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Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 2: Governing Justly and Democratically


Bureau of Resource Management
Report
January 15, 2009

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Photo showing a Masai woman casting her ballot during the Kenyan presidential election.

A Masai woman casts her ballot during the Kenyan presidential election.
AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo

Advance the growth of democracy and good governance, including civil society, the rule of law, respect for human rights, political competition, and religious freedom.

I. Public Benefit

The U.S. Government supports just and democratic governance for three distinct and related reasons: as a matter of principle; as a contribution to U.S. national security; and as a cornerstone of our broader development agenda. Governments that accept the twin principles of majority rule and individual rights, respond to the needs of their people, and govern by rule of law are more likely to conduct themselves responsibly toward other nations.

Effective and accountable democratic states are also best able to promote broad-based and sustainable prosperity. The U.S. Government goal is to promote and strengthen effective democracies and assist countries in moving along a continuum toward democratic consolidation.

II. Summary of Performance

FY 2008 Results Achieved for Strategic Goal 2
RatingNumber of IndicatorsPercentage of Indicators
Above target 3 25%
On target 2 17%
Improved over prior year, but target not met 2 17%
Below target 1  8%
Data not yet available 4 33%
Total12100%

Key Selected Achievements

  • The Department of State encouraged the Government of Vietnam to continue to deepen its implementation of a legal framework on religion which led to the registration of more than 10 new religious groups in the past year.
  • The Department partnered with major apparel brands and retailers, investment firms, and non-governmental organizations to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector.

III. Performance Analysis and Resources Invested

FY 2008 Budget Authority for Strategic Goal 2
(Dollars in Millions)
Strategic PrioritiesBudget
Rule of Law and Human Rights$  924
Good Governance$  834
Political Competition and Consensus-Building$  307
Civil Society$  564
Total$2,629

A total of four strategic priorities are included under Strategic Goal 2. The following are a few illustrative performance indicators. The complete set of 12 indicators can be found in the Department’s Annual Performance Report at http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/perfrpt/2008apr/ on page 66.

1. RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS: Advance and protect human and individual rights, and promote societies where the state and its citizens are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, consistent with international norms and standards.

Activities in this area advance and protect human and individual rights as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international conventions to which states are signatories. Rule of law and human rights are core principles central to American foreign policy.

Analysis: The indicator below monitors improved court case management as reported by 15 locations. Overall program targets were not met because multiple locations are no longer reporting against this indicator due to changes in programming. However, those locations which continue to report against this measure had significant success in FY 2008. For example, Colombia almost tripled its FY 2007 number of 30, reaching 83 courts in FY 2008. Egypt, Guatemala and Jordan also saw significant improvements, with only Haiti falling short of its target. The FY 2009 target has been carefully recalibrated.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2006-2009
Performance Indicator2006
Results
2007
Results
2008
Target
2008
Results
2008
Rating
2009
Target
Number of USG Assisted Courts with Improved Case ManagementIndicator established in 2007350477351Yellow: improved, but not met.
Improved, but not met
339
Impact(s): Increased the efficiency of case management expedites a population’s access to justice and increases the transparency of the judicial process. Improved case management also leads to better strategic management of the court systems because they can manage workload more effectively and target other areas in need of improvement.
Steps to Improve: The 2009 target has been adjusted to account for the programming shift and the additional number of locations reporting against this target.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: 2008 Performance Reports from 15 countries as collected in the Foreign Assistance and Coordination System (FACTS). Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

2. GOOD GOVERNANCE: Promote democratic institutions that are effective, responsive, sustainable, and accountable to the people, and include institutional checks and balances.

The U.S. Government works with host country institutions, public and private, to develop the capacity to govern effectively, and to monitor the effectiveness of government. Poor governance can lead to corruption and civil unrest.

Analysis: The World Bank’s Government Effectiveness indicator is one of six measures utilized by the Bank’s Governance Matters Initiative. The World Bank’s Government Effectiveness indicator highlighted below tracks trends in government effectiveness by measuring the quality of a country’s public service provisions, the independence of the civil service from political pressures, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to public policy. The countries that receive the majority of U.S. Government funding in this area, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, and Lebanon, are tracked by this long-term indicator. This indicator uses a scoring scale for each country from -2.5 to 2.5 (higher average values equal higher quality of governance). Results for target countries were mixed for FY 2008 with Jordan showing improvements, Iraq and Egypt holding steady, and Lebanon and the West Bank showing declines. Although annual results are reported for this indicator, annual targets are not set due to its long term nature.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2007-2008 and 2015
Target Countries2007
Baseline
2008
Results
2015
Target
2015
Rating Criteria
Egypt-0.41-0.44-0.21Significant improvement in score from 3 of 5 countries by 2015. A “significant improvement” is an improvement of at least 0.20 for Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon; 0.25 for Iraq; and 0.35 for West Bank/Gaza
Jordan0.190.270.39
Lebanon-0.45-0.61-0.25
Iraq-1.7-1.68-1.45
West Bank/Gaza-1.11-1.24-0.76
Impact(s): Measures quality of a country’s public services, civil service and its degree of independence from political pressures, policy formulation and implementation, and the quality of the government’s commitment to such policies. Results were mixed for FY 2008.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: World Bank Governance Matters Initiative—Government Effectiveness Index for: Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, and Lebanon. The indicators measure six dimensions of governance: voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

3. POLITICAL COMPETITION AND CONSENSUS-BUILDING: Encourage the development of transparent and inclusive electoral and political processes and democratic, responsive, and effective political parties.

The U.S. Government seeks to promote consensus-building among government, political parties, and civil society to advance a common democratic agenda, especially where fundamental issues about the democratization process have not yet been settled.

Analysis: The indicator below highlights the performance of 11 U.S. Government-assisted country programs that focus on one aspect of promoting credible and fair elections. Because the indicator measures persons trained in preparation for deployment as observers before or during a national election, targets and results are greatly influenced by the number of elections in a given year. Aggregated targets to train election monitors in FY 2008 were not met, although many individual countries did surpass their goals. The FY 2009 target is significantly lower as there are fewer planned elections to monitor in 2009.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2006-2009
Performance Indicator2006
Results
2007
Results
2008
Target
2008
Results
2008
Rating
2009
Target
Number of Domestic Election Observers Trained with U.S. Government AssistanceIndicator established in 200753,25827,53624,629Red: below target.
Below target
3,700
Impact(s): Greater political competition and consensus-building to ensure that citizens have a voice in the regular and peaceful transfer of power between governments.
Steps to Improve: The FY 2008 target was not met in part due to the difficult environment for monitors in Russia. To mitigate this we will shift from short-term observers to a longer term focus on monitoring which is more conducive to the environment in which election observers operate; thus we are training fewer election observers and have adjusted their FY 2009 target accordingly.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: 2008 Performance Reports from 11 countries as collected in the Foreign Assistance and Coordination System (FACTS). Additional countries have set targets against this indicator in 2009. Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

4. CIVIL SOCIETY: Strengthen democratic political culture and citizen engagement by supporting the means through which citizens can freely organize, advocate, and communicate with members of their own and other governments, international bodies, and other elements of civil society.

This priority supports civic participation and access to information, including media freedom and a broadly functioning independent and open media sector, and the internet.

Analysis: The indicator below measures one aspect of U.S. assistance to strengthen civil society organizations (CSOs). A vibrant civil society serves as the conscience of a country and a counterweight to non-democratic tendencies. In FY 2008, three locations, Uganda, Guinea, and Armenia, significantly exceeded their targets.

Twelve locations submitted FY 2008 results for this indicator that were not part of the original FY 2008 target universe. If these results were included, another 563 CSOs that engage in advocacy and watchdog functions would be included in the results.

Performance Indicator Target and Results Summary for 2006-2009
Performance Indicator2006
Results
2007
Results
2008
Target
2008
Results
2008
Rating
2009
Target
Number of USG Assisted Civil Society Organizations that Engage in Advocacy and Watchdog FunctionsIndicator established in 20078231,2231,315Blue: above target.
Above target
924
Impact(s): Increased the capacity and quantity of civil society organizations to provide watchdog functions for a country. Increased transparency and accountability of the government allows for greater information sharing in communities, and enables greater economic and social stability.
Reasons for Exceeding Target: FY 2008 results exceeded the targets due to the overwhelming response from civil society groups across Uganda involved in regional land policy consultations.
Data Source, Verification, and Validation: 2008 Performance Reports from 20 countries and the East Africa Regional mission as collected in the Foreign Assistance and Coordination System (FACTS). Performance data are validated and verified using Data Quality Assessments and must meet five data quality standards of validity, integrity, precision, reliability, and timeliness. Data quality assessments revealed no significant data limitations.

 


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