. "As the Secretary said, the budget environment is tight. So getting
some of this funded is going to be hard, especially when the Republicans are
gunning for foreign aid."
also teaches at American University and works on budget issues at the Stimson
Center, released a scorecard on Wednesday pointing out the
successes and shortcomings of the review. For example, it said that the QDDR
does a good job of laying out the major goals and challenges facing American
diplomatic efforts but fails to "prioritize roles and missions and provide
metrics for success."
the QDDR succeeds at outlining the need for more budgetary planning and coordination
but lacks sufficient detail about the process to link budget decisions to
personnel and management changes, Adams' scorecard noted.
organizations praised the report on Wednesday, and pledged to keep a close eye on
the changes as the implementation process moves forward.
example, the ONE Campaign, an organization dedicated to combating extreme
poverty, praised the decision to give big development initiatives to USAID.
applauds the move to focus leadership of the Administration's two signature
development initiatives - Feed the Future and the Global Health Initiative,"
said CEO David Lane. "We will now
look to USAID to demonstrate its ability to deliver on the admirable and
critical outcomes promised by these two initiatives."
Several praised the Clinton team for completing the
review, but noted that its success or failure will be determined by actions,
not the words on the page.
"I have seen many exhaustive reviews during my time
in both Congress and the Cabinet, and while no one may ever remember the
acronym, the QDDR will have a tremendous impact in
ensuring our civilian programs are more effective and efficient," said U.S.
Global Leadership Coalition Chairman Dan
Paul O'Brien, vice president of policy and
advocacy campaigns for Oxfam America, noted that while the QDDR clearly puts
ambassadors and chiefs of missions at the head of country teams as the so-call "CEOs"
of American diplomacy, it doesn't tackle how the inevitable conflicts between short-term
foreign policy objectives and longer-term development goals are resolved.
is an important step in reaffirming the efforts to modernize USAID and further
elevate it as ‘the world's premier development agency. But the document leaves
open the question of how the United States will resolve situations where
diplomacy and development will require different approaches and tradeoffs," he
Beckmann and George Ingram,
co-chairs of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), called for the
reforms in the QDDR to be codified in law through corresponding congressional
reforms would pay major dividends in terms of lives saved and improved around
the world -- and they would make sure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are getting
into the hands of people who need them. But they will only have lasting
impact if the Administration and bipartisan Members of Congress work together
to develop and pass legislation that establishes them in law," they said in a
acknowledged most of these concerns in her town hall meeting in Foggy Bottom on
Wednesday morning and promised that the QDDR release will be the beginning, not
the end, of the reform process.
"I'm determined that this report will not merely
gather dust, as did so many before it," she said, adding with a smile, "I'm
looking forward to the many challenges of implementation."