Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review 2015

March 11, 2016


QDDR Implementation: Transforming Recommendations into Action and Impact

"I want the QDDR to be the blueprint for the next generation of American diplomacy. I want our diplomats and development professionals to have the technology and know-how to confront both the challenges and the opportunities.” - Secretary of State John Kerry

Released last April, the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) identified strategic priorities and institutional reforms for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure our foreign policy, assistance and organizations are agile, dynamic and advance our national interests.

Implementation of the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review is underway and bringing real change across the QDDR’s three thematic areas: global policy priorities, organizational reforms, and investments in our workforce. Since the report’s release senior leaders from across the Department and USAID have created detailed plans to guide implementation of over 100 recommendations and we are making tangible progress. Below is a sample of our recent accomplishments.

Strengthening our ability to lead on global policy priorities 

  • The Department is revamping its counter-violent-extremist communications through the Global Engagement Center which will better coordinate the U.S. government’s public countering violent extremism communications to foreign audiences abroad, across the interagency and with other nations facing the threat of violent extremism. 
  • Building on the successful COP-21climate agreement, we launched a climate capacity task force to improve institutional effectiveness and integrate climate-risk and resilience considerations into diplomacy and development efforts. 
  • A new economic career board was created to assure personnel have the right skills and experience to advance our economic and commercial goals and each State regional bureau identified a Deputy Assistant Secretary for economic issues to better coordinate policy on inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity.

Institutional reforms to make the Department more dynamic and agile

  • New offices for Knowledge Management and Data Analytics are developing platforms to improve how we communicate, collaborate, and enhance evidence-based decision making in our workforce.
  • An agility review task force with participants from throughout the Department is examining how we can better operate in complex environments with a goal of identifying best practices from posts and bureaus and making those tools widely available.
  • A new risk management policy was also developed that defines employees’ roles and responsibilities in managing risk.

Making the Department a better place to work for our employees 

  • We increased the number of internships for underrepresented populations and strengthened efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce. 
  • The Department created a voluntary leave bank, increased the number of telework agreements and enabled employees to work domestically while living overseas. 
  • Expanded family member employment options have been developed through the Global Employment Initiative and Expanded Professional Associates Program.

These early successes are just the start. As the year continues, we anticipate changes that build a more strategic, dynamic and agile institution and workforce such as the creation of the Foreign Service Family Member Reserve Corps to simplify portions of the hiring and security process, a working group on anti-corruption that will coordinate efforts in several countries, and mandatory leadership training that will make up the new leadership development continuum.

Visit the QDDR website: http:/2009-2017.state.gov/qddr

Email the QDDR team: qddrideas@state.gov