The Customer Liaison Division provides its clientele with substantive, on-demand services and immediate response during emergencies, evacuations and natural disasters – and during other critical IT situations such as telecommunications outages, systems/network failures, and customer-specific crises.
This initiative enables and encourages Department personnel to form online communities to publish information, connect with others, and spark discussions. Transcending organizational boundaries and geographic constraints, these websites use a simple blogging platform to allow online community members to efficiently publish deliberative content. By choice of the community administrators, most of these online communities are available to members of the interagency foreign affairs community. In addition to administered Community sites, MyBlog@State enables Department personnel to create personal blogs to share their individual perspectives on professional topics.
To ensure best use of limited resources and to promote successful online communities, eDiplomacy has designed guidelines and a planning questionnaire to help prospective community leaders form and manage their communities.
Corridor is the Department’s in-house professional networking platform. Although similar to external networking sites, Corridor is oriented towards the Department's foreign affairs professionals and personnel from other agencies who use the unclassified network. It enables members to post information about their professional accomplishments and expertise, expand their professional network of connections, discover and tap into the experience and expertise of colleagues worldwide, and form groups to communicate and collaborate based on shared professional and personal interests.
Diplopedia is the State Department's internal collaborative online encyclopedia. Just as people create and edit articles on public wikis on the Internet, Department personnel use Diplopedia to create a broad, informative and expanding reference tool for knowledge-sharing about the Department, its programs and offices, and other international affairs subjects. The Department shares a read-only version of Diplopedia for internal U.S. Government interagency viewing. A classified version of Diplopedia serves as a gateway to information on the Department’s classified network.
The IT Innovation Fund was created in 2011 to support transitional projects designed to move Department information technology systems and practices forward. Pursuant to the QDDR’s call to “pursue new ways of doing business” it provides funding to support and encourage well-conceived, high-impact innovations through the use of existing technologies or processes or the development of new technologies or processes.
The NIV dashboard provides consular officers with single-click access to the most commonly used visa reference materials, including quick links to FAM guidelines for visa categories, ineligibilities and clearances. With built-in search functions and a unique link database for each post, the NIV Dashboard provides a convenient launch pad for visa officers and their support staff.
SearchState, the Department of State’s enterprise search service, enables Department personnel to find the information they need from millions of items in Department websites and databases.
A part of the QDDR’s 21st Century Statecraft initiative, Tech@State is a quarterly conference series that brings together U.S. diplomats, technologists, civil society leaders, academics, and entrepreneurs to explore innovative ways technology can address global diplomatic and development challenges. To learn more visit tech.state.gov.
TechCamps, a key element of the Civil Society 2.0 Initiative, are one to two day interactive conferences that bring together top technology experts with local and regional civil society organizations to provide training and strategic planning, with a focus on developing local solutions to local problems. TechCamps connect the organizations and entities that are working hard to solve social problems-- NGO’s, educational institutions, activists, community groups, etc.-- with technologists that have access to easy-to-implement, low-cost solutions that they can often put to use immediately. TechCamps help to accomplish goals like promoting their organization, recruiting new members, educating the public, raising money, mapping strategic data, using mobile apps, and building organizational capacity. They also convene private sector and foundation partners, to help ensure that viable solutions are sustainable long after participants return home. For more information please visit techcampglobal.org.
The Current is an information aggregation tool that enables individuals to pull in a wide variety of information from sources inside and outside the Department onto a single website – a type of personalized, continually refreshed, online newspaper or briefing book for their work. The Current is closely integrated with other programs in the Knowledge Leadership suite of tools. In addition to helping personnel manage their information load, The Current promotes a richer professional dialogue by enabling users to share items of interest with colleagues or begin a discussion by posting an item in Corridor, the Department's internal professional networking platform, or in any of the active sites in the Communities @ State program. The Current is available for all Department and other agency personnel who have an account on the Department's unclassified network.
The Virtual Presence Post program helps a U.S. Embassy or Consulate General mobilize diplomatic outreach tools including travel, programs, media, and technology to focus and improve our engagement with specific communities where the U.S. has no physical diplomatic facilities. Demonstrated benefits include expanded mission travel, better interagency cooperation, and more strategic application of program and media outreach resources. Currently there are approximately 40 Virtual Presence Post communities, like the USVPP Cardiff. The Office of eDiplomacy maintains ”do it yourself” (DIY) resources that assist posts in developing and designing these programs.
The VSFS program is part of a growing effort by the State Department to harness technology and a commitment to global service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement. Working from college and university campuses in the United States and throughout the world, U.S. citizen college students can engage with State Department domestic offices and U.S. diplomatic posts overseas through nine-month virtual internships (eInternships). VSFS will soon expand to include crowd-sourcing through a micro-volunteering platform, allowing even more U.S. college students opportunities to conduct digital diplomacy, reflecting the realities of our networked world. For more information please visit www.state.gov/vsfs.