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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Organizational Impacts


FY 2004-2009 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan

If the Department and USAID are to realize our objectives, we must execute this Strategic Plan together as well. Although we remain two separate organizations under the Secretary of State, the future of the Department and USAID must be based on the foundation of required coordination and integration when it best serves the American public. For all our joint goals, we will ensure that our policy priorities are aligned with programs, performance, and funding. Together, the Department and USAID will collaborate to ensure focus on both short-term diplomatic issues as well as longer-term institutional and capacity building efforts. We will ensure that U.S. assistance programs reach as many people as possible.

The Department and USAID have a demonstrated track record of a successful working relationship in the field. Many Missions have established ad hoc coordination mechanisms to ensure diplomatic and development alignment. To achieve our shared goals and priorities, the Department and USAID need to replicate the best practice models of field coordination and decision-making and establish a more institutionalized process and structure for all key joint policy and program issues. To accomplish this task, we will establish joint policy and management councils comprising senior Department and USAID officials to oversee the implementation of this Strategic Plan.

Department - USAID Policy Council

With the development of a joint Strategic Planning Framework, the Department and USAID share the same goals. Our next step is to ensure that our foreign policy and development assistance programs are fully aligned to achieve these goals. The primary role of the Policy Council is to establish a roadmap in key goal areas that will inventory our current work, identify any gaps in aligning our policy and programs, and establish concrete coordination mechanisms that can be implemented in a short timeframe. The Policy Council will ensure that the linkages between the Department and USAID programs are captured in each agency's follow-on performance plans, operational guidelines, and processes so as to maximize opportunities for coordination and impact.

The Department's Deputy Secretary will chair the Policy Council with USAID's Administrator as co-chair. The Policy Council will be composed of the Department's Under Secretaries for Political Affairs, Global Affairs, and Economic and Agricultural Affairs, the Department's Director for Policy Planning Staff, and USAID's Deputy Administrator, Assistant Administrator for Policy and Program Coordination, and Counselor. The regional bureaus also will play a critical role in the work of the Policy Council. A Senior Adviser reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs will be responsible for working with the respective Department and USAID bureaus to review policy and programs and develop implementation recommendations for increased alignment. USAID also will provide a Senior Adviser detailed to the Department to staff the Council. The Department's Office of Strategic and Performance Planning and USAID's Office of Policy and Program Coordination will assist the Senior Adviser to establish operating guidelines and ensure that resulting management impacts from increased policy coordination are presented to the Management Council.

Key high-level priorities, in particular, require the most effective policy coordination between the Department and USAID. Official "Coordinators" traditionally have been created to ensure major policy priorities receive the diplomatic and development assistance required. In some cases, this Coordinator plays a larger arbitration role among a number of U.S. Government agencies. This structure has been helpful to ensure increased oversight of programs including both foreign policy and development assistance elements. The successful elements of these models could be applied more broadly to the Department's and USAID's shared policy goals and help reduce any duplicative roles and responsibilities.

Department - USAID Management Council

Although several joint Department and USAID management projects are under way, there is no established central body to help move these projects to a unified end. The role of the Management Council is to set the direction for increased management coordination, help develop and implement strategies and priorities articulated in this Strategic Plan, and to monitor progress.

The Department's Under Secretary for Management will chair the Management Council with USAID's Deputy Administrator as co-chair. Other Management Council members will include the Department's Assistant Secretary for Resource Management, USAID's Assistant Administrator for Management, and a Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) and Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) from each management area who will lead working groups in the areas of human resources, training, e-government, resource management, and administrative services, overseas facilities, and security. The working groups will develop detailed work plans that outline the steps and timelines for the joint initiatives in their areas. The groups will present these work plans, with concrete milestones, to the Management Council for prioritization. The working groups will then be responsible for implementation and regular performance reporting. The Department's Office of Strategic and Performance Planning and USAID's Bureau for Management will charter and launch the Management Council and ensure that management decisions are presented to the Policy Council.


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