The Department of State's Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Fact Sheet
Washington, DC
July 10, 2009

The United States faces a set of complex, varied, and numerous foreign policy challenges. No one set of tools is sufficient for solving or managing them. Our success in exercising effective global leadership depends upon a robust and effective State Department and USAID working side-by-side with a strong military. By using all the tools of American power, we can pave the way for shared peace, progress and prosperity. This comprehensive approach is the essence of smart power.

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) will provide the short-, medium-, and long-term blueprint for our diplomatic and development efforts. Our goal is to use this process to guide us to agile, responsive, and effective institutions of diplomacy and development, including how to transition from approaches no longer commensurate with current challenges. It will offer guidance on how we develop policies; how we allocate our resources; how we deploy our staff; and how we exercise our authorities. Specifically, the final report of the QDDR will lay out:
  • The baseline: An assessment of (1) the range of global threats, challenges and opportunities both today and over the next two decades that should inform our diplomatic and development strategies; and (2) the current status of our approaches to diplomacy and development, with emphasis on the relationship between diplomacy and development in our existing policies and structures.
  • The ends: A clear statement of our overarching foreign policy and development objectives, our specific policy priorities, and our expected results, with an emphasis on the achievable and not merely the desirable.
  • The ways: A set of recommendations on the strategies needed to achieve these results, including the timing and sequencing of decisions and implementation.
  • The means: A set of recommendations on (1) the tools and resources needed to implement the strategy; and (2) management and organizational reforms that will improve outcomes and efficiency.
  • The metrics: A set of recommendations on performance measures to assess outcomes, and--where feasible--impacts.
  • The links: An assessment of how the results and recommendations of this review fit into broader interagency, whole-of-government approaches, and into the Administration’s larger foreign policy framework.
  • The QDDR will be managed by a senior leadership team under the direction of the Secretary of State and led by the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, with the Administrator of USAID and the Director of the Policy Planning serving as co-chairs. The QDDR leadership team will include senior representation from State, USAID and MCC, and will engage with Congress, Cabinet agencies, and seek input from non-government experts. Findings and recommendations of the QDDR will contribute to an interagency process aimed at developing a whole-of-government approach. The final report will be presented to the President and Congress and be made available to the public.

PRN: 2009/711